Park Board Candidate Davis questions building of Hickory Point Pavilion
I have recently learned that there was another Decatur Park Board construction contract entered into without going through the bidding process. In April of 2012, the board voted unanimously to bypass the bidding statute finding that an emergency existed which exempted the board from requiring bids to construct a pavilion at Hickory Point Golf course. The emergency was stated to be that it was necessary to open the pavilion in time for Futures Golf Tournament in June 2012 and to allow the District to accommodate numerous requests for outdoor weddings and receptions.
I acknowledge that the Park District Code provides that a construction contract may be awarded without going through the bidding process where there is a need to do so for a bone fide emergency. Bona fide is defined as an “actual”, “real”, “genuine” situation. I think that would be something like, fire, flood, earthquake, or a sudden real traumatic event.
I question how wanting to have the structure built for the Futures Golf Tournament or requests for weddings and receptions created a bone fide emergency situation. The Futures Tournament operated just fine for years and years with a tent. As now Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman wrote in an opinion when she was serving on the Fourth District Appellate Court, said “[T]he purpose of the bidding statue is inviting competition, to guard against favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud and corruption and to secure the best work or supplies at the lowest price practicable.” The district has abused the bidding statue by creating an emergency where no bona fide emergency existed for the sole purpose of bypassing the requirement that all projects costing more than $20,000 are required to be submitted for a defined bidding process.