In 2001 a group of citizens in Sandusky, Ohio tried to change the city government to a mayor/ward system. This site tells about that election. The site remains for others to use for research or to learn what can happen in their own fight for change.
Sanduskians for Mayor/Ward 2001
"A mayor form and ward system basically provides more direct participation from the citizens. The government becomes more proactive, more goal-oriented, because there's basically a voter referendum every four years on the city's leadership." - Kevin Zeiher
"The ward system identifies a person with a particular area of town, and he'll be more responsible to those people in that area." - Dannie Edmon
OK, here's the Ohio Revised Code that applies to architects and engineers. I really think the City should read this because maybe things wouldn't get so "over-budget" if they bothered to FOLLOW THE RULES!
Whenever any building or structure for the use of the state or any institution supported in whole or in part by the state or in or upon the public works of the state that is administered by the director of administrative services or by any other state officer or state agency authorized by law to administer a project, including an educational institution listed in section
(A) Full and accurate plans, suitable for the use of mechanics and other builders in the construction, improvement, addition, alteration, or installation;
(B) Details to scale and full-sized, so drawn and represented as to be easily understood;
(C) Accurate bills showing the exact quantity of different kinds of material necessary to the construction;
(D) Definite and complete specifications of the work to be performed, together with directions that will enable a competent mechanic or other builder to carry them out and afford bidders all needful information;[Another really good idea - definite and complete specifications. I bet that means things like "overhead door openers" are included in the specs., and maybe also door thresholds?]
(E) A full and accurate estimate of each item of expense and the aggregate cost of those items of expense;
(F) A life-cycle cost analysis;
(G) Further data as may be required by the department of administrative services.
[§ 153.01.2] § 153.012 Preference to Ohio contractors. [Golly, what a good idea! Instead of hiring an engineering firm from Missouri...we hire a firm from Ohio! Do you suppose they might know more about Ohio law???]
With respect to the award of any contract for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, alteration, repair, painting or decoration of a public improvement, including any highway improvement, made by the state or in whole or in part supported by the state, except for a contract for products produced or mined in Ohio or for a contract financed in whole or in part by contributions or loans from any agency of the United States government, preference shall be given to contractors having their principal place of business in Ohio over contractors having their principal place of business in a state which provides a preference in that state in favor of contractors of that state for the same type of work. Where a preference is provided by another state for contractors of that state, contractors having their principal place of business in Ohio are to be granted in Ohio the same preference over them in the same manner and on the same basis and to the same extent as the preference is granted in letting contracts for the same type of work by the other state. If one party to a joint venture is a contractor having its principal place of business in Ohio, the joint venture shall be considered as having its principal place of business in Ohio.
§ 153.65 Definitions.
As used in sections153.65 to 153.71 of the Revised Code:
(A) "Public authority" means the state, or a county, township, municipal corporation,[municipal corporation...that means us!] school district, or other political subdivision, or any public agency, authority, board, commission, instrumentality, or special district of the state or a county, township, municipal corporation, school district, or other political subdivision.
(B) "Professional design firm"[ Firms like engineering firms....architectural firms....] means any person legally engaged in rendering professional design services.
(C) "Professional design services" means services within the scope of practice of an architect or landscape architect registered under Chapter 4703. of the Revised Code or a professional engineer or surveyor registered under Chapter 4733. of the Revised Code.
(D) "Qualifications" means all of the following:
(1) Competence of the professional design firm to perform the required professional design services as indicated by the technical training, education, and experience of the firm's personnel, especially the technical training, education, and experience of the employees within the firm who would be assigned to perform the services;
(2) Ability of the firm in terms of its workload and the availability of qualified personnel, equipment, and facilities to perform the required professional design services competently and expeditiously;
(3) Past performance of the firm as reflected by the evaluations of previous clients with respect to such factors as control of costs, quality of work, and meeting of deadlines;
(4) Other similar factors.
§ 153.66 Statements of qualifications.
Each public authority planning to contract for professional design services shall encourage professional design firms to submit a statement of qualifications and update the statements at regular intervals.
Each public authority planning to contract for professional design services shall publicly announce all contracts available from it for such services. The announcements shall:
(A) Be made in a uniform and consistent manner and shall be made sufficiently in advance of the time that responses must be received from qualified professional design firms for the firms to have an adequate opportunity to submit a statement of interest in the project;
(B) Include a general description of the project, a statement of the specific professional design services required, and a description of the qualifications required for the project;
(C) Indicate how qualified professional design firms may submit statements of qualifications in order to be considered for a contract to design the project;
(D) Be sent to either of the following:
(1) Each professional design firm that has a current statement of qualifications on file with the public authority and is qualified to perform the required professional design services;
(2) Architect, landscape architect, engineer, and surveyor trade associations, the news media, and any publications or other public media that the public authority considers appropriate.
§ 153.68 Prequalification requirements.
Any public authority planning to contract for professional design services may institute prequalification requirements for professional design firms seeking to provide services to the public authority and may require that each prequalified firm maintain a current statement of qualifications on file with the public authority. The prequalification requirements shall be based on factors such as those set out in division (D) of section153.65 of the Revised Code.
§ 153.69 Evaluation and selection of firms; negotiation of contract.
For every professional design services contract, each public authority planning to contract for professional design services shall evaluate the statements of qualifications of professional design firms currently on file, together with those that are submitted by other professional design firms specifically regarding the project, and may hold discussions with individual firms to explore further the firms' statements of qualifications, the scope and nature of the services the firms would provide, and the various technical approaches the firms may take toward the project. Following this evaluation, the public authority shall:
(A) Select and rank no fewer than three firms which it considers to be the most qualified to provide the required professional design services, except when the public authority determines in writing that fewer than three qualified firms are available in which case the public authority shall select and rank those firms;[ My goodness, here it says the City is supposed to find three firms and evaluate them.]
(B) Negotiate a contract with the firm ranked most qualified to perform the required services at a compensation determined in writing to be fair and reasonable to the public authority. Contract negotiations shall be directed toward:
(1) Ensuring that the professional design firm and the agency have a mutual understanding of the essential requirements involved in providing the required services;
(2) Determining that the firm will make available the necessary personnel, equipment, and facilities to perform the services within the required time;
(3) Agreeing upon compensation which is fair and reasonable, taking into account the estimated value, scope, complexity, and nature of the services.
(C) If a contract is negotiated with the firm ranked to perform the required services most qualified, the public authority shall, if applicable under section127.16 of the Revised Code, request approval of the board to make expenditures under the contract.
(D) Upon failure to negotiate a contract with the firm ranked most qualified, the public authority shall inform the firm in writing of the termination of negotiations and enter into negotiations with the firm ranked next most qualified. If negotiations again fail, the same procedure shall be followed with each next most qualified firm selected and ranked pursuant to division (A) of this section, in order of ranking, until a contract is negotiated.
(E) Should the public authority fail to negotiate a contract with any of the firms selected pursuant to division (A) of this section, the public authority shall select and rank additional firms, based on their qualifications, and negotiations shall continue as with the firms selected and ranked initially until a contract is negotiated.
(A) Except for any person providing professional design services of a research or training nature, any person rendering professional design services to a public authority shall have and maintain, or be covered by, during the period the services are rendered, a professional liability insurance policy or policies with a company or companies that are authorized to do business in this state and that afford professional liability coverage for the professional design services rendered. The insurance shall be in amount considered sufficient by the public authority.
(B) The requirement for professional liability insurance set forth in division (A) of this section may be waived by the public authority for good cause, or the public authority may allow the person providing the professional design services to provide other assurances of financial responsibility.
§ 153.71 Rules; exceptions to provisions. [Here it talks about exceptions, but I can't find anything peculiar or specific in it.]
Any public authority planning to contract for professional design services may adopt, amend, or rescind rules, in accordance with Chapter
(A) Any project with an estimated professional design fee of less than twenty-five thousand dollars;
(B) Any project determined in writing by the public authority head to be an emergency requiring immediate action including, but not limited to, any projects requiring multiple contracts let as part of a program requiring a large number of professional design firms of the same type;
(C) Any public authority that is not empowered by law to contract for professional design services.
So, there you have it, folks. Everything I found in the Ohio Revised Code that applies to municipalities about hiring engineers and architects. No where does it say that the City can just go out and hire an engineer to do a job. They have to publish that the work is available and must look at at least three firms.
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