|County to prefer local businesses|
|Wednesday, March 20, 2013|
By SABRINA GARRETT
Following the lead of the Lebanon City Council, members of the Wilson County Commission voted to obtain a Local Vendors Preference Policy on Monday night.
Watertown Mayor and Wilson County Attorney Mike Jennings explained in early March that as the law currently stands, “There is nothing that says vendors are required to live here. Right now it goes to the lowest and best bidder.”
However, in hard economic times – city and county officials have chosen to pursue local vendors preference policies to ensure that the jobs and the money stay local.
District 19 Commissioner William Glover made the first motion in support of the proposal and said that “it is important to keep the people that are living in our community working.”
“You see these larger projects and there are trucks there with out of state or out of county tags. We are really trying ot help the local contractors and businesses here in town. They are the ones who pay taxes and employee our community and support local causes or baseball teams when they come around looking for support,” he added.
Jennings said that the vote Monday night was step one of a four-step process. County Mayor Randall Hutto explained that it will now be up to the state legislature to consider making this a private act and allowing the county to have authority to create a new policy.
“Then it would come back to the Finance Committee and they would draft a policy. It would then have to pass through the Budget Committee and then come back to Commission for approval,” Hutto said.
Jennings added that a two-thirds vote by Commission would be required for the policy to be adopted.
The City of Lebanon passed a similar resolution, which is also being sent to the state asking for the authority to amend their policies on bidding out jobs.