Many St. John contractors without agreements

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 21, 2013

By Richard Meek
Contributing Writer

LAPLACE – Several firms are operating without contracts but continuing to provide a variety of services to St. John the Baptist Parish government offices. The services range from information technology to videoing parish meetings.
Those companies include including ACT Technology fir IT services, Black Box for phone services, Eliza Eugene Enterprises forbusiness consulting services, Cintas for uniforms and LaMar Productions for video services, parish President Natalie Robottom said this week. They are being paid at their previous contract rate.
Robottom, however, said progress is being made on resolving all of the contract issues. Advertising for bids has begun for video services in St. John the Baptist Parish, but there appears to be little doubt regarding the eventual winner of the contract.
Some parish council members have been adamant they would like to retain the services of Richard Marino, owner of LaMar, who has been videoing council meetings and other parish events since May 2000. Marino has been operating on a month-to-month basis since his contract expired earlier this year and is being paid $2,200 per month.
Earlier this year Marino, for reasons that remain unclear, failed to submit a bid to the parish in the spring when a Request for Proposals was advertised, despite being encouraged by administration officials. During a council meeting in June council member Cheryl Millett was the most vocal in her support of Marino.
Robottom said in May only one bid was received and recommended council members reject it because the person did not meet all of the qualifications as mandated by the RFP.
The new bid was advertised Sept. 14 and will close Oct. 11.
“The purpose of advertising and procuring these services properly is to receive proposals from companies,” Robottom said via email this past week. “This process allows the parish to review multiple proposals with the opportunity to choose the best service and price for the parish.
“We encourage anyone interested to submit their proposal.”
Robottom said proposals are being secured for the IT and phone services, and the consulting contract with Eliza Eugene Enterprises is being renegotiated. Additionally, the specifications for uniform bids are being revised, she said.
Robottom said about two weeks has been added to the bid process after a new policy recently adopted by the council requires the council to approve all requests prior to them being advertised by the administration.