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City's purchasing procedures to change as manager retires

March 27, 2002|BY DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

dank@herald-mail.com

With Hagerstown's purchasing manager retiring this week, some changes are in the works for the city's purchasing process and department.

City Purchasing Manager G. David White is to retire Thursday, but he will continue to work part time for the city handling insurance claims, City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said.

Instead of filling White's existing position, the purchasing manager position and the vacant project coordinator position will be merged to create a director of administrative services position, Zimmerman said.

Eliminating one position will save the city about $52,000 a year, he said.

The duties of the director of administrative services will include overseeing insurance, purchases under $25,000 and negotiations with labor unions, Zimmerman said.

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Change is also coming to the purchasing process.

The Washington County government will begin handling nonconstruction bids for purchases of more than $25,000 for Hagerstown in April and city insurance bids in 2003, Zimmerman said.

There are usually 20 to 25 nonconstruction purchases over $25,000 each year, including some vehicles, chemicals for the city water and sewer departments, and equipment for the City Light Department, he said.

Having the county help in this area is a sign of city-county cooperation, and lessens the workload for the city, Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said the City Council would still have to approve city purchases.

County Administrator Rodney Shoop said the arrangement should not be a burden for the county thanks to software that has automated the purchasing process.

The arrangement could lead to savings on joint purchases, Zimmerman said.

"With Dave White retiring, Bruce (Zimmerman) and I discussed over the last several months how the county can help that situation," Shoop said. "I think this is a win-win for the city and county."

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