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Low bidder files complaint against city

July 26, 2005
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BANGOR - (Bangor Daily News) - July 26 - The owner of a local cleaning company passed over for a contract despite making the lowest-cost offer is asking the court to strike out the council's decision last month to award the contract to a rival company.

In his civil complaint, filed earlier this month in Penobscot County Superior Court, Michael McCue, owner of CMC & Maintenance Inc. of Bangor, alleged that two of the city councilors who took part in the decision should not have voted because they are clients of an accounting business owned by Glenn Wilson, owner of River City Cleaning, also of Bangor.

McCue is asking the court to vacate the council's vote and that the council be reconvened to discuss, deliberate and vote again without the participation of "any member who has a personal or financial relationship with one of the contract applicants."

The council voted 5-4 to award the Bangor International Airport cleaning contract to River City Commercial Cleaning Inc., which has done the job for the last several years.

Councilors Dan Tremble and Susan Hawes, who were among the five councilors who voted to stay with the current company, both disclosed during a June 13 council meeting that they are clients of an accounting business also belonging to River City's owner, Glenn Wilson.

After City Solicitor Norman Heitmann reviewed the city's code of ethics, the other seven councilors determined that neither were in conflict and as such, must vote. Councilors are prohibited from recusing themselves from voting.

The councilors decided to go with River City Cleaning because the company had done the work for several years previously and was a known entity.

McCue also noted that his $675,402 proposal for a three-year contract was more than $10,000 a year lower than River City's $708,344 offer, and that staff had done extensive reference checks and uncovered no problems with CMC's work.

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