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Office furniture, IT services topic of discussion at Peachtree Corners work session

PEACHTREE CORNERS -- Offices furniture and IT services were a main topic of discussion during Tuesday's special called work session for the Peachtree Corners City Council.

With the city preparing to buy furniture for the new city hall, city consultant John Kachmar schooled the members of the council on how they will go about the bidding process for this and future projects.

"The law requires for you to come up with a purchasing policy," he said. "Before you do that, (the entire council) needs to go through procurement training. It's very rare for elected officials to be involved in the procurement process, but since it's the early stages of the city, you're going to be involved in it. At some point down the road, you'll have someone on staff that will be in charge of all this and you'll be the one at the end of the line signing off on it."

Also discussed was how the council needs to go about information and IT services, which may include talking with other cities and the needs they have for their networks.

"It's wise to bring someone into your city hall and pay them a little bit to tell you exactly what you need," Kachmar said.

Kachmar told the council members that although some bids received are lower, cost is not always the main factor when choosing a particular company's bid.

"You're going to want to look at their references and see what some of their past work has been," Kachmar said. "You may have one company that's the lowest bidder, but they've been blacklisted by several Georgia municipalities for bad work, so you're not really going to want to go with them.

"Then, there are others whose cost may be higher than the first bid, but they have great references and have done great work before. It's just something where the city council has to sit down together and decide what is best for the city."

Other items discussed included:

-- Michelle Alexander of Pond and Company introduced herself to the mayor and council as the one who will work with the city on community development planning issues and land use. She told the group her main job was to be a resource to them and help them with any questions they had.

-- Mayor Mike Mason said that 35-40 people had applied to be on the planning and zoning commissions, and that the city was currently in the process of looking over those applications.

-- Kachmar said six people have been interviewed for the vacant city manager's position, with two more interviews scheduled for the end of the week.