The Hinds County Board of Supervisors again rejected a motion by District 4 Supervisor Phil Fisher to accept competitive bids for a mosquito spraying contract last Monday. Board attorney Tony Gaylor attempted to claim the contract is a professional service and can avoid state bidding requirements. Mr. Gaylor said he would seek an opinion from the attorney general.
Mr. Fisher strongly disagreed with Mr. Gaylor and read out loud Section 19-3-69 of the Mississippi Code. It states:
SEC. 19-3-69. Authority to contract for professional services.
The board of supervisors of each county may, in its discretion, contract with certain professionals when the board determines that such professional services are necessary and in the best interest of the county.
The board of supervisors shall spread upon its minutes its finding that the professional services are necessary and in the best interest of the county. The contract for professional services shall be approved by the attorney for the board of supervisors and made a part of the minutes.
A professional within the meaning of this section shall be limited to:
(a) Attorneys at law, admitted to practice law in this state by the State Board of Bar Admissions;
(b) Accountants, certified by the State Board of Public Accountancy;
(c) Architects, licensed by the State Board of Architecture;
(d) Engineers and Land Surveyors, registered by the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors;
(e) Physicians, licensed by the State Board of Medical Licensure;
(f) Appraisers, licensed by the Mississippi Real Estate Commission or as otherwise provided by law;
(g) Real estate brokers, licensed by the Mississippi Real Estate Commission;
(h) In the sale of personal property pursuant to the provisions of Section 19-7-5, auctioneers who meet standards established by the State Department of Audit.
Mr. Gaylor claimed at a previous meeting the contract is a professional service since a state license is required. Mr. Fisher took strong exception and argued it should be submitted to the bidding process. He placed a framed copy of the statute in front of him and in Mr. Gaylor's line of sight for the rest of the meeting. The motion failed on a 2-2 vote. Mr. Gaylor said there were other sections of the code "in conflict" with this section and he would seek an opinion from the Attorney General for clarification.
Kingfish note: Word on the street is Stokes and Graham want to give the contract to Hawthorn. Is there anything these guys don't try to give to their friends regardless of the cost or what the law says?