Do you remember that great sense of urgency when Jerome Moon told commissioners that they had to pass the jail RFQ resolution or they would have to sit through deposition in federal court? Do you remember that great sense of urgency when the Detention Facility Specialists from the Tennessee Corrections Institute (TCI) told the Blount County Corrections Partnership in March that we needed to look into architectural costs to appease the TCI Board of Control to keep our certification?
Well the RFQ was just issued last week. This is 12 weeks after Mayor Ed Mitchell called a special commission meeting (they’re not so special anymore because the mayor has been calling a lot of meetings) to pass the ‘jail’ resolution. It took the purchasing agent 12 weeks to issue the paperwork. Where was that sense of urgency in issuing the paperwork?
One shouldn’t expect anything different from a purchasing agent who writes a resolution about a jail and fails to mention the word jail in the resolved portion of the resolution. The project overview in the RFQ is clear though saying, “Blount County Government is soliciting Requests for Qualifications from licensed Architectural and/or Engineering firms for professional services necessary to plan and design a jail expansion for Blount County, Tennessee.” See page 9 for the quote. Under Proposal Award it says, “Once an agreement is reached, the Purchasing Agent will then request that the full Blount County Commission approve a multi-year contract.” See page 16 for that quote.