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City officials give OK for new police cars
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The McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen has sided with legal advice by not paying an extra $621 to buy three police vehicles locally.A measure to purchase vehicles from Ford of Murfreesboro at a cost of $71,061 passed 6-1. Mayor Jimmy Haley, Vice Mayor Ben Newman, and Aldermen Mike Neal, Ken Smith, Jimmy Bonner and Billy Wood voted in favor, while Alderman Rick Barnes voted against.Prior to making the decision, the board rejected a prior motion from Barnes, as well as rejecting a recommendation from the Safety Committee on Jan. 14, to purchase the vehicles from Kidd Ford at a cost of $71,682. His motion received no second.City attorney Tim Pirtle informed board members they are legally required to go with the lowest bid.“It is my opinion under the facts of this case that the city is required to accept the lowest bid,” said Pirtle.Committee members Barnes and Smith ignored Pirtle’s advice Jan. 14, an action Pirtle strongly advised the board against.“Acting against the advice of counsel might remove the immunity that generally protects members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen from lawsuits and subjects the city of McMinnville to claims of preferential treatment by other lower bidders,” Pirtle said.