A Scott County supervisor wants the county to consider enacting a new purchasing policy that would give preference to businesses located in Scott County.
Brinson Kinzer said he plans to propose the concept soon. "It's no different than the Shop Local (idea)," he said, adding the county should do its part to support businesses in Scott County.
"When we make a purchase of a vehicle and it comes from Muscatine County or Clinton County and we have a car dealer in Scott County, we're not supporting Scott County," he said in an interview. "As much as we can, we should give preferential treatment to Scott County businesses."
Kinzer of Blue Grass, who began his second term this week, said he does not fault staff for the bid selection process. "They don't have a policy (like this). If they had a policy, they'd follow it."
But Kinzer, an electrician by trade, regularly questions proposed purchases — particularly big dollar items such as new vehicles and equipment — to see if bids were received from Scott County companies. During Board of Supervisors' meetings, he also will often ask or point out where a particular item is manufactured and pushes for American-made products.
"We have five GM (General Motors) plants closing in this country, why should we support products made in Mexico and brought up here," he said. "I want to make sure they're made here in the United States. My second choice would be Canada, where at least they pay a decent living wage."
Scott County Administrator Mahesh Sharma said county staff now bring the lowest and responsible bid to the board. "If we're not recommending the lowest bid there has to be justification."
"If there is to be a change, it needs to be debated and discussed," Sharma said, adding "Right now, we’re following current policy."