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Thursday, October 19, 2000

County's local purchasing rights clarified

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 19, 2000 - County purchases are on the rise due to the expansion at the Reeves County Detention Center and some local vendors are benefiting from the extra spending.

"County purchases have increased because of the expansion and will continue to do so," said Reeves County Auditor Lynn Owens. "Nothing has changed as far as our purchasing policy," he said.

Questions arose over the additional purchases during a commissioner's court meeting earlier this month, and Owens stated that as long as the county stays within the law the purchases could be done locally. "We want to give the local vendors as much business as we can, but we still have to abide by the law," he said.

Texas law says that you cannot enter into contract over $25,000 with the same vendor and putting it into components or sequential purchases can get you into trouble. "As long as you don't do that intentionally, it's alright," said Owens.

"I'm all for giving local vendors our business, but until we get a written opinion from the district attorney or the attorney general's office, we can't do anything," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "If we follow the law we don't have anything to worry about."

Galindo stated that District Attorney Randy Reynolds has given them the OK to purchase items from local vendors for unforeseen or unplanned maintenance and repair supplies.

"You just don't know what you're going to need on a day to day basis," said Owens. "So therefore, you don't know what to bid on," he said. "If you do sequential purchases in order to get out of bidding, you're breaking the law."

Owens said it's too difficult to bid these items, because you don't know what you're going to need, as far as day to day items. "All big items should be bid out," said Owens.

Reynolds issued a letter to the county stating, "As you know all laws including competitive bidding laws should be strictly adhered to, but often should be analyzed on a case by case basis."

"In analyzing your position, I reviewed the statute, certain cases decided under the statute, and recent attorney general opinions. I could not find anything inconsistent with your anlaysis and position that subsequent purchases under these facts could be made without bidding them out," said Reynolds.

"Therefore, at present I am in agreement with your position concerning these subsequent purchases. I will continue to review cases in other matters as they come across the desk concerning this statute and if I learn anything different I will notify you immediately," said Reynolds. "I agree that where purchases are made subsequent to initial purchases and are not made with intent to avoid the bid law, this is an important consideration in reaching this conclusion".

The competitive bidding requirements of the Local Government Code, Section 262, Subchapter C, the County Purchasing Act, states in part, "In applying the competitive bidding and competitive proposal requirements established by Subsection (a), all separate sequential, or component purchases of items ordered or purchased, with the intent of avoiding the competitive bidding and competitive proposal requirements of this subchapter, from the same supplier by the same county officer, department, or institution are treated as if they are part of a single purchase and of a single contact. In applying this provision to the purchase of supplies, separate purchases of supplies by an individual department are not considered to be part of a single purchase and single contract by the county if a specific intent to avoid the competitive bidding requirements of this subchapter is not present."

"The problem in question concerns the purchase of maintenance and repair supplies. The Reeves County Detention Center, because of its size, requires maintenance supplies in excess of the $25,000 competitive bid limitation. While it is not possible to anticipate the item requirements, or the quantity of every item that will be required during the year," said Owens.

The law states that before a county may purchase one or more items under a contract that will require an expenditure exceeding $15,000, the commissioners court of the county must comply with the competitive bidding or competitive proposal procedures prescribed by this subchapter. All bids or proposals must be sealed.

Marching contests to keep Eagle band busy Saturday

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 19, 2000 - This weekend plans to be a busy one for the Pecos High School Marching Band.

The band is scheduled to compete in the UIL Area Band Contest at 10 a.m. MDT, Saturday at the Socorro Special Events Center on the far east side of El Paso.

As soon as the band finishes marching there they will load up the buses and drive 60 miles to Las Cruces, New Mexico to perform in a multi-state band contest at 12:45 p.m. MDT at New Mexico State University.

Pecos High School Band Director William Goff said the purpose of competing in the second contest is to expose the students to different universities who would be watching and give the students a chance to receive scholarships as well as exposing them to different types of contest.

"We need to get our kids exposed to those things," he said.

Goff said this year's band has a lot of talented students that give the band depth.

"This band has more depth and playing ability than we've had in the three years I've been here," he said.

The Eagle Band of 184 students is scheduled to compete against Class 5A schools, because of the time conflict of area contest in El Paso.

"If we had competed against bands in our division we would have to be in New Mexico at 10 o'clock," he said.

Because of that the band has been placed against the "Super 5As,." which are the larger schools in the El Paso area.

"We're like the David going against all the Goliaths," Goff said.

A total number of 35 bands are scheduled to compete in Las Cruces, and will come from Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona.

Goff said the band is not ready for contest yet but each band's personality is different.

"Two years ago the band was not ready until they hit the field," he said. "Last year's band was ready the Friday night before."

"I don't know when they'll (this year's band) be ready because their personality is different."

Goff said the band is working hard however to be ready.

"They're worried, they're nervous and they're trying their hardest," he said.

Goff said just performing in the second contest would be good for the band, to expose them to other contests and different kinds of pressure and is not worried what place they get.

"If we make a good showing that's what counts," he said.

Before Saturday's contests, the band will perform at halftime of Pecos' football game against the Fabens Wildcats.

The Socorro Special Events Complex is located about 15 miles from Fabens, north of Interstate 10 on Loop 375, while New Mexico State University is located just north of the I-10/I-25 junction in Las Cruces.

Parks nixes relocating Pattillo slander suit

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 19, 2000 - A change of venue was denied this morning by 143rd District Court Judge Bob Parks, who cited a lack of evidence for refusing to relocate a lawsuit filed by attorney Mike McLeaish for Jan Pattillo from Pecos to Monahans.

Parks made his ruling this morning at the Reeves County Courthouse in connection with a slander lawsuit filed by Pattillo against attorney Bill Weinacht and Reeves County Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin.

The suit was filed following this past spring's Democratic primary election for Reeves County Commissioner. Pattillo's husband, David, finished first in the field during the March primary, but was defeated by two-term incumbent Tarin in the April runoff election.

McLeaish filed the change of venue because he said the influence Weinacht and Tarin have in Reeves County would persuade the prospective jurors.

McLeaish motioned to move the trial to Ward County (Monahans), where both Weinacht and Tarin have no influence on the public.

He also argued that it would be fair to move the trial because of the popularity of not only Weinacht and Tarin but also Pattillo. Tarin was first elected as county commissioner in 1992, while Weinacht served as Reeves County Attorney from 1992-96 and is currently on retainer to the Reeves County Commissioners Court to offer opinions and handle some legal affairs for the county.

Both sides called many witnesses to state whether or not they believed Pattillo would be able to receive a fair trial.

When Parks gave his decision he said he heard witnesses recommendation to move the trial but did not see any evidence that the trial needed to be moved.

Tarin said that he believes the people of Reeves County are able to make decisions based on the facts.

"I think we have fair people in Reeves County," he said. "It's a great county and great people and they can make a fair decision."

McLeaish said they would try to find 12 people who do not know any of the three parties but believes that would be hard.

"Our concerns remain the same," he said.

Students to attend drug-free rally Friday

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 19, 2000 - Pecos students will learn more about being drug-free on Friday, when they participate in a Drug-Free Rally that will include area law enforcement officials.

The annual District Drug-Free Rally will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Friday, at the Eagle Stadium. All students will be bused to the stadium on Friday morning for the one-hour event, which is being held in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week that will be observed Oct. 23-27 in Pecos public schools.

The rally is sponsored the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Guidance Counselors with the assistance of the PHS Student Council, cheerleaders, administrators, teachers, law enforcement agencies and the Pecos community.

The counselors invite the community to come support the fight against drugs. A section has been reserved for visitors.

Red Ribbon Week will have a variety of upcoming events. In order, they are:

Monday, - Say Adios (Goodbye) to Drugs _ Wear Mexican Clothing;

Tuesday _ Team Up Against Drugs _ Wear your favorite team jersey;

Wednesday, - Put a Stop To Drugs _ Wear Red;

Thursday _ Too Cool for Drugs _ Wear Shades;

Friday _ Take Pride and Say "No" to Drugs _ Wear Purple and Gold.

All schools will be decorated with red to support the fight against drugs. The counselors will be giving the students prizes throughout the week for participation. Each school will have a drawing (bike/TV) for students who have perfect attendance from Oct. 9-19.

The counselors invite the community to come support the fight against drugs.

PEDC to review proposed budget, marketing plan

PECOS, October 19, 2000 - The Pecos Economic Development Corporation will meet at 2 p.m. Friday on the Second Floor of the Security State Bank building at Second and Cypress streets to discuss several items, including the corporation's financial statement and 2000-2001 fiscal year budget.

Also on the agenda will be discussion of a marketing strategy for the Town of Pecos City, including a site selection process for businesses and targeting industries seeking to relocate in the area.

The board will also discuss a portable building given to the Town of Pecos City and a trip to the Maquila 2000 Trade Show in Juarez on Nov. 8-10.


PECOS, October 19, 2000 - High Wednesday 75. Low this morning 54. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low in the mid 50s. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Friday: Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms. High in the lower 70s. South to southeast wind 10-20 mph. Friday night: Rain and occasional thunderstorms. Low in the mid 50s. Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Low in the upper 40s to the lower 50s. High in the lower to mid 70s.

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