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HomeNewsThe Great Truck Debate signals beginning of election season

The Great Truck Debate signals beginning of election season

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A vote won by a narrow margin may have signalled the beginning of election season 2018.

In fact, several councillors alluded to the fall municipal election in discussions around the table at last night’s regular meeting of North Bay City Council.

In what is generally a housekeeping formality, the purchase of eight half-ton trucks from a London, Ont., dealership has been blocked. Councillors Vaillancourt, Anthony, King, Shogren and Mayor Al McDonald all voted against a recommendation from staff to purchase the vehicles from out-of-town.

The recommended contract was to go to Highbury Ford Sales Ltd. In the amount of $269,178.92 (plus HST) for the purchase of eight 4×4 half-ton crew cab trucks. An evaluation considered vehicle performance and features, warranty, service, and price. According to the staff report, the proposal from Highbury Ford scored highest, providing the best overall value to the City.

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The main point of contention is that two of the four entities that entered the RFP process come from North Bay, but neither was successful. The evaluation lists Highbury Ford first with a score of 97.5 (out of 100), Farquhar Chrysler scored 94.5, Georgian Chevrolet 91.5, and Stockfish Ford 90.5.

The criteria for the bidding process ensures transparency and is legislated by the province, as Councillors Maroosis and Mayne attempted to convey to their colleagues. No extra weight may be given to a company in the bidding process due to geography alone.

The five who objected were having none of that talk. McDonald suggested that the matter could be referred back to staff for review, but the vote went ahead anyway, coming out 5-4 against.

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