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Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 36 When she then asked how far Charlotte County Ford is from the Sarasota County line, West told her the dealership is closer to the county's vehicle delivery site in Venice than the two Sarasota County Ford businesses. comply with the contract at such a low markup "and they had some major omissions in the bid," particularly in regard to a requested listing of concessions it provided to government agencies. "What's going through my head," Patterson said, "is whether we've got the cheapest price. … But the real question is … we couldn't take advantage of [the Sarasota Ford bid] because of the rules." "Of course, we don't know if that was deliberate or accidental," Patterson said of the Sarasota Ford bid action. When she asked whether Gable had any reason to believe the county could get a lower bid now than it did in 2010, Gable said he did not. Regarding the Sarasota Ford bid, he added, "That was almost unreasonably low. … The 1.25 percent [markup from Charlotte Ford] is an outstanding deal." Moreover, Gable said, staff had doubts that Sarasota Ford would have been able to She continued, "It's easy in your heart to say we'd like … the most local of all local people to get our business, but, I guess once again, I'm putting my faith in our staff's efforts and assuming they've done due diligence on this one." She made a motion to approve the contract renewal with Charlotte Ford. Robinson seconded the motion, which passed 4-1 with Barbetta remaining firm in not supporting the decision. % The County Commission last month renewed an annual contract with Charlotte County Ford. Image courtesy Sarasota County

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