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AVOIDING ANOTHER MOWING FIASCO Sarasota County used about 1.7 million gallons of fuel for its vehicles in the 2012 fiscal year, staff says. Photo by Derek Jensen via Wikimedia Commons THE COUNTY COMMISSION CONTINUES A VOTE TO AWARD A NEW FLEET FUEL CONTRACT AFTER QUESTIONS ARISE OVER BIG DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE BIDS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor In an effort to prevent a recurrence of road- year terms. A companion item put an upper limside mowing problems that have haunted it on the contract of $8 million per fiscal year. them since last year, the Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta pulled the item Commissioners on April 23 will consider again for discussion on April the awarding of a new 9 at the board's meetcounty fuel contract ing in Venice, pointthat raised questions This parallels exactly what I saw ing to what he called on April 9. with mowing. We had one extremely low bid, "a pretty substantial The staff recommen- and the next two were much higher, and Mr. discrepancy" between dation called for the Thiele stood up there and said, 'Responsible the bid from Mansfield three-year contract to company. These guys are great,' and five and those from the other two companies go to Mansfield Oil Co. months later, nonperformance. seeking the contract. of Gainesville Inc., with Joe Barbetta Commissioner automatic renewal for According to a memo Sarasota County two additional onefrom the county's Pro-

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