City Purchasing Official Says Personal Bankruptcies Are Non-Factor In Contracts; City To Push On To Include Start-Up Firm In Major Staffing Contract

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A city purchasing official said Tuesday that whether or not operators of a company wanting to do business have had personal bankruptcies is a non-factor in the selection process.

Bonnie Woodward said no check would have been made on whether Marty and Donna Christian Lowe of the new firm Msi Workforce Solutions had been in bankruptcy. The couple filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 and again in 2014. The city of Chattanooga was among those owed money in both bankruptcies.

Maura Sullivan, city chief operating officer, said the administration is pushing forward with a vote next Tuesday to give Msi, which did not get a business license until this past Jan. 15, a share of a $1.8 million per year contract for temporary staffing.

Outsource Staffing, a North Chattanooga firm, has had the sole contract for the past 11 years.

The council earlier voted 7-2 to strike MSI from the resolution and award the three-year contract only to Outsource Staffing. However, Councilman Chip Henderson later asked for a revote that includes Msi.

Ms. Woodward was also asked about the city coming up with a new bid process for the contract that was not just based on price, but on a 100-point scale. She said the departments have the leeway to draw up those bid packets any way they want. In this one, experience and price were a small component.

As a result of that new bid method, the city recommended using both Outsource Staffing and MSI for the lucrative contract.

In an earlier bid that used the normal lowest and best method, the proposal from Msi was thrown out because it said employees would be paid the same rate for overtime as regular hours. Mr. Hall said he pointed out that is illegal to do.

The new City Council vote is set for next Tuesday.

Rusty Hall, owner of Outsource Staffing, said no one from the city told him there would be a revote. He said he read about it in the paper.

He said after the earlier vote he signed a new contract with the city under the understanding his firm would again handle all the city's temporary hiring for another three years. Outsource Staffing has been in business since 1995.

The Lowes have been active in a number of local political campaigns with Ms. Lowe recently handling the unsuccessful re-election effort of Councilman Yusuf Hakeem.

County officials said the Lowes owe the county almost $2,000 for unpaid personalty taxes going back several years. Officials said it relates to equipment at their home in Harrison for a company called IHealthsource.

A family member said Ms. Lowe formerly worked at BlueCross BlueShield, but had been terminated there.

In one of the bankruptcies, the parents of Ms. Lowe had a filing saying she owed them almost $65,000 for the expense of raising her child. 

City purchasing official Bonnie Woodward
City purchasing official Bonnie Woodward


Dalton Police Department Seeks Identity Of Man Who Stole $500 Cookware Set

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a well-dressed suspect who shoplifted a full set of cookware from an area department store. The set was valued at $500. The incident happened on the afternoon of Jan. 12 ,  at the Belk department store at Walnut Square Mall. At  3:32 p.m. , a white male, wearing a dark suit and blue tie, was recorded ... (click for more)

2 Female Employees At Perfume Store At Hamilton Place Attacked By Customer

Chattanooga Police said two female employees were attacked at a perfume store at Hamilton Place Mall. The incident late Monday afternoon was caught on video. Police said two people began to argue with a female employee near the entrance to Essence Perfume. Another employee came over and tried to break up the argument. When the pair was told that security was being called, ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Once In A Blue…

On August 21st this past summer, four black women were walking down the street in Dayton, Tn., when a white man asked from his porch, “Are you ladies here to see the eclipse?” Told that yes, they most certainly were, the gentleman pointed to his back deck and another white couple and said, “If you don’t have plans, would you care to sit with us?” The ladies were delighted and ... (click for more)

Heights' Massengill, Balogun On McDonald's All-America Teams

(Story has been updated) The Hamilton Heights girls’ basketball standouts Elizabeth Balogun and Jazmine Massengill have been selected to play in the prestigious McDonald’s All-America basketball game in late March in Atlanta. They will play in Philips Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, so they should feel right at home. Balogun and Massengill got the news Tuesday afternoon. ... (click for more)

Quarterback Dormady Will Transfer From Tennessee

Quinten Dormady, who was Tennessee’s starting quarterback until a shoulder injury sidelined him six games into the 2017 season, met with new Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt on Saturday to discuss the signal caller’s options. On Monday, Dormady, a junior quarterback from Boerne, Texas, announced that he would transfer from Tennessee. Dormady’s statement: “I would like to ... (click for more)