A forehead-smacking law

It emerges the city has a local buy ordinance that forces it not to buy local. Complying with this law, the Council voted Tuesday to buy 48 new police patrol cars from a Tracy dealership. City officials, taking a break from lecturing us to buy local, thus write a check for $1.4 million to Tracy Ford.

That was Tracy Ford’s bid, $1.4 million. Tracy is classified as “local” under this law. Thanks to which the city of Tracy will receive about $12,000 in sales tax.

Big Valley Ford of Stockton’s bid was $10,333 higher.

So to save taxpayers $10,333, the city blew $12,000.

A bankrupt city needs laws like this?

Also remarkable in the story about this consummately self-defeating law is the assertion by city staff that changing the law would take six months. That is as big a problem as the law. If staff could move faster, the council could have rejected the bids, revised the law and bought the cars locally.

Sometimes living in this city is like taking crazy pills.

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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