With over $1,000 in charges from city employees, one local business just wants to get paid.
Alderman Dr. Jack Varner brought $1,060 worth of unpaid charges made by city employees to Gilbert Lumber and Home Center before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen last week.
Varner said the business owners have attempted to collect the unpaid charges, but the city has “refused” to pay.
“They are having trouble with the city,” Varner said. “The city, for one reason or another, has refused to pay. We need to resolve this by paying...”
Interim City Clerk Mario Edwards said the business did send invoices to the city. But he said those invoices did not have a purchase order number.
“We have to have the invoices to match up with the purchase orders,” Edwards said.
But every invoice Varner read aloud from Gilbert had a purchase order listed on it.
The purchases range from a coffee pot and coffee for the fire department to $328 worth of electrical supplies.
“Why don’t you just pay them and get through with it,” Varner asked.
“Mario, please answer,” Mayor Diane Delaware replied.
“Those purchase order numbers are invalid,” Edwards continued. “They were not showing in our system or they did not have a purchase order number.”
Edwards said a city employee signature is not enough. There has to be a purchase order number.
“I think Gilbert’s knows that,” Delaware said. “We give Gilbert’s a purchase order. Employees should not be able to walk into Gilbert’s and just buy whatever they want to buy. The employees must give Gilbert’s a purchase order.”
“Did I not read a purchase order on every one of those that I just read,” Varner quickly asked.
Delaware said Edwards said those numbers “don’t exist.”
“He wasn’t even here when they were issued so how does he know,” Varner asked.
Russ Carter, city building inspector, was one of the employees who purchased over $300 worth of electrical equipment. He confirmed during this week’s city council meeting that he provided a purchase order.
“I gave them the actual purchase order sheet when I went in,” Carter said.
Delaware said the matter should be worked out within the city clerk’s office.
Varner made the motion to pay the invoices.
“They are good and valid bills,” he added.
Alderman Aubry Brent Jr. seconded Varner’s motion, to which Delaware replied, “jeez.”
“A business like Gilbert’s is not going to send us any bogus reports,” Brent began, being interrupted by Delaware.
“Good gracious,” Brent replied. “Let me finish. You made me loose my train of thought...”
“Good,” Delaware added.
“I know there is a process,” Brent continued. “But I think we should use some common sense. Mario, use the next two weeks before we meet again to finalize this. Let them know our intentions, and that we are good on paying these bills.”
With Delaware, Johnson and Alderman Gregory Robertson in opposition, the board denied paying the unpaid invoices.
“This is ridiculous not to pay what we owe,” Varner said.
“It’s going to be resolved,” Delaware said.