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OC department heads play copy cats in court


Last updated 4/3/2018 at Noon

Dave Rogers

For The Record

Four different county departments scored new copy machines to replace decade-old equipment.

Commissioners voted 4-0 to spend a total of $22,400 for the auditor, adult probation, elections and purchasing departments to get Minolta and Sharp copiers.

County Judge Stephen Brint Carlton was absent for the fourth straight week. He has been on Air Force reserve duty at the Pentagon for the past three weeks.

At the March 13 commissioners’ meeting, Human Resource Director Lori Ardoin scored a $4,400 copier and a $2,500 shredder for her department two weeks ago, the first meeting after the March 6 primary election.

But last week, when four departments separately requested new copiers, Commissioner Johnny Trahan suggested that the separate requests by the Treasurer, Auditor, Purchasing and Elections offices be rolled into one for better pricing.

He said Tuesday that a check had found that prices had already been discounted 20 percent.

“The price wasn’t going to change,” he said. “The price was so good, we decided to move forward.”

Some of the department heads had requested new copiers in their budget hearings last summer, before Tropical Storm Harvey created all sorts of uncertainty. Some were me-too requests.

Treasurer Christy Khoury asked that no action be taken on her request for a $4,439 Minolta 458 until next week.

But Jayme Culbertson, director of Adult Probation, scored a $4,439 Minolta 458, as did Purchasing Director Connie Cassidy. Auditor Pennee Schmitt got a 4-0 vote on a high-speed 65-page-a-minute Sharp copier costing $6,486 and Elections Administrator Tina Barrow was granted her request for a Minolta 654c costing $6,486.

Schmitt paid for her copier out of funds from the auditor’s budget while the rest came from contingency funds.

Of course, copiers weren’t the big ticket items Tuesday.

Commissioners OK’d Schmitt paying $812,600 in bills, including $634,800 to Ashbritt Environmental, the county’s debris contractor for Harvey.

County bosses approved $12,200 for backup batteries for critical 911 infrastructure that covers Orange, Hardin and Jefferson Counties, then another $19,600 for five years of preventive maintenance for the batteries.

Also approved were a $900 computer for Justice of the Peace Rodney Price and $41,600 for the transportation. In the only non 4-0 vote of the day, Commissioner Jody Crump voted nay on a $1,200 PA system to communicate with mechanics in the county bus barn.


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