A testy, fuming Curwood Chappell exits council meeting over bid dispute

Posted December 17, 2012 9:04 pm | Filed under Local News
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Tempers flared Monday as one member of York County Council fumed over a decision to buy a front-end skid-steer loader for the county’s Public Works Department.

The argument stems over a bidding process where a Bobcat brand machine came in at the lowest bid, while a similar machine-made by John Deere came in at a bid for roughly $1,000 more.

A visibly perturbed Councilman Curwood Chappell swore by the effectiveness of the Bobcat brand front-end loaders, saying the machines are in use across the county.

Chappell was not pleased that county staffers said the Bobcat model didn’t serve well with what was needed in the field.

State law allows council to choose a bid other than the lowest bidder if a higher bid is justified, as County Attorney Michael Kendree noted Monday.

That infuriated Chappell, who, minutes later, left council chambers abruptly after a disagreement with Council Chairman Britt Blackwell over exploring hiring a search firm to find a replacement for outgoing County Manager Jim Baker.

Baker, whose last council meeting was Monday, says this is the first time Chappell has exited council chambers in open session during his seven years with York County.

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