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Board deadlocked on hiring a purchasing specialist, motion fails in Macomb Twp.

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published March 7, 2018

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Township will not be hiring a purchasing specialist at this time to help with reworking its purchasing policy after the Board of Trustees vote on the matter was split down the middle.

Clerk Kristi Pozzi had brought the matter to Human Resource Director and Township Attorney Thomas Esordi after the board heard a report from an independent auditor in January on how the township’s purchasing policy is being followed by several departments.

Pozzi said it would be in the best interest of the township to have a purchasing specialist help her and the finance department make updates to the policy. The motion was to begin the recruiting process for the position.

However, Treasurer Karen Goodhue said she would rather the purchasing policy be updated first to give the new position more direction. Goodhue, Trustee Roger Krzeminski and Supervisor Janet Dunn voted against the hire while Pozzi and trustees Tim Bussineau and Nancy Nevers voted in favor.

The vote was split because Trustee Dino Bucci has not attended a meeting since being brought up on an 18-count indictment last November in regards to charges of embezzlement, among other things.

Esordi said a split vote means the motion does not pass, but the item can be put back on the agenda in the future.

“While I am not opposed to a purchasing specialist, I believe it to be premature to begin recruiting for a new position,” Goodhue said. “I would like to not go forward until we look at the policy and fix what is in there first, so if we hire a purchasing specialist, they are coming on board with a plan.”

Finance Director Stacy Smith said the Board of Trustees approved a purchasing specialist position for her department in January 2010. But, Smith said it was decided informally that the position would not be filled.

Since that time, Smith said the township population has grown about 20 percent and there are around 32 additional employees since 2010. With that, Smith’s duties have grown, and she said she thinks it is time to hire a purchasing specialist.

Her and Pozzi referenced the independent audit by Foley & Mansfield that looked at the township’s purchasing policy as further proof the position should be filled. Pozzi brought forth the idea of an independent auditor coming in last fall after several questions arose on if the policy was being followed correctly.

Greg Meihn, of Foley & Mansfield, interviewed a dozen department heads and compiled the report along with suggestions. His first suggestion was to update the policy, as it has not been updated or renewed since 2015, therefore is missing best practices.

Smith said because of Meihn’s report, she does not feel recruiting a purchasing specialist is a “knee-jerk reaction” and she would have liked one eight years ago.

“I think we should get one person in here who has the knowledge and certification to help us centralize all these purchases and that will take a lot of burden off department heads,” Smith said. “Everything that is going on, I really feel now is the time to get a purchasing specialist to help us fix this.”

Dunn agreed with Goodhue that the township should tackle the purchasing policy first and suggested that her, Goodhue and Pozzi work with Smith to update the policy.

Pozzi, however, said a purchasing specialist would be beneficial to have when updating the policy because of the knowledge they would have on the matter.

“It is about time to react, and I think it is in the best interest to get somebody in this position now,” Pozzi said. “They will put the checks and balances in place and have the knowledge and certification to put the whole package together. Delaying this is ridiculous at this point and a detriment to the township going forward.”