Mayor refuses to sign SELCOM contract

Published 4:47 am Saturday, December 16, 2023

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. announced Tuesday that he is not signing the City-wide Surveillance Camera contract with SELCOM.

Perkins shared his concerns at the City Council meeting, handing out a packet containing the agreement between the city council and SELCOM and a memorandum stating his reasons for not signing the contract.

The city council present received a packet from Perkins: Council President Billy Young, council members Clay Carmichael, Jannie Thomas, Christe Thomas, Troy Harvill, Michael Johnson, Sam Randolph and Lesia James.

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The city council approved on Nov. 14 awarding the camera contract to SELCOM. A few days later, SELCOM sent a contract to Perkins’ office.

“After receiving administrative comments from legal and technical staff, I cannot in good conscience sign this contract,” Perkins said. “The presented contract is essentially the document I refused to sign in 2021 and it remains the administration’s position that the contract is “unconscionable.”

Young and the other city council members said they would receive the information before making a comment, which Perkins said he understood.

“You have made your decision and though I do not agree, I shall not stand in your way,” Perkins said. “But by way of this open memorandum, I fully disclose my concerns and reasons for not signing the contract.”

Selcom President Rick Williams was contacted by The Selma Times-Journal and declined to comment.

Perkins pointed out several glaring challenges in his refusal to sign the contract: Perkins’ administrative assistant read the memo to the city council in the Mayor’s Report.

“The Fact that you expect the Mayor to sign a contract that is determined by [the] legal [department] to be ‘unconscionable’ with a company that was rated last in a competitive ranking by an evaluation committee that was required and approved by the city council and accepted by the Mayor, is very challenging and begs for answers,” Perkins wrote.

-The fact that your vote ignores RFP requirements and RFP competitive bid evaluation criteria as established by the evaluation committee by totally overlooking the requirement stated in the bid specifications document is sufficient reason to not sign the contract.

-The Selcom proposal and proposed contract amounts are different. The contract amount, $443,864.55 is different from the base bid price for Option 1 of $438,864.55 and the alternative bid price for Option 2 of $520,302.00  that was submitted in the RFP response.

-The proposed contract price does not include utility costs that is priced at $1,820 per month ($109,200 per year) in the bid.  There are other factors not disclosed in the proposed contract price nor the bid price.

-Selcom requires that the city pays for all permits and fees. As an example, the contract pays Selcom $150 per hour for any potential court appearance and pays an unknown service fee for monitoring service calls.

-Selcom will place a lien on equipment paid for and owned by the city.

-Even though the Selcom proposal states that the equipment proposal is a ‘National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) complaint.’ neither the Selcom proposal nor its contract proposal identifies the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the proposed technology.”

The city council and Mayor have battled over the camera situation over the last two years without any resolution. Alabama Power was also under consideration for city-wide cameras.