City’s purchase of cars stalled |

City’s purchase of cars stalled

Michael Schneider

The South Lake Tahoe City Council postponed the purchase of two sedans from Enterprise Car Sales in Reno Tuesday. The cars were to be used by city police officers.

The issue will be revisited months later when a local business-friendly policy is in place.

Tom Davis, council member, disqualified himself from the discussion and vote as he said he had business dealings with Terry Libbon Motors. That left four council members to decide the issue.

They couldn’t.

Mayor Hal Cole and Council Member Judy Brown both wanted council staff to revisit the bidding process, a move which staff said would take two months.

South Lake Tahoe Police representatives said the stall would have little effect on police activities.

Hal Cole said he didn’t like the idea of giving business to dealerships outside the Tahoe Basin, if possible, when there were local businesses competing with the outside entities.

The item was to be part of the council’s consent calendar, but members of the audience pulled it for discussion. Representatives from both Shehadi Motors, Inc. and Terry Libbon Motors addressed the council.

Both Shehadi and Libbon, South Lake Tahoe dealerships, entered bids to supply the used vehicles.

Libbon’s bid was about $5,000 cheaper than staff’s recommended Enterprise Car Sales bid.

Nancy Jones, purchasing agent for the city, said Libbon’s bid was rejected because the dealership was unable to confirm it could provide the city with a copy of fleet service. Maintenance records are required in the city’s policy.

Shehadi’s bid was about $3,000 greater than Enterprise and South Shore Motors, the South Shore’s other major car dealer, didn’t enter into the bidding process.

Council Members Margo Osti and Kevin Cole said they sympathized with the local businesses, but felt the city’s policy was adequate.

“The city’s policy is designed to ensure we end up with the best vehicles for long-term use,” Kevin Cole said. “I have reservations about compromising that policy.”

First a motion was made to approve the recommendation of purchasing the vehicles from Enterprise. It died 2-2.

Next, a motion to go to another round of bids after policy revision. It died 2-2.


After the second vote, Davis, sitting at the press table and watching the discussion, asked City Attorney Catherine DiCamillo if he could participate in a vote to revise the policy. He said this vote had nothing to do with his previous conflict of interest.

DiCamillo agreed and the council voted 3-2 to postpone the decision and revisit the policy.

“I don’t care if it’s Terry Libbon, Shehadi or South Shore, as long as one of them gets it,” Davis said.

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