Selectmen toss bid, turn to familiar firm for accounting


Oak Bluffs selectmen have rejected the only bid in response to a request for proposals for someone to handle municipal accounting services. The selectmen are now in the process of negotiating an agreement with another firm.

In a prepared statement, selectman Gail Barmakian asked the board on Tuesday to reject the bid “in the best interest of the town.” The board agreed unanimously.

Ms. Barmakian said the request for proposals was too broad in scope, which prompted Rogers and Sullivan, the accounting firm that stepped in to help with town finances last year, not to submit a bid.

Ms. Barmakian said she consulted with town counsel, who advised her that the town does not need to issue a new request for bids, because accounting services are one of the few exceptions in the state’s public procurement laws. They do not need to be competitively bid.

She said she is working on an agreement with Rogers and Sullivan for specific services, including closing the books on fiscal 2011, and preparing required reports for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. The firm is expected to begin work immediately.

On July 7, selectmen received $30,000, transferred from the finance and advisory committee’s emergency reserve fund, to hire an accounting firm.

At the time, selectmen hoped to have Sullivan and Rogers contract accountant, Stacie Ward, who was familiar with town accounts and procedures, on the job within a few days. But the decision was delayed more than two weeks when the firm advised the town they should put the $30,000 contract for accounting services out to bid.

The town issued a request for proposals (RFP) with the expectation that Sullivan and Rogers would bid on the job.

However, Malloy, Lynch, and Bienvenue, a certified public accounting firm with offices in Brewster and Norwell, submitted the only bid.

Also Tuesday, selectmen accepted the only bid in response to a request for proposals to manage events at Sailing Camp Park. John Breckenridge, who currently holds the position, was the sole bidder for the job of booking weddings, parties, and other events at the town-owned property off Barnes Road.

Selectmen agreed to the terms of his bid, which included a $10,500 fee in each of the next three years, as well as 25 percent of revenue from bookings.

In fiscal 2010, the town reported $33,028 in rental income for Sailing Camp Park.