MILLEDGEVILLE — The Baldwin County Board of Education is being encouraged to reconsider implementing a Local Vendor Preference Policy to support Milledgeville-Baldwin County’s resources and recycle money back into the community.
“Anytime you have the opportunity to purchase local, I encourage the school board to do so. It’s such an important part of keeping that fuel of driving local businesses and industry going,” said Travis Strickland, past Partners for Progress Business Development Committee chair and local business advocate who reintroduced the policy to the school board during last week’s regular work session. “Baldwin County needs this; it’s an important piece of the puzzle to get our economy back on the right track.”
School Superintendent Geneva Braziel said the policy will be discussed with the school system’s attorney to receive guidance.
“We have to consult with our attorney and take directions from there,” she said. “Right now, we don’t know if the policy will fit with the school system.”
School board member Lyn Chandler of District 3 hopes representatives from the school system will meet with Strickland to start the process of passing what could be a potential policy.
“I’m in favor of this concept. If nothing is done, then I will make a motion to move forward with this. It benefits our entire community, not just the school board. Local vendors are tax-paying citizens in our community; they’re paying the cost of what we’re doing. The more we can support those businesses, our community prospers and the better off the school system is,” Chandler said. “The down side of the argument would be that it may increase cost. Once you get bids in, there’s a certain margin a local vendor can reduce their price to meet the bid. The negative side of that is it discourages competitive bidding, but the advantages out-weigh the disadvantages.”