By NICOLE ANTONUCCI
FONDA -- Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort will seek input from the county Legislature tonight in the hire of an insurance broker for next year.
A five-member committee is being established to review 14 proposals the county received, in response to a request for proposals seeking brokerage services issued in April. Ossenfort is seeking two legislators to serve on the committee with three of his staff.
"Since the insurance is a large contract, this will have to go to the legislature for authorization at the end. To me, it makes sense to involve and work collaboratively with the legislature during the selection process," Ossenfort said.
The topic will be an item of discussion at the Physical Services Committee meeting scheduled for 6:15 p.m. at the Montgomery County Office Building, Broadway, Fonda.
Ossenfort said the county is looking for a qualified broker who can provide services and negotiate on behalf of the county for municipal property, casualty and other insurance.
According to a memo sent to the legislators Monday, the committee will review and discuss the responses, narrow down the choices to the ones who best meet the selection criteria, conduct interviews and listen to presentation of the vendors, enter into negotiations with the finalist, and recommend a vendor to the legislature for contract approval before the expected award date of Sept. 23.
Proposals will be evaluated on compliance with the RFP format requirements; experience, including municipal experience; access to markets; ability to leverage competition; responsiveness to the scope of services; price; oral presentations; credibility of vendor; and the ability to meet the county's goals, the memo states.
Ossenfort's RFP was issued two months after the threat of a lawsuit prompted questions about the hiring process for the county's current insurance agent, John Mancini.
Mancini was hired through a resolution by the former board of supervisors in December 2013, without going through an RFP process -- as was done in previous years.
While Mancini will continue to provide services for the remainder of the year, Ossenfort said he wants to start a fresh process for next year, and beyond.
Ossenfort said the number of proposals was a direct result of the change to the RFP process that only included the broker, who was required to provide a plan for its insurance program.
RFPs in the past would tie the broker to the carrier, Ossenfort said, and as a result, other brokers would be locked out because certain carriers were committed to certain brokers.
The contract will be for two years, with two possible one-year extensions with mutual consent of the county and the vendor.
This is also new to the process, and appears to address questions of contract rights that were raised by the threat of a lawsuit earlier this year.
The contract is scheduled to start Oct. 1.
In addition to insurance, the Physical Services Committee will meet to discuss property disposition and county roads.
In other legislative committees:
The Public Safety Committee will meet at 6:20 p.m. to discuss resolutions amending the 2014 operating budget due to grant funds for the Emergency Management and the District Attorney's offices.
The Health and Human Services Committee is scheduled at 6:25 p.m. to discuss a resolution to amend the 2014 operating budget for a NY Connects grant for the Department of Social Services.
The Education and Government Committee will meet to discuss the Fulton-Montgomery Community College budget. The committee will take action on resolutions to support the Mohawk Valley Collective Inc. in grant applications to restore the West Hill School in Canajoharie and Unity Hall in Fort Plain.
The Economic Development/Planning Committee is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. to discuss and review the recipients of the local tourism grant. Ten recipients have been chosen to receive $1,000 each.