County Board Passes Local Goods Preference

May 23, 2013
Supervisor Kyle Richmond (251-3171) Supervisor Cynda Solberg (839-9583)
County Board


The Dane County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance Thursday calling for a preference for locally-sourced goods in all County purchasing.


“This is the right thing to do to create and support jobs in the local economy,” said Supervisor Kyle Richmond, lead sponsor of the measure, which passed by a voice vote.


“"Currently we give local vendors a chance to match other bids and we should extend that," said Supervisor Cynda Solberg in voting against the ordinance. "As proposed, this gives a 15 percent advantage to Dane County produced products.  Dane County is not a very big geographic area. What happens when other surrounding counties pass this sort of ordinance? It can create little silos and hurt local business. It probably sounds like I'm against local business, and I'm not. I am concerned this could hurt Dane County business in the long run if neighboring counties pass similar ordinances.  Perhaps the county could consider giving preference to vendors from a larger area than the county so as to not create border wars," she added.


The County has long given preference to local vendors in its purchasing and contracting, but – with the passage of this ordinance - now will also give and advantage to vendors that supply goods made in Dane County.


The ordinance was amended in the Personnel and Finance Committee to create an exception for sand, gravel, asphalt, and concrete.


In other business, the County Board passed an ordinance requiring human service clients with reproductive health concerns to be referred only to organizations that provide “comprehensive, non-directive reproductive health care information, including but not limited to family planning, birth control, pregnancy, and postpartum.” The ordinance passed unanimously.


The Board also passed resolutions in favor of Clean Energy Choice and authorizing a cost sharing agreement with the City of Madison for the final design of County Highways M and S. Other resolutions approved Thursday included one supporting reform of redistricting planning processes, another urging opposition to the State Legislature’s proposed change to the authority of the Milwaukee County Board, one urging the state to use federal Medicaid funding to improve BadgerCare, and another opposing efforts to limit local tenants’ rights ordinances.


The County Board meets next in two weeks, on Thursday, June 6.