KCBD INVESTIGATES: County reverses stance, releases some bond issue tabulation sheets

County reverses stance, releases some bond issue tabulation sheets

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - This Saturday, May 4, Lubbock County residents will vote on a $99 million bond for repair and maintenance of roads across the county.

Previously, the KCBD Investigative Team went searching for answers regarding the qualification process for the engineering companies that could potentially be involved in the project. That story told the public about the individual tabulation sheets, which are essentially each committee member’s scorecard on how they voted, that were not being released, documents that would show the public that the final scores were added up correctly.

After that report ran on April 24, County Commissioner Bill McCay brought KCBD the compiled tabulation sheet. While this isn’t exactly what the Investigates Team was asking for, this sheet does help provide a better look at why certain engineering companies were pre-qualified and others weren’t.

We asked McCay why they decided to change direction and release information that was previously not available.

He told us: "Our Civil Division reviewed the request and after analyzing, consulted an Attorney General’s opinion, just to make sure that we can or can’t or should or shouldn’t, just to make sure everything is, you know, by the law. So the Attorney General replied that, that we could withhold this information because potential confidential information.”

We requested those individual tabulation sheets hoping that they would help the public learn more about the process, and explain how these three companies were chosen above the others, but KCBD was told that the public was not allowed to know.

“You asked for the individual committee scores and those were not released. That’s correct, and in accordance with the Attorney General opinion,” said County Engineer Jennifer Davidson.

However, according to Commissioner McCay, the county doesn’t have anything of that nature. Either they didn’t exist in that form, or they no longer have them. So, what was released instead was the compiled tabulation sheets. This shows what each company scored in each individual category, and what their overall score was.

“We’ve always disclosed any bids and cost and time to complete projects or renovations or whatever," McCay said. "So we’ve always provided that information. This the first time we’ve ever done ‘Request for qualification’ for an engineering firm.”

This move to release the sheets was made by the county after the previous investigates story aired a week earlier, according to McCay.

“You guys knocked it out of the park.... Your story, obviously, your story is what caught my attention and in so to see that any hint of not being transparent, you know, then we want to respond quickly and say everything we have is open to the public and for anyone to look at and...and to do with is I think they need to.”

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