Saturday, September 23, 2023

Leland Council increases manager’s purchasing power fivefold for construction projects

Leland's town manager David Hollis presents the final version of a flood study report before Council. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)
Leland town manager David Hollis may now enter into more costly contracts without requiring pre-approval from Council. (Port City Daily photo/File photo)

TOWN OF LELAND — Leland Town Council voted to increase Town Manager David Hollis’ purchasing authority, up 400% for construction or repair contracts.

The increase, passed unanimously Thursday, means Hollis can award construction or repair contracts up to $249,999 independently, without approval from Council.

The awarded contract would then appear at the next scheduled meeting in the administration’s staff reports.

Before Thursday’s vote, Hollis’ purchasing authority was capped at $49,999 for all contracts. Council voted to increase the independent spending cap to $149,000 for services, and $99,999 for leases. All economic development spending will require Council approval.

Councilwoman Pat Batleman asked to pull the staff item from the consent agenda for further review. Batleman asked whether the items would still show up on a consent agenda. Hollis said it would not appear on a consent agenda but it would appear on staff reports.

The purpose of the increase is to reduce the burden on Council and staff in preparing items for review, Hollis said. “It’s to smooth the process is the intent of it. It’s not to withhold any authority from the council or to do anything that wouldn’t be transparent to the public.”

Councilman Bob Campbell said he’d like to be able to explain a purchase if approached by a resident. “I don’t ever feel that anything that comes to the council, as far as I’m concerned, is a burden,” he said.

Mayor Brenda Bozeman explained the increase in spending power was to prevent Hollis from seeking permission from Council twice. If Council approves two police cars during the budget process, Bozeman explained, Hollis has to come back again to ask permission to purchase the vehicles that Council already approved.

“I think I get why we’re doing it,” Councilwoman Veronica Carter said. “It is a large amount and I was concerned about accountability so I think Mrs. Bateman’s question was spot on.”

Send tips and comments to

Related Articles