Countywide : Board Delays Vote on New Radio System

Concerned about the financing for a new countywide communications system, the Board of Supervisors has postponed a vote on a resolution that would allow the county to recover costs associated with finalizing the deal.

The proposed resolution drew criticism from board members because it states that the $80-million system would be financed by a $150-million bond.

County staff, however, assured the board that they routinely allow themselves a financial "cushion" as a matter of policy and that the final dollar figure will be close to the original bid presented by Motorola Communications Inc.

Nonetheless, county supervisors said Tuesday they preferred waiting another two weeks until the costs of the project are more accurately determined before agreeing to the resolution.

"I do understand that this is not an appropriation, but rather a resolution to allow us to recover costs, but I do have a problem with the $150-million figure," Supervisor William G. Steiner said.

Attorney Randall L. Erickson, who represented the losing bidder for the project.--Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Fla.--sent a letter to the board this week questioning the resolution's bond figure.

Erickson has obtained a subpoena seeking information from the county about the negotiations with Motorola. He also has sued a consultant who advised the county during the bidding process, contending that the consultant's recommendations were unfairly biased against Harris.

On Tuesday, Erickson said he thought the board's postponement showed "a great deal of wisdom."

For the Record Los Angeles Times Friday November 11, 1994 Orange County Edition Metro Part B Page 3 Column 6 Orange County Focus Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction Contract dispute--Ericsson GE has filed a claim with the county protesting the bidding process for a countywide communication system. Stories Nov. 3 and 4 incorrectly said the claim was filed by a firm that was Ericsson's partner in the bidding.
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