Failed vote sets up special meeting for Auburn's property insurance
AUBURN – The Auburn City Council expects to schedule a special meeting after a failed motion Monday to select a property insurance company.
Council members Chris Erickson and Jeff Jeanneret voted to accept a bid from the League Association of Risk Management. LARM is the city’s current insurance carrier, but the contract expires this fall.
Council members Tom Clark and Katy Billings voted against the motion. Billings said she wants to hear from the council’s insurance committee before making a decision, but Councilman Shawn Clark had responded with other firefighters to the O Street house fire and Councilman Rick Janssen had declared a conflict of interest.
Janssen’s name appears on a proposal submitted by Auburn-based SBS Insurance Agency.
City Administrator Crystal Dunekacke said Janssen and Shawn Clark serve on the committee that developed the initial request for proposals, but the committee did not meet after the bids were opened and had no further influence.
City Attorney Angelo Ligouri said there was no tie vote because Janssen’s abstention and Clark’s absence did not count as yes votes. The mayor did not vote because a tie was not declared, said City Clerk Sherry Heskett.
Also submitting a bid was Jones Group of Beatrice.
Also questioned at Monday’s meeting was comments made by LARM after reviewing other proposals.
In a letter from LARM, the company advises the city to disqualify some bids and says its own bid would be lower if it had excluded marine items, increased vehicle deductibles and implemented wind and hail deductibles as other companies had done.