Archive for Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Buying locally

November 19, 2003


To the editor:

I have been watching with great interest the city's recent campaign to encourage Lawrence residents to "Buy Locally."

Some years ago, having just started a new business, I submitted a bid to the city for $5,000 and found out that a Michigan company had bid on the same product, its bid being a total of $5.86 less than mine.

Hoping that the city might see the wisdom of buying "locally," I appeared before the city commissioners, foolishly thinking they would surely recognize the benefits of investing $5.86 in helping a new small business establish a foothold in the community by accepting my bid rather than the one from Michigan. With the exception of one supporting vote from Commissioner Mike Rundle, my request was denied.

An article in the Journal-World the next day read, "Local vendor demands that city purchase from him." I wrote a response challenging the use of the word "demands" and correcting the misspelling of my name but ultimately decided it was a bad idea to engage in a verbal wrestling match with someone who buys ink in a 55-gallon drum. I destroyed the letter.

Perhaps the city can buy a clue and explain why it is so actively encouraging all of us to "Buy Locally," when it obviously feels no obligation to do likewise. Could it be that it needs the tax revenue to purchase products from out of state vendors?

OOPS! I forgot, on second thought they could probably buy it cheaper in Michigan. Never mind.

Gary Hamon,


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