City switching insurance provider

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

After 19 years, the city is changing its provider for property, casualty and liability insurance.

Following more than two hours of discussion, the Clovis City Commission awarded coverage to Aon Consulting, beginning in 2008.

Stacy Martin of Clovis Insurance Center, which had handled the insurance for 19 years, had filed a complaint against the request for purchase procedure by which the city’s RFP committee recommended Chicago-based Aon. He said the process didn’t properly consider the quality of work CGI had done over the years, its local employment base, and its ability to handle city business in person in a matter of minutes.

Martin said CGI’s bid was $13,000 more than Aon’s — but a better bid, he felt, considering the local benefits he outlined. City Purchasing Agent David Boswell couldn’t release exact bid amounts Thursday night, but said all bids ranged between $866,000 and $1.1 million.

Clovis Mayor David Lansford said he was puzzled how Aon scored so much better than CGI, which has done the coverage without complaint for so long.

“The existing provider is put at a disadvantage,” Lansford said, in a point Commissioner Fred Van Soelen agreed with.

“We rely a lot on committees of people who are knowledgeable in this area and staff members who are very professional,” Van Soelen said. “I still have questions about the process that produced this result.”

A motion was put to the Commission to give Aon the contract, but Van Soelen sought to table the motion until the city’s next meeting in three weeks.

The motion to table the recommendation failed 6-2, and the contract was awarded on a 6-2 vote. In each case, Van Soelen and Len Vohs were the dissenting votes.

In other business at the meeting:

Sunday has been declared Ashlee Stallings day in Clovis. As Miss Rodeo New Mexico, Stallings is set to compete Dec. 1-7 in the Miss Rodeo America competition in Las Vegas, Nev.

Stallings, 22, was honored in a proclamation read by Lansford, who felt Clovis would be well represented nationally.

“We’re confident you’re going to represent the community and the state … just by being yourself,” Lansford said.

Stallings thanked the community for the outpouring of support she has received over the last few months. “It has been amazing,” she said.

Friday was proclaimed Clovis Animal Welfare League Day. In an award Lansford called long overdue, league representative Jackie Wuest addressed the Commission and credited longtime president Darlene Ray.

“I can’t tell you how many stray animals have gone through her portals,” Wuest said.

Animal control officers at the meeting mentioned that stray animal photos are posted on clovis.petfinder.com, and at the Clovis Police Department Web site’s animal control section.

The Commission approved an employee insurance benefit plan from Lincoln Financial. The details of the plan would be made available to employees via information packets and online.