Council Overrides Mayor's Veto

By: 13 News Email
By: 13 News Email

The City of Topeka will go ahead with a controversial software purchase.

With little discussion Tuesday night, council members voted seven to two to override Mayor Bill Bunten's veto of buying new ERP software from the Lawson company. It's a $3.7 million deal the mayor had said would actually cost more than $4 million.

Some council members wanted to delay the purchase while discussing merging information technology programs with the county. The county chose ERP software from another provider, Sunguard. The difference in choice has led to allegations of bidrigging in favor of Lawson against the city.

Other council members say the override will allow the city to move forward. They say city staff recommended Lawson after much scrutiny of what would best suit the city's needs. In addition, Councilman Jeff Preisner, who had previously said he'd favor delaying the purchase, says the expenditure would not hit until the 2009 budget, meaning it will not impact the budget council members just approved.

The original vote approving the Lawson purchase was six to three. The extra vote overriding the veto came from Councilman Brett Blackburn, who said he was against the purchase, but would vote to override the veto out of respect for the majority's decision.

With a light agenda, Tuesday's council meeting lasted only around ten minutes.


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