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County commissioners to discuss contract extension

Profile image for By Bj Lewis
By Bj Lewis

Denton County commissioners are set to discuss an extension of the contract with transportation consultant John Polster on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, commissioners will consider the approval of a third renewal option to the 2010 contract with Polster’s Innovative Transportation Solutions Inc.

County officials had reviewed Polster’s contract in 2010. At that time, it had been in place for 12 years, with the county paying him about $30,000 a month.

After the court voted to review the contract, a committee was assembled to handle the negotiation process.

The new contract was brought before the court and approved in a 4-1 vote for three additional one-year terms for a maximum of five years at $584,700 annually.

Commissioner Hugh Coleman, who has long wanted to have the county oversee transportation in-house, said he will vote against the contract.

“One of the things I was concerned about [is that] he represents us but also represents the city of Denton, Lewisville, Flower Mound,” Coleman said.

Coleman expressed concerns over possible conflicts of interest. He said Polster has in the past noted when these conflicts are present.

“I just want to make sure his loyalty is for Denton County,” Coleman said. “We could bring it all in-house and have the people be completely beholden to us instead of potentially serving many different masters.”

Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell said she does not like the amount of money paid to Polster but believes he does a good job.

“If we don’t pay him, we’re going to have to pay someone, and I have been satisfied with the services I am getting,” she said.

Mitchell said there would be a genuine discussion on the contract and not just an automatic approval.

“I meet with John once a month, and we discuss the issues I have and I tell him the things I need done, and he takes care of them for me,” she said. “If he doesn’t take care of my needs, I will be the first one pulling this item off. I can’t speak for everyone, [but] as far as I am concerned, he is taking care of Precinct 3. I can’t speak for everyone else.”

Polster could not be reached for comment Friday.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.