The recommendation of Jim Venturini, director of information technology for the county, to accept the lowest bid for printer services was not taken by the county commissioners.
Venturini recommended that the county approve Toshiba Business Solutions, which was the lowest of the three bidders for printer services at $81,906.
Toshiba has offices in New Castle, Pittsburgh and Leechburg.
The other bidders were Ford Business Machines of Connelsville at $87,248 and Axis Business Consultants of Butler at $92,480.
The county's current contract with Xerox, which expires in January, costs the county more than $196,000.
Venturini said Toshiba was very responsive to questions after bidding on the five-year contract, and is the only bidder with machines manufactured in the United States.
With pandemic-related shortages in mind, Venturini said Toshiba would be the best at providing the machines and accessories the county needs.
He said the Moniteau School District and many businesses in the county use Toshiba's services for printing.
“We definitely can save money compared to the vendor we have today,” Venturini said.
But commissioners Leslie Osche and Kim Geyer voted no on Toshiba.
Geyer then made a motion to approve Ford Business Machines.
Commissioner Kevin Boozel voted no and Osche voted yes, meaning Ford won the contract, although the bid was more than $5,000 more than Toshiba.
Boozel questioned his fellow commissioners' decision to go against Venturini's recommendation even though he knows there are supply issues and thinks Toshiba would be the better company regarding supply.
“I want to go with a company with relationships in the county and who we can hold accountable,” Osche said.
She said Ford provided assistance to the Butler County Chamber of Commerce during the pandemic, and replaced toner at Butler Area School District twice a week.
“I want to know I have someone to call who I can count on,” Osche said.
Boozel said Ford did not include lease prices on its bid and those numbers had to be chased down.
“Toshiba was pretty up-front with pricing,” he said.
Geyer agreed with Osche, saying she looks at Ford as the most accountable company and providing the best service for the pricing.