It shouldn’t be easy

I just want to put a face on local small businesses in Rio Blanco County,” Matt Scoggins, a local Certified Public Accountant, told Rio Blanco County commissioners during public comment at Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting, which I attended Monday.
As Matt started to speak, I scrambled for my phone to start my app to record what he was about to say.
Matt owns Colorado CPA and has offices on Main streets in Meeker in Rangely, I’ve known Matt for several years, he helps us out here at the Herald Times by submitting articles and photos, asking for no bylines or photo credits, just wanting the efforts those in our community to be recognized in our newspaper. I greatly appreciate his help, which he does for free. My wife and I use Matt’s services to prepare our income taxes for our business and I have the utmost respect for him so I wanted to record what he had to say.
Matt recently bid his company’s auditing services to Rio Blanco County and his company was not awarded the bid. The bid was awarded to Paul Miller, a CPA from Grand Junction, who bid his services for the first of five years at $20,000, Matt’s bid for the first year was $24,900.
Matt told of having three CPAs on staff, all RBC property owners, who support local businesses in Meeker and Rangely and the many different non-profit organizations, but what prompted Matt to address the commissioners was the “very polite letter” he received about not getting the bid and in one part, the letter read, the price difference “made it easy” to decide.
“We need support from our leaders, which is the county, you are our elected leaders,” Matt said told the commissioners. “You are the people we elected to represent and grow our communities and our county and I hope you understand that when you spend money outside our community when we have people here who can do the work, it is a disservice.”
In a conversation after the meeting Matt told me “it should never be easy for them to buy out of county. We (small businesses) are Rio Blanco County, our employees the fabric of our communities and they should be supporting us. It all comes around. If others are successful, we are successful.”
RBC commissioner chairman Shawn Bolton said the board has made every effort to spend every dime here, on vehicles and construction projects but “where do you draw the line,” he asked. Bolton said putting a dollar amount or setting a percentage preference to local businesses was setting themselves up for failure and would possibly discourage out of town businesses to not bid.
“But I would like to know what an acceptable amount is. That would be a good article Bobby,” Bolton said to me. “How much would you be willing to pay to stay local?”
I appreciate the suggestion and I’m willing to give my opinion, although being born and raised in Meeker, it might seem a bit biased. I agree with Matt and a simple answer to commissioner Bolton’s question in this case would be $24,900.
I agree with Matt when he said we can’t always buy local but it shouldn’t be easy to decide to buy out of town because it is hard to put a price on some things.
Price for Rio Blanco County audit in 2013, $20,000 — free pictures with the Grinch this Friday during Rangely’s Christmasfest celebration at Colorado CPA, priceless.