Looks like Councilwoman Karen Goldner and I have our first official disagreement:
Everyone on council supported the city doing business with local vendors, but opponents said the measure, introduced by Councilwoman Karen Goldner, D-2nd District, would unnecessarily complicate the process for vendors and city employees alike.
[. . .]
The administration of Mayor Tom Henry, a Democrat, opposed it, however. Jim Howard, the city's director of purchasing, and City Attorney Carol Taylor argued against it during Tuesday's council meeting.
Appearing before council, Howard said complying with the ordinance would require hiring an additional staff member and, probably, more training for the rest of the purchasing department. He estimated that would cost an additional $58,000 yearly in salary and benefits for the position, plus perhaps $30,000 for new software and maintenance.
Even if the provision didn't complicate the process or require additional staff, it would be of dubious worth. Buy-local is protectionism on a small scale and has the usual effects of such plans: more cost to the taxpayer. And public officials' first duty is to provide the taxpayer with the best value for the money possible. If local vendors want the city's business, they should be as capable as any outside vendor of learning and following the city's requirements. Let the city (and the state, too, Gov. Daniels) buy where it can get the best deal, whether it's down the the street or across the country.