His questions, and the commissioners' answers, revealed that the county had been disobeying state law by not seeking bids for the materials. "I'm not saying you didn't get a fair price, but we don't know if you did," Viehman told them. "We just want you guys to follow the rules."
Viehman wrote in an editorial: "Not only does the bidding process give the taxpayers the best deal, it provides the elected officials with cover and accountability. It’s to our commissioners’ benefit to take bids on everything they can so they can tell the voters, their neighbors, 'We asked for bids and we accepted the bid that we felt was best for us because ... ' By not taking bids, our commissioners can’t say that. Taking bids could also get the taxpayers a better price on items that may only be available locally from one vendor. If the only asphalt supplier in Crawford County has to submit a bid for their product, isn’t it more likely they will reduce their price out of concern a nearby competitor might underbid them? If bids aren’t taken, however, that can never happen. By not taking bids, our commissioners don’t know if the taxpayers got the best price for asphalt, rock and culverts. That’s the problem!" (Read more)