November 8, 2010

Rush to make history

by Larry Miller

Like long-time Spearfish resident and historian Linfred Schuttler, we're pleased that Mayor Jerry Krambeck and  other members of the city council were interested in having a video produced that covers the history of Spearfish.

We're disappointed but not surprised that the Mayor would push to have the video produced by an out-of-town company that is owned by a long-time friend of the Mayor.

The rationale seemed to be that the Lead company "Historical Footprints" owns a lot of old film footage of Spearfish, and that -- therefore -- it should be a "sole source" contract with no opportunity for others to bid on it.  That should not have been allowed.  There's at least one company IN Spearfish that has the credentials and capability of producing a top-flight video production, but they and others were never even given a chance.

We've seen some of the "Historical Footprints" footage of Spearfish.  While it would be helpful in telling the story of Spearfish, that alone should not have driven the project.  With the talented Paul Higbee scripting the project, we have a feeling that the narrative will be well researched, but we believe the video production could have been better done by Western Sky Media in Spearfish.  But none of us will never know, because the contract was awarded without competitive bidding.

And without any input from two organizations that you would think might have a keen interest in such a project:  the Spearfish Area Historical Society and the city's own Historic Preservation Commission.

We look forward to seeing the video, but we're sorely disappointed in the process that will deliver the product.

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