The county board agreed to spend $12,000 for a local business to produce a three-minute promotional web video for the health and human services department.
The approval of $12,000 for Schipper Design to produce the video came after supervisors debated over the proposed cost during Tuesday’s county board meeting. The board approved the item 3-2, with Supervisors Jaime De La Cruz and Peter Hernandez dissenting.
The video’s purpose is to highlight the agency’s services. The approval came after some supervisors expressed concern about the $12,000 cost and bidding process.
Hernandez said he didn’t question the intent, but had concerns about the money.
“Twelve thousand dollars is a lot of money,” he said.
He said he has hired businesses for similar promotional videos – Hernandez is co-owner of Ohana Shave Ice and recently won the campaign for District 3 supervisor – and those videos haven’t even cost $1,000, he said.
“I’m just curious, why $12,000?” he said.
Enrique Arreola from HHS said the agency put out a request for proposals in early November on the county website and received just one bid. He said the initial county request was for a five- to seven-minute video. But when Schipper was the lone bidder for a higher dollar amount than the $12,000, the county reduced the proposed length of the video to three minutes and received the approved bid, he said.
With regard to the firm’s proposed costs, Arreola mentioned how the bid proposal said Schipper would absorb such costs as buying equipment and using voiceover talent.
Arreola told supervisors the county reached out to other local video production businesses and said none others showed interest.
“I don’t remember the exact businesses, but I would say everyone in the county,” he said.
Hernandez responded to that statement.
“I’d like to know, who are these companies that said they’d turn down money?” Hernandez replied. “I’m just curious how many companies were vetted.”
Arreola said he would follow up and specify the companies.
De La Cruz also showed concern about process.
“I need to make sure I feel comfortable there was a competitive bidding process,” he said.
Editor’s Note: San Benito Live Editor/Owner Kollin Kosmicki, the author of this story, produces similar promotional videos.