Ferrelview board addresses issue with car auction

FERRELVIEW, Mo. — For the second time in three months, the Village of Ferrelview may have an auction for two old police vehicles.

During the Tuesday, March 13 board of trustees meeting, the group addressed the car auction that took place in January. A brown 2002 and a white 2005, both Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors, were auctioned. The winning bidders at the time were Gary Bowman and Zinn Decker, respectively.

What seems pretty cut and dry was anything but.

By the March meeting, the winning bidder was board member Russell Wilson. Wilson won both vehicles after Bowman and Decker backed out, for various reasons.

Wilson, the husband of chairperson Theresa Wilson, said he contacted the Missouri Municipal League to see if he had clearance to bid on the items. They said he could, as long as he didn’t read the sealed bids. According to the city clerk, Wilson’s bids were for $1,100 and $500.

An error in the legal advertisement for the cars that originally ran — not in The Citizen — had the years of the vehicles flipped, an issue that was brought up during the March meeting.

According to Russell Wilson, the brown vehicle looked newer, but it was actually older. He surmised the miscue could’ve led people to bid differently based on the appearance of the vehicles.

“The blame falls on us; what do we want to do?” Russell Wilson asked. “My bid on the white car should’ve been the bid for the brown car.”

Bowman, the original bidder on the white vehicle that Wilson now has possession of, was still interested in buying the vehicle for $2,500. Bowman is long-haul tractor-trailer operator and isn’t in town often, which is why he was passed up on buying the vehicle after he allegedly didn’t come to pay for it.

“I won’t stand in the way,” Wilson said of giving up the vehicle. “The city needs the money and everybody had refused the bid and I’m the next one up. As far as the white car, if he is willing to pay, I will turn it over. It is not an issue. We need that money and that is more money. If the city can reimburse me, I don’t have a problem.

“If someone is willing to pay their bids, let them pay it.”

The brown vehicle was broken into over New Year’s Day weekend and sustained more than $1,000 in damage. The steering column was damaged and the car won’t start. The village’s board filed a police report at the time but decided to not file an insurance claim due to the low value of the vehicle — which lacks an official title.

The cash-strapped village voted to approach Bowman about purchasing the white 2005 vehicle on his $2,500 bid. Part of the motion was to reimburse Russell Wilson for the $500 purchase price of the brown car and $100 of work done to it — with proof of a receipt.

If Bowman ultimately declines, both vehicles will be put back up for auction. If not, then only the brown car will.

“If he doesn’t we need to start the whole process over and make sure it is done right,” trustee Phil Gilliam said.