If you really want to secure government contacts at the county level; there is a lot more than just getting on a list and bidding on a solicitation. Government even at the country level is a little corrupt and insider-ish. You can complain about the evils, backdoor deals and wasting of tax payers money or you can remember that the imperfect system is run by humans and what goes on in generally what should be expected. No difference than the shenanigans of the Catholic Priests.
First you need to know who the County Board Of Supervisors are. It is important for you to know the local county supervisors representing your area by name. It is equally important for them to know yours. You should attend at least one function during the campaign season of a county supervisor. Incumbent supervisors are usually re-elected so attend one campaign party. If a county supervisor has an office in your town, it should be on your schedule to visit and meet the staff. Many county supervisors have an office staff of two to three people. They make good customers because their caseload is high and they are too busy to do much shopping. These caseworkers are like reporters; they know everything and every body. Kind of like the staff at the catholic churches, they know who is doing what, when and to whom.
You also need to make it a point to meet the Department Heads where you believe you might be able to get a contract with; either for services or to sell your wares. You will eventually over time meet all the department heads in the county. These department heads determine who gets what contracts and how long they get to keep them. They will divulge information to you that you should not know. For instance:
What contracts will be coming up before an official announcement has been made
The price the present contractor is charging
Any problems with the present contractors
They many times do favors for friends or contractors they would rather work with. Some are on the take we expect. You are not to indulge in bribes and kick backs, but you should realize some of them are and your competitors are part of the scandals. If you become a whistle blower you will never get a contract so we do not advise that, just be aware of the reality. Face it they lied to you in school the honesty in government is a complete fraud, but you are grown up now and must deal with it. So understand the game, but take the high-road. Think about it.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs