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Here’s The Scoop …. 7/14/09 …. LBTS …. Commission Meeting ….. #7 …. STUCK IN TIME ….RFPS ….

July 21, 2009 by Barbara

THE ESTHER COLON AUTHORIZED LBTS-RFPS…. THE WAY IT’S ALWAYS BEEN DONE….

Dear Readers….Continuing on with the July 14,2009 LBTS Commission meeting ….we now address the exchange over the Processing Citations Parking Services RFP…(prev. posts)….This was the item that was put back on after a rather lame and suspect attempt made by the Town staff to appease Comm. Dodd’s request that it go out for an RFP after he found out this was not just a $2100 consent item as it was being presented as……but the tip of a rather large contract with a company that has enjoyed its contract with the town for years with no competition ….The RFP the Town reluctantly put in the Sentinel was 1″ by 1 1/2″…and contained no dates …resulting in no bids and leaving the Manager to “job” the item and return it to get the 3-2 vote for what she wanted in the first place….BUT…unfortunately for Town Manager Colon …it didn’t quite turn out that way……

The Mayor read the Old Business Agenda item 15A. a. Commission approval of amendment to existing agreement with Enforcement Technology, Inc. for Processing Parking Citations – $2,100.00 (Assistant Town Manager Olinzock) (This item was deferred at the April 29, 2009 Commission meeting by Commissioner Dodd) Deferred at the June 23,2009 Commission meeting as requested by staff

Previously Chris Hood came forward to speak at public comments on this item and was asked by the Mayor to wait until the item came up for discussion.

Chris Hood- ” I’m a non- resident. My name is Chris Hood. I represent a company called ITek.  http://www.iyetek.com/ I’m not here for myself this evening, I’m actually here to ask this Commission to put the RFP back on the street. I don’t feel it was published appropriately. I had a chance, ah  to just to give you a general ideal of what we do we provide traffic ticket systems for municipalities around the country. Over 300 departments use our system for both parking and moving violations. We found this RFP on Barbara Cole’s website which ah, that was never supposed to happen. We subscribe to many services. We do searches on the internet, We have two people that exclusively do that, so I don’t feel this was put out properly and we would like a chance to bid on it and I would like to see other vendors I compete with bid on it also. I’ll be glad to supply you the names of those people who do that. I looked over your current contract. I think you’re being overcharged. I think there’s more technology that you should be getting for the money you’re paying. I think that it’s a ten year old contract and it needs to be reviewed completely and I think there’s alot of vendors out there including ourselves that can really help this city with new technology and eliminate some of the costs that you’re now being charged because of the way things were done ten years ago. So I want to make that offer to this Commission. I think it’s appropriate. I think that there are some things that you can benefit from. It can bring you more revenue with a newer system. Devices now that used to be single- use which you’re using in this city for parking violations can now be multi- use. They can be used by parking and also the police force to issue tickets, and that doesn’t cost you anymore, it actually costs you less. As you know technology changed very rapidly and in just over the past year there have been some great things happening in law enforcement, even allowing officers to accept signatures on the street, transfer tickets directly into the court and eliminate alot of paper costs. And  with the way our budgets are now you know that is an essential element in operating a city and a police department. So I thank you.”

The Mayor asked Mr. Hood to stay for any questions from the Commission…

Vice Mayor McIntee- ” Did you receive any calls to come here?”

Chris Hood- ” No, I did this all on my own I….”

VM- ” How did you know there was a meeting tonight?”

CH- ” I contacted your city about the RFP.”

VM- ” And you’re saying you just picked it up on a website?”

CH- ” Yes, Barbara Cole’s website. We did a word search and we found on a website that there was an RFP.”

VM- ” Ah, you make a very nice presentation.”

CH- ” Thank you very much.”

VM- “Just thought I’d tell you that.”…He laughed…

BC- Ever the “Detective” …

Comm. Silverstone-” I just have one question and it was a nice presentation, makes alot of sense. To the Town Manager, was this RFP put out any differently than any other RFPs were?”

TM- ” No it wasn’t”

CS- ” OK, then I don’t understand how he did not, you [Mr. Hood] were not aware of this. It’s always been done the same way, that’s my concern. And I’m all for getting as many competitive prices out there as possible.”

CH- ” I did find out it was published in the Sun Sentinel, am I correct? Somebody told me it was published in the Sentinel, but there was also no bids, no responses.”

CS- ” Right, but I do not get, the original bid that was put in the Sun Sentinel, that’s my concern, because if you didn’t do then, the other people also, were it competitive didn’t see it.”

CH- ” Exactly, for example we subscribe to different data bases and we get results everyday. This never appeared.

CS- ” I would call those data bases up and yell at them (laughing), that’s my concern, thanks.”

BC- Could Comm. Silverstone be catching the “clueless” bug from the Comm. to his left?…Jeeze…the data bases do not need to be yelled at…the Town Manager needs to be directed to do what is needed to get the RFPs out there!…The Sentinel ad was insufficient with no information…in this writer’s opinion intentionally…top get the results she wanted!…

Comm. Dodd- ” I just want to show everybody out there  here’s the Sun Sentinel and you can see the crosshatched, those are the bids that are put in normally by other municipalities. This is the amount of space in the column (4x 11/2) inches. They’re trying to find word searches whether there’s a competitive contract whatever they want to bid on.” (He showed the difference of the LBTS parking Citation RFP 1×11/2″) saying the Town published 9 lines, no date and no closing information for bidding . ” I accept the Town Manager is probably trying to be very frugal with advertising inches but this is actually a $46,000 contract for the equipment alone plus the penalties and I believe that our RFPs deserve the space that other municipalities get for their RFPs. So that companies can actually find them. So that we get the best deal as far as this town is concerned. Because there are websites out there.” He asked the TM if she knew of a few and read them out, adding they were free to the municipalities, that the companies paid to do the searches, saying it would make us really competitive without RFPs. He went on to discuss the previous contracts that went out for Garbage and electrician that produce “major savings” for the town (Thanks CD’s “micro-managing”) ” We need to go out with every single RFP even if it makes more work for this town and we should make every effort that they’re advertised properly, they get the coverage they deserve and we get the companies and the quality of companies we’re looking for to do the work in this town.” He made a motion to go out for bid a gain on the Parking RFP and called the TM on her previous dire  “the sky is falling” assertions that the current devices can go at anytime resulting in parking enforcement coming to a standstill saying “so be it! He stated it was fiscally responsible for doing so and asked the TM to do so….APPLAUSE!…

BC- Comm. Dodd was right on target…

Town Manager Colon- “Dependin’ on the type of RFP they’re published in the Sun Sentinel. A construction RFP by guideline is advertised different than a professional service RFP. If your company [Mr. Hood’s] did not come in, pick up, an RFP package is in Town Hall and would you please review the entire RFP package that is in your agenda package. If he [Mr Hood] decides to go to Barbara Cole’s website because she decides to advertise, I thank her for the advertisement. All other vendors have the same right that everybody else has to abide an RFP deadline. They’re some RFPs that are a quarter a page like for example the construction RFP that was bigger than the other one. Um, if you want to make an exception because an individual did not bid are we gonna start making exceptions when other people don’t bid for other projects?” HUH?

BC- The TM’s shooting the “messenger” calling her on the Town’s misstep with this RFP!….The RFP package she referred to clearly showed the huge difference in information between the Sentinel ad and the “posted” ads on Town boards and in the bid packages…(prev. post)…

Comm. Dodd- ” Ah, no absolutely not, but these weren’t in the advert in the Sun Sentinel as to when the bids were closing and no bids were put in.”

TM- ” Sir, sir, Commissioner that is not a requirement. What is required to tell him when he has to pick up the bid package and in the bid package it tells you when the specifications are, it is in your agenda package. But to say that this staff or about my office Commissioners. We have bidding more than the norm in the past two years. If because someone goes into someone’s web page and decides to look up RFPs that are duplicated that’s ok. There is no change in the process. The Town Clerk does the RFP in the Sun Sentinel as she has done for the past two years since she worked under my administration. John Olinzock writes the RFP with the assistance of Town Engineers, sometimes professional services and they’re all done the same way. There’s nothin’ new or nothing different.”

BC- EXACTLY THE POINT!….

VM- ” Mr Hood I have a question. You listened to the Town Manager, is that correct?”

CH- ” Yes”

VM- ” Do you disagree with anything she said?”

CH- ” Yes, I do.”

VM- “OK, what do you disagree with?”

CH-” Um, no one bid on this RFP which makes it impossible for your city to get the best deal.”

VM- ” That’s, that’s not the point at all. Did you see the RFPs without dates that she was referring to?”

CH- “No, I didn’t No, I’m afraid I didn’t and I wasn’t looking for Barbara Cole’s website, it came up with a word search,”

VM- ” Have you seen other RFPs where dates weren’t specifically on them?”

CH- ” I see RFPs WITH dates all the time.”

VM- ” And you see them without dates all the time.”

CH- “No, I can’t say that I do, no,”

VM- ” You don’t believe that?”

CH- ” You asked me a question and I answered it.”

VM- ” OK and you, you want us to reject the, the process because you didn’t see it in the Sun Sentinel?”

CH- “No, not because I didn’t see it, this is not, I’m not here for myself. I’m here for the fair process of getting the town the best deal. I will bid on it with my competition. I’ll provide you my competition, names, addresses, contacts, everything. So, I’m not here for myself.”

VM- “I love the community spirit, thank you.”

CH- ” You’re welcome.”

BC- What can be said…twisting to accommodate the irrational reasoning of the TM, her “protector” sounded like an ass….

Comm. Clottey- asked Mr Hood what company he was from and he answered ..” OK, if Joe Schmo had something on his website about this RFP, then you go and pay somebody to do this search, it comes up, that, that’s the new technology out there folks, like it or not” …HUH?…” And people have been usin’ it for quite a few years now. Ah, so it doesn’t matter who’s website you just type some words and turn it on “…HUH?…” and it looks. So it could have been fro anybody’s website. This is technology that has been in use for a while now, it’s new technology. So I think the issue is here. We have been doing something a certain way and we cannot fault the Town Manager for doing things that have been done correctly in the past.”…

BC-Yes we can…

CC- ” But I think that maybe we should look at this particular instance and say hey maybe we can avail ourselves of this new technology. What is it that we could do that this search engine would have picked up our request for proposals? You would have picked this up if it had been on our website?”…Mr Hood said that was correct…” We’re just talkin’ about the application of technology here and I think that unfortunately it took something like this.”

BC- It should have been done from technology savvy employees…ages ago!…

CC-” But I believe we should be using technology and um, I would request the Town Manager to consider that and say OK um, let’s go ahead and let’s put this out again because we now want to use some new, some technology that’s been around that we haven’t been using yet and I hope my request to the Town Manager is not taken the wrong way, as a slap in the face that she didn’t (OOPS) do something correct but times change and we need to change with the times.”

BC- Comm. Clottey once told this writer she was “used to walking on eggshells”…guess she still is!…The TM was incorrect…purposefully incorrect…in my opinion…and it STILL is a Commission- Manager form of government… act accordingly Dr. Clottey…please!…

Mr Hood again said the city could get a much better deal than the one we have from him or somebody else….Comm. Clottey again asked if it were on the Town website the search engines would pick it up…and Mr. Hood agreed they would…

Mr Hood walked back to his seat to applause from an appreciative audience!…

This writer was allowed to speak …I spoke of my website and the process being “misconstrued and used in a negative fashion”…explaining how “tags” work and how this same situation with a vendor had occurred in the past when the Town dealt with “pods”…resulting in the Town hearing from a representative interested in a code change being introduced…”I believe that the excuse that this is how it was always done and it is legal or it is acceptable or whatever. It is not going after the staff, it is going after the process. And if you want to move forward with your infrastructure and you want to move forward with all the other things in this town and you’re going to streamline your staff and you’re going to do all of these innovative things then you get innovative when it comes to your RFPs. And it’s mot only to put it on the town website because that’s limited. Take advantage of having the use if Steve d’Oliveira’, he must know how to do all this and go out and go on the websites that are free and see what you can do with them. This is along the same lines as the issue I had when it came to hiring practices. The same sort of technology should be used,”

BC- The VM tried to stop me , saying I was off topic, but I told hme it di “tie in”…

BC- ” I just don’t think the status quo, you can’t say that the status quo is the way things are one in one area and not in the other. And if we have an administration that is unwilling to bend and move forward in the process, then maybe that’s another item for the review [Town Manager Annual Performance Review], Thank you.”

Comm. Dodd spoke again saying there were no bids including the current vendor. He implored the Town Manager and the dais to “take this gentleman’s [ Mr. Hood] advice ” ending with reiterating he was looking for the best deal for the town…..APPLAUSE!…

BC- HOLD ON…IT TAKES A NOSE DIVE FROM HERE…a bigger nose dive…that is!…Yikes!…

Town Manager – “Commissioner Dodd, no one disagrees with you. but it is the constant derogatory way that things are said about what I do or my staff does. In this town RFPs were limited. We have put , I would say more than tripled RFPs.The point of the matter is the company did not respond by the deadline date.”

BC- The paper did not provide that information!…

TM- ” I have no problems going out for RFP. What I do have a problem with with is that when a company who supposedly has all these great search engines does not submit a bid because the company that has this great technology did not submit or pick up a package on time.”

BC- The Sun Sentinel 1″ ad did not have any information with a submittal date and as Mr. Hood stated did not show up in a search…The Manager needs help!…

TM- “and that’s what I have a problem with because by his own admission he will be submitting a bid. The current company does not have to submit a bid because they do have a current existing contract.”…HUH?…” I just want to make sure any staff starting with the Town Clerk and my assistant, there is no impropriety and they have been RFPin’ the way we have done in the past differently because things were not RFP.”…HUH?…” And there ares some items that by purchasing policy does not have to be RFP. It’s the tone and the accusations that continue to come out that things are bein’ done wrong.”

BC- THEY ARE BEING DONE WRONG!…

TM- ” And again that can be your opinion and the opinion of some of the residents (most!) and I have no problem accepting that but impropriety is not existing.”

BC- This writer STRONGLY disagrees …impropriety does exist in my opinion!…

Comm. Dodd answered the TM and tried to get away from her “victim responses” by getting back to his motion …Comm. Clottey wanted to bypass the Sun Sentinel and only use the net…(Guess she didn’t read the recent news about the legislature having to pass their attempts to bypass hard print for public notices …prev. post)…She wanted it to be a “friendly amendment to Comm. Dodd’s motion…he said no, he wanted both…the VM was seen discussing it with the TM and asked the Town Atty. about the “statutory procedures” required…The TA said they were mandated…Comm. Clottey tried again after the TM spoke of the Sentinel requirements…saying she would do any additional advertising the Comm. wanted…she just wanted “to make sure we do all of them the same way. That we don’t pick and choose where we advertise this way so everything is done in the same fashion”…

BC- This is precisely what the Manager has been doing…”picking and choosing” who would be privy to the RFPs…in my opinion!…OUCH!…

Comm Dodd produced the Town Purchasing Manual that already spelled out the procedures INCLUDING the internet…adding it was policy but we are not doing it!…The TM stated we ARE a member of Demand Star…(an online site)…YIKES!…and Comm. Dodd asked if we used it…the TM did not know!…She said she would have to check….and then….

Commissioner Clottey wanted to DEFER this until the next meeting!..She has really lost it!…

The VM agreed and seconded it!….UNBELIEVABLE!…

Comm. Dodd reminded them he had made the 1st motion…BUT…he had no second…the Town Atty. was asked for how to proceed by the Mayor…The TA said there was no 2nd…the call could be made again for a 2nd but the motion (Dodd’s) was “pending for some time”…The Mayor handed the gavel to the VM and 2nd the Dodd motion…Comm. Clottey still wanted to defer it…and said they still did not know if the RFP went online…

BC- GET READY TO LAUGH OUT LOUD….

The Town Manager said…” June can knock on the closet. If it was put in, you can ask Steve [d’Oliviera] if Steve put it on the web page and if he didn’t you have your answer if it was put online.”

BC- Yes, Comm. Clottey we really are a “Honky Tonk Town”..

June went to the “closet”…and knocked…we all waited and found that it was NOT put on the website we are a member of …(we hear the Town pays annually for the servicewe do not use!)…

The VM said call the roll…hit the gavel and it PASSED 5-0!….

BC- Below is the 2nd attempt for RFPs for Processing Citations Parking Services ..

THE NEW REVISED SENTINEL AD….placed 7/18/09…with dates added!…/Town Website RFP….

parking citation rfp

town rfp pking

What online sites were used should be forthcoming to the Commission….Also, it will be interesting to see if the current contractor was encouraged by the Town to bid as well…

Next up should be the Auditors…that should have gone out last month!…On the new budget for $55,000

more to come…

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