Saturday, December 5, 2009

Concerns over procurement transparency are warranted

Councilman Court Rosen

Councilman Court Rosen

Council member Court Rosen on September 1 communicated directly with one of the responders to the Request For Proposal (RFP) to manage Countryside Golf Course.

In an email exchange with Meadowbrook’s Vice-President of Operations, Scott Beasley, Rosen wrote to Beasley:

“You are asking someone who does not believe we should, as a city, own the course. Always been curioius why you all sold it. Certainly raises concern with me, as I’m sure you could understand. Anyway, I’ll hope to talk soon.”

Whether there was any more communication between Rosen and Beasley is unclear. However this is just the type thing that can lead to a challenge by a responder to a Request For Proposal (RFP). The bids closed Jun 1 and the contract has yet to be awarded for five-year management.

In a letter to be introduced in the Consent Agenda for Monday’s Council meeting Mayor David Bowers and Vice Mayor Sherman Lea reveal concerns over the procurement process.

The letter reads:

The Vice-Mayor and I have discussed concerns raised by Members of Council over the last year about the bid process. In years past, when I was the Mayor before, we had a Bid Committee of the City Council which represented all of us in the process.

Bids, at that time, were actually opened in public session, so there was plenty of assurance to all those participating in the bid process that it was a transparent process.

The Vice-Mayor and I request that this matter be placed on the Consent Agenda for the next meeting of Council on December 7, 2009, so that Council can begin to consider whether it is an idea which we might want to put in place. We are not asking for any other action on this at the December 7 meeting, but merely want to bring the issue to the attention of the Council for further review and consideration by each of you.

By the way, it should be clearly understood, that neither Council members nor the Bid Committee should have anything to do with this legal, administrative process from the moment the RFP is issued until the opening of the bids on a day certain.

On Monday’s agenda Rosen requests a “closed meeting to discuss the award of a public contract.”

Article Oct. 8, 2008: Explaining the Virginia Public Procurement Act

Related article: Roanoke City/Meadowbrook Golf has one month to negotiate a contract

VML Guide to The Virginia Procurement Act

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Roanoke City Politics

Tags: , , ,

Comments (4)

Robert Craig

December 5th, 2009 at 3:42 PM    

It isn’t clear in the piece if Mr. Rosen communicated before or after the Request for Proposal was issued.

Ms. Garner “implies” there is something array but one could also write it off as just another of Ms. Garner’s “rants” against Mr. Rosen to whom she has taken an obvious dislike.

Having been a candidate once for City Council, with another election forth-coming once has to wonder to what purpose Ms. Gardner is serving up such titillating tidbits?

If there is substance to her implied breach of regulations and/or laws then document, it but this appears to be fluff bordering on malicious gossip.

Robert Craig


December 5th, 2009 at 6:57 PM    

Colonel Craig,

I understand you are running for City Council so your comment can be taken in that context.

It does not take away from the truth however.

I do have the email document to which I refer. The letter to which I refer is on the Consent Agenda for Monday.

No other council member made direct contact with the responder to the RFP.

Mr. Rosen knows of the email to which I refer as I responded to Mr. Rosen and answered his question on why Meadowbrook sold it because Mr. Rosen was not a resident of Roanoke in 2005 and prior.

I’ve had the email since September and the only thing that spurred this article was the letter from the Mayor and Vice-Mayor. Seeing that the September email was relevant in the context of the bid process.

I did not accuse Mr. Rosen of influencing the outcome. There was never any doubt as to his views regarding Countryside though he had not put forward another viable option.


December 6th, 2009 at 12:47 AM    

Colonel Craig,

It seems you and I are closer on transparency in goverment then you think:

“Recently I questioned Mayor Nelson Harris (and only Harris) concerning what I view as a conflict of interest, or the appearance of one, concerning council members voting on matters they have an interest in. Harris said the protocol was for the council member to identify the interest and vote. I suggested council members identify and refrain from voting. Doing so removes any question of impropriety. As with most things, Nelson and I agreed to disagree.”

Robert Craig

December 6th, 2009 at 12:56 PM    

You conveniently miss the point. If you are making an accusation of a conflict of interest in your blog that Mr. Rosen contacted a bidder AFTER an RFP was issued, give the date of the RFP, and the date of the alleged contact. If there is something there, then get it out there where all can see it, and in this case that would be easy enough to do – but wasn’t. it was only hinted at.

Otherwise it is like giving something as a percentage, without giving the baseline number. Do do otherwise is Half-Vast.

That coupled with several other “rants” against Mr. Rosen are, to me, disturbing as it is very biased journalism.

There is no question where I stand on transparency. I think Roanoke government is operating in the same way mushrooms are grown and I abhor it.

My distain for the Rev. Dr. C. Nelson was well know. I wrote of it often and freely expressed my opinion about him. The difference, however, was that I was not publishing my bias against Harris in a self published E-newspaper/blog.

As for my running for council, my announced intent is a long way from being on the ballot.

Nuff Said in this forum but would be glad to discuss this further with you, should you care to

Comments are not moderated. Notify any abuse at put ABUSE in the subject and the offensive post.

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