Matt Nye, Brevard County Watchdog
Board Awards Contract to Waste Managament
- Created on 02 March 2013
- Written by Matt Nye
The board voted 3-2 Tuesday before last to move forward with awarding the solid waste contract to Waste Management instead of first place ranked challenger WastePro. You can watch the meeting here - if you click on ITEM VI.A it will take you to that portion of the video.
While it turns out there are several questionable aspects to this deal, one thing that really jumped out was the "commitment" to Brevard Field of Dreams increased from $20,000 annually as presented on January 8th to $150,000 up front and $50,000 annually as presented on February 19th. No explanation was given for the increase at the meeting.
A quick scan of the Brevard Field of Dreams web site shows both Commissioner Fisher and Milo Zonka sit on the board of the Brevard Field of Dreams. Zonka is a former Palm Bay City Councilman and former Waste Management employee who prepared the Waste Management RFP response, but I'm sure that's just pure coincidence and has nothing to do with anything...
Here's a quick recap:
1) The board disregarded the county's procurement policy and the rankings of its own selection committee. You can view the score sheets here.
2) In spite of the staff negotiating the Waste Management pricing down, the Waste Management deal is still significantly more costly than the one put forth by WastePro. Commissioner Infantini has said her numbers indiciate the deal will cost taxpayers some $23 million more than competitor WastePro over the life of the contract.
3) Many people will now be forced to use carts where carts simply aren't feasible for space or distance reasons.
4) The weird stuff with Waste Management pledging to give back $50,000 per year to the county for Economic Development, and all the other ongoing donations promised within "30 days of the commencement of the contract year", but none of which were "required" and none of which affected the Board's selection of Waste Management. Right...
5) The Brevard Citizens Coailition posted a story on their web site last week indicating Waste Management violated the RFP by actively lobbying citizens via mail and asking them to request that their commisisoners vote for Waste Management. I have obtained a copy of the complaint filed by WastePro. At this time it is my understanding their complaint was never addressed by staff, nor were the Commissioners aware this activity was a violation of the RFP when they voted to approve the contract.
I've assembled a library of all the documents I've collected during the last few weeks, and I will be adding to it as this continues to unfold. Even though the board voted to move forward with Waste Management, I don't think this is over yet...
Recording of County Waste Management Negotiations Reveals What Sounds Like Pay to Play Scheme
- Created on 16 February 2013
- Written by Matt Nye
Recordings of February 1st negotiations between Brevard County and incumbent vendor Waste Management reveal what sounds like a pay to play scheme. The County Commission is scheduled to take a final vote on the contract at this Tuesday's meeting.
During the 55 minute session County Manager Howard Tipton and County Attorneys Morris Richardson and Christine Lepore are heard advising Waste Management Executive George Geletko as to what he should do to fulfill the "be a good community partner" directive of the Janaury 8th commisison vote.
County Manager Howard Tipton is heard explaining the county would like $50,000 to go into a fund that could be used for "incentive dollars" to supplement money given by the state.
County Attorneys Morris Richardson and Christine Lepore then begin to advise the Waste Management officials on how the contract needs to be written to make it appear as though it is to Waste Management's benefit, but quickly become awkwardly silent when they remember they are being recorded and what they are discussing is at best unethical, and worst illegal. Waste Management Executive George Geletko then suggests Christine work with someone named Ron Kaplan to sort the details out offline. LinkedIn has Kaplan listed as Senior Counsel for Waste Management out of Pompano Beach.
Waste Management was selected as the winning bidder by the Commission in a 4-1 vote in spite of the fact competitor WastePro was ranked first by the procurement selection committee. District 1 Commissioner Robin Fisher used Waste Management's "community involvement" as one of his justifications for overriding the selection commmitte and selecting Waste Management over WastePro.
This isn't the first time Brevard County has rebuffed competing vendors offering lower prices in the name of continuing relationships with vendors who have a high level of "community involvement". In 2009, the board voted 3-2 to extend a three year $3.2 million AT&T contract without going out to bid in spite of competing vendors stating on the record they believe they could save the county as much as 40%.
You can view the detailed minutes of the vote to select Waste Management over WastePro here: