Dunedin Patch's story "Are Dunedin Officials Playing Favorites with Sail Honeymoon?" generated lots of discussion several weeks ago.
The story focused on public officials' Jan. 24 discussion for creating loophole in policy that would allow the Causeway's Sail Honeymoon concessionaire to skip a re-bid process in a soon-to-expire legal agreement he made with the city three years ago.
At least three commissioners moved to delay the bidding process for the Causeway concession contract, saying they wanted to review and address concerns the city's purchasing policy. Some said they also believe Glen Steinke, owner of Sail Honeymoon, who has been operating on the Dunedin Causeway for about 20 years, was treated poorly prior to the legal agreement in 2010.
A least one leader said that delaying or skipping the bidding process was a misuse of the public dollar, and that a last-minute effort to create a loophole in the city's purchasing policy was a show of favoritism and a "stinky form of government."
Commissioners will discuss the city's purchasing policy and the Sail Honeymoon agreement at the March 7 public meeting at City Hall.
(Read the entire story here: "Are Dunedin Officials Playing Favorites with Sail Honeymoon?")
The issue attracted several insightful comments on Patch, and below are excerpts from just a few of them.
What's your take? Do you agree or disagree with how Dunedin officials are handling a city contract? Post your comment below.
Miriam Benitez-Nixon: Chances are Mr. Steinke may win the bid, but anyone who wants to bid should be allowed to do so -- especially since it's Dunedin's purchasing policy to call for bids.
Dave Pauley: In reference to your article of 2/5/2013 concerning playing favoriites with Sail Honeymoon, I think a few things need to be pointed out so the readers can get the true picture. First you say, "You're not getting a good deal, "Steinke told commissioners during the Jan. 24 hearing. I'd like to give you more money. I'd like a longterm contract in exchange." You forgot one important part. Mr. Steinke merely stated, and was repeating, what he had told Mr. Gizzi three years ago when he was paying $700.00 a month rent.
Vice Mayor Bujalski points out, "right at the very time were going to bid,"..."we want to change the policy?" If she feels the city is being mistreated how do you think Mr. Steinke felt when residents leared, three years ago, on May 10, 2010 that the city had changed policy and was disregarding a previously negotiated contract.
Your article speaks of Olde Bay Cafe & Dunedin Fish Market. As memory serves me The Dunedin Fish Market was paying $1,700.00 per month and could not make a go of the business. The city, with no tenant, took the correct step in going with an RFP. This process brought them an agreed upon rent of $1,300.00 per month for the Olde Bay Cafe.
Favorite is a strong word, be sure you know who it belongs to.
It all boils down to what Mr. Steinke said, in closing, at the Jan. 24, 2013 Commission meeting, "Your not asking them to bid on 100 feet of sand....you are asking them to bid on my business that I built up over 20 years."
Terry Hopkins: Sail Honeymoon is great business and plus for our city...but any business person would like a little longer that one year to see if the business can continue...a one year contact is pretty short for any business so a longer term makes a lot of business sense to me and should be considered. If it costs a little more then the present tenant has no problems, then lets offer a longer term 3 years, five years, or ten years. The question seems to be when, and there is always something coming up to delay offering the expended term. So let's see when would be a good time to offer an extended lease on this, now or in six months or next year. A time should be set up for offer an extended term for a business, a year to year is too, short. So when would be a good time to offer longer term contact for this area?
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