The award of the luggage shrink-wrap contract is on the agenda Tuesday (8 on the agenda). If you watch one thing this should be it. The award of the shrink wrap contract is a symptom of everything that is wrong with Miami Dade County. I looked up the lobbyists of the two companies. Someone told me two they knew of were Felix Lasarte for Safe Wrap and Pablo Acosta, for True Star/Sinapsis. How important is this contract? Besides Felix, Safe Wrap has hired Roosevelt Bradley, Armando Gutierrez, Sylvester Lukis, Jorge Navarro, Enrique Ramos, Daniel Valdespino, Jose Villalobos, Radames Villalon, Gregory Hannah and Jose Castillo (that one is for Lynda Bell). Roosevelt Bradley and Armano Gutierrez used to lobby for Sinapsis. In a previous article I wrote in Feb. 2012, I note that Lobbyist Miguel De Grandy has quite a history with the shrink wrap war:
De Grandy, in particular, was cited for a conflict of interest: As a private lawyer, De Grandy had represented a baggage wrapping company, and then their competitor, for the same contract with Miami International Airport.There is a good article in the Miami Herald on the issue:
"The latest chapter involves two competitors with such over-the-top dislike for each other that one accuses the other of hiding his finances and compares him to the Miami Marlins. The second likens his firm to John Wayne and counters that his rival has business ties to Cuba.
'It just seems like a movie,' MIA Director José Abreu said. 'I don’t know anything else that is more controversial than baggage wrap.'"
Based on Lobbyists, I think Safe Wrap/Secure Wrap has a clear advantage. Chairman of the Board Henry Ramos told me in January 2012:
"We have never cheated the County, never under reported & as a matter of fact our payments to the County have always been 50% or more of our gross sales; that's a fact.
Ms. Gittens never gave us anything, everything done had always been done through commission & following the rule of law; also a fact. It is very sad that the rule of law & the truth has little, if anything, to do with what's done nowadays in our society, especially our country.
I'll defend my position & that of my Company telling the truth with tangible documented evidence, that's all I/we can do."