Daniella Levine Cava's feedback (if you haven't read my previous blog and the comments you might not understand this):
Airport: There are sometimes valid reasons for exceptions on a process, I believe, for extenuating circumstances. I spent a lot of time before and during the meeting getting the background on the no bid contract. I never expected I would be willing to do it but based on unusual circumstances felt it was vital or we would lose major American Airlines business, jobs and revenue.
I made them clarify in the resolution that Odebrecht was getting a smaller amount as the management fee (about $6 m I was told) and to spell out the reasons it was vital, and that almost all of the amount would be competitively bid through the subcontract process.
It was about 7-8 pm on the tape if you wish to watch it.
It is clear that I have no donations from anyone associated with these deals so clearly I made my decision strictly on the merits. And I will always do so, regardless of campaign donations. Just making that point as your readership may assume that is the motivation for BCC votes. As you know, I will be working to try to prevent those doing business with the county to donate to campaigns.
Further clarification: While the bid waiver is not well-timed or perfect language, I raised many questions and received on the record assurances from the Administration that the vast majority of the funding will go through a localized bid process. In the end, I had to balance the needs of our community, the residents and businesses who use our airport services and the desire to achieve greater accountability on this project and more importantly, future ones. I believe my position on Tuesday balanced these three objectives and the outcome will be measured by a decrease in rushed proposals and fewer bid waivers in the future.
Aviation says this is the first part of a larger $200 million overhaul and they assured me there would not be a repeat.
Badia Spices: It is a federal bond program that goes through the county but the eligibility and selection are managed federally (so I understand), with focus on local economic development and job creation. I am going to be briefed further on the program so I can support promoting it to others. But it is apparently a well established national program. Jesse Trice Health Center was also got approved for one yesterday, so nonprofits and for profits are both eligible. They are not competing against each other. There is no cost to the county and thus the taxpayers. I told staff that in future I would expect greater clarity in writing on this and other items in the agenda itself, so that the public understands the rationale. Other commissioners agreed with me and the mayor said he would do it (during discussion on the airport). I was able to improve transparency on a few items yesterday including county transfer of property. I will work on legislation to prevent "no solicitation bids", others agreed with me, and the mayor agreed to have an open competitive process for the courthouse building if sold.
I thought I was able to make some good inroads and garner support for changes.
So there you have it. Satisfied or not, that is all you get. Next time watch the meeting. I have to say I felt sorry for Daniella having to sit through this particular meeting for her first one. It was absolutely painful listening to people say the same thing for 3 or 4 hours..."danger bathroom."