Business News

Remembering 20 Solutions for 2011

September 27, 2013

Last night’s debate over whether it is better for the Pensacola International Airport to have national brands or Pensacola-based foods for its food services brought to mind Mayor Ashton Hayward’s campaign platform – 20 Solutions for 2011.

The very first solution on the platform, under “Create Jobs,” was:

★ Give local businesses the opportunity to compete and to win city contracts for construction and services, so we can create and save jobs for our neighbors and our families.

The arguments presented by the mayor and his staff at the council meeting appear to be in conflict with this “solution.”

A clearer vision of what the mayor and city council want for the airport would have helped this process.

Is it national brands or local flavor that helps promote the city? Which will improve food service revenue at the airport?

What is the weight in the decision-making process that should be given to the answers to these two questions?

That will be the decision that the Pensacola City Council will make next month.

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  • CJ Lewis September 30, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Last week, Hayward told someone he wanted OHM to get the lease because it was an Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACBDE). The RFP document says, “The City has an aspirational Goal of 30% ACBDE Participation for this concession opportunity.” An so-called “aspirational Goal” is clearly a very subjective metric. One of the jobs of the Airport Consultant was probably to help craft the RFP to favor OHM. By the way, there are approximately 1,500 badged employees at the airport. Did anyone ask them if they prefer Bagelheads versus Einstein Bros. Bagels? Anyone ask them if those working on Sundays are OK with Chick-fil-A being closed?

  • Dale Parker September 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    I have not seen one thing that suggests they will not follow the letter of the contract. Corporately, the have a closing policy. However, if their contract stipulates that they MUST be open, then they MUST follow the contract.

  • CJ Lewis September 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    The RFP gives no more than lip service to the idea of “local.” It needs to be rewritten more in line with the language in the Burlington International Airport RFP that I provided to the Council. That RFP emphasizes the importance of showcasing local foods.

    Section 3.3 of the Lease Agreement for the Food & Beverage Concessions At Pensacola International Airport requires, “Tenant will carry on its business diligently and continuously in the Premises and will keep the Premises open for business seven (7) days per week, including holidays.” The Airport Director is then given weasel room to modify the hours of operation.

    However, more importantly, Section 3.3 then continues, “The Food and Beverage concession shall be operated at such hours as to adequately provide a high level of service to the public using the Terminal Building. Lessee/ Concessionaire shall keep its operation open seven days a week.”

    Shall is a directive word, e.g. “shall keep its operation open seven days a week.” Nothing in the lease authorizes OHM or any of its vendors to include Chick-fil-A to operate less than seven days a week. In its bid, did OHM identify that Chick-fil-A’s corporate policy is to not be open on Sundays? If so, it should have been found non-responsive. Or was it just expecting – Wink, Wink, Nod, Nod – that Airport Director Greg Donovan would sign off on a waiver without regard to how it inconvenienced the passengers?

    The City has the authority to “Rescind or reissue the RFP” and should. The Council should get its head in the game taking an active interest in its city government approving these RFPs before issued.