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Friday October 24th 2014

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‘Streamlined’ at the COW

When the Pensacola City Council meets for its Committee of the Whole meeting Monday, members will consider approving “streamlined guidelines” for the disposition of city-owned property.

Currently, policy dictates that the mayor identify properties that the city wishes to put on the market. City council must then approve the property, as well as one of four methods of disposal: open bid, request for proposal (RFP), direct negotiation or economic development option. If council approves, the administration is cleared to negotiate with a potential buyer or execute the RFP process; city council’s approval is required once again at the end of the process.

“In a nutshell, the Mayor and Council essentially touch the process twice,” City Administrator Bill Reynolds wrote in a March 26 email to council, describing the process as “burdensome.”

On Monday, council will consider adopting a more “streamlined” approach. Under a proposed new policy, the mayor selects properties, determines the method of disposal—bids, RFP or negotiations—and then brings the final deal to council for approval or rejection.

“The requested revision to the process will ensure that the City can respond to potential buyers or lessees in a timelier manner by reducing the disposal options (open bid, RFP, Direct Negotiation) and allowing the Mayor to determine the applicable transaction method,” Reynolds wrote. “Such changes will reduce the overall time required to dispose of surplus property, define accountability, and optimize the opportunity to secure and maintain the interest of qualified purchasers or lessees.”

The issue is before the council because Vice President Jewel Cannada-Wynn requested that the policy be placed on the agenda. Monday’s COW begins at 3:15 p.m. at Pensacola City Hall.