CMPA problem is process, not size

I wrote last month about the lack of a set process for the CMPA/City Council/Mayor to lease the parcels at Maritime Park. During the debate over the YMCA leasing parcel 8, the mayor announced that he had hired CBRE to help the city develop a plan for the park leases and other city properties.

Then last week, we find out that the mayor decided not to wait for CBRE and had Clark Merritt, his head of Sustainability, negotiate with Beck Properties for parcel 1. The Becks have come up with a solid proposal, but why did the mayor chose them as the sole bidder for it? Isn’t the mayor completely jumping the gun on his own consultant?

The Beck proposal should go through because they have negotiated in good faith and made their best offer. The Becks did nothing wrong. However, what happens on the other parcels? Should developers wait for Merritt to call them and ask them to make a proposal?

Why isn’t the city following the Request for Proposal process? If I’m reading the Florida Statute Chap. 163 correctly, the mayor is required to do so.

Chapter 163.380 states:

Prior to disposition of any real property or interest therein in a community redevelopment area, any county, municipality, or community redevelopment agency shall

–give public notice of such disposition by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation in the community, at least 30 days prior to the execution of any contract to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer real property and, prior to the delivery of any instrument of conveyance with respect thereto under the provisions of this section, invite proposals from, and make all pertinent information available to, private redevelopers or any persons interested in undertaking to redevelop or rehabilitate a community redevelopment area or any part thereof.

–Such notice shall identify the area or portion thereof and shall state that proposals must be made by those interested within 30 days after the date of publication of the notice and that such further information as is available may be obtained at such office as is designated in the notice.

In the pre-new charter era, the city manager used the RFP process for the leasing, sale or transfer of all city property.

I maintain the number of CMPA board members isn’t the problem. The issue is still the process and whether the process followed by the city follows state law.