New ruling: Hawkshaw RFP is dead

Special Liaison Rusty Wells has sent to the Pensacola City Council additional information regarding the Hawkshaw RFP and whether Councilman Larry Johnson could bring up the proposals for reconsideration.

The answer is no. Mr. Johnson’s recommendation to reconsider is “a case of attempting to undo what cannot be undone.” The RFP process no longer exists so it could not be revived.

From: Rusty Wells
Sent: Monday, September 14, 2015 12:59:11 PM
To: City Council Only
Cc: Elaine Mager; Sonja Gaines; Eric Olson; Ericka Burnett; Lysia Bowling
Subject: Additional Information – Rules of Procedure

President Terhaar and Members of City Council –

After having worked with City Attorney Lysia Bowling at length last week, over the weekend I sent out a memorandum providing information on the applicable rules of procedure, but in my haste to leave the office and enjoy our finest Saturday of 2015, I neglected to include additional, important information.

The background of the memorandum was an issue involving the CRA’s previous action terminating an on-going RFP process, with the city staff having returned the bid bonds to the entities that had submitted proposals. One of the legal issues this action raised was whether the Council could lawfully restore the process to the position it was in prior to its termination by CRA action last month. Resolution of this issue required Ms. Bowling to examine the Council’s rules of procedure in order to determine whether there was any procedural method by which the offers of the various proposers to develop the property could be revived.

The City Attorney thoroughly research this very complicated issue and conferred at length with other members of the Florida Redevelopment Association to obtain information on comparable experiences of other CRAs in the state. Based on her research, it was her conclusion that this was a case of attempting to undo what cannot be undone. Her opinion was that the CRA could not lawfully restore its active consideration of the proposals that had been previously received. In short, she opined that there no longer existed an RFP process that could be revived and that any motion directed to that objective would not be a proper one under the Council’s rules and Robert’s Rules.

I regret having omitted this very significant factor and the extensive research Ms. Bowling conducted in a short period of time on this issue.

Rusty Wells
William D. Wells
Assistant City Attorney – Special Liaison


I’m disappointed that Mr. Wells did not include that information in his email to Mr. Johnson, because it significantly changes what he told the councilman. However, we now know that the motion wasn’t proper and might have left the city open to legal challenges had the council awarded the RFP this week.