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Mayor Lane's July 12 Presentation to McDowell Mtn Ranch - an opinion by Mike Norton

Some unsettling impressions from last night's meeting with Mayor Lane. I had to go back to read City Documents before I sent this post. I wanted to be sure that my gut impression was not biased.

My gut impression was accurate - the lack of candor is troubling to say the least.

1 - Candor re: Funding: Is it appropriate for the Mayor to state that he "required the DDCS, Inc. group to raise their own capital" for the DDC? Without the shoutout from those in the audience, would he have admitted that DDCS is only required to raise 10% of the capital and 90% of the $70 Million would be City funded?

2 - Candor re: the RFQ Process that awarded the control of the DDC project to Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale, Inc. If we didn't know any of the history of the award process, the statements made last night would lead you to believe that there was a rigorous process in place for handing over control of the McDowell Mountain Preserve plan for decimation to DDCS, Inc. But there was not. Quite the opposite, it appears that the entire process was rigged to assure that the contract was handed over quickly and neatly.

2-a. In 2012 the City asked for RFP's on this project. NO ONE SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL. As a commercial venture funded by the free market, the project was clearly thought of as a total dud.

2-b. So the City promoted the "Desert Discovery Center Advocates Group" that worked privately to push the project ahead.

2-c. And then, in early 2015, when the traps were well laid out, the City and DDCS, Inc moved quickly.

2-d. First, DDCS Inc incorporated. It didn't exist until less than 90 days before the RFP was required. Former Mayor and Jeep Tour Operator, Sam Campana, emerges as the Executive Director of DDCS.

2-e. Next - March 24 2015, less than 30 days after DDCS is incorporated, the City Council tells Staff to issue the RFQ.

2-f. May 2015, the RFQ is issued.

2-g. July 2015, the RFQ closes and not surprisingly only one bid was received. And was that the plan all along? I have to ask that question bluntly because it certainly seems that way. It was a complicated RFQ that would take a long time to develop - but since DDCSI's principals have been the Advocacy Group working in private to drive the project, it is not surprising that DDCSI has been formed as a 501(c)(3) and not surprising that the City requires a 501(c)(3) to be the contract awarded party. (Just exactly how many non-profit companies did the City think might be ready to jump up and offer all the services it listed in the RFQ?)

2-h. DDCS was the ONLY RFQ BIDDER. Not surprisingly since the DDCS group had staged the RFQ, they got the awarded contract with no one else having time to prepare and submit.

2-i. At the meeting Mayor Lane spent some time telling us all about the other RFQ Proposals and why DDCSI was the best qualified. But his statements last night don't match the City's own records. The City clearly recites the ONLY ONE BIDDER history in this document that was used to authorize all the money given to DDCSI.

Why all the stories about the other bidders when those bidders when the City documents say they didn't exist? Were there really other bidders who were ignored and shuffled away? Or were there no bidders and Mayor Lane misled us last night?

Why would Mayor Lane not expect someone to Fact-Check that statement?

All troubling questions that need to be answered candidly if we're going to believe the rest of the statements made.

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commented 2016-07-13 17:56:27 -0600 · Flag
Dead on accurate. I was there too, Mike’s research pulls together so much of the behind-the-scenes cronyism. Lane wasn’t the driver in this, but he knows all about it by his own comments. Lane is asking voters to trust him, but do you trust his record?
posted about this on Facebook 2016-07-13 15:35:46 -0600
Mayor Lane's July 12 Presentation to McDowell Mtn Ranch - an opinion by Mike Norton
@TPScottsdale tweeted link to this page. 2016-07-13 15:35:43 -0600
published this page in Scottsdale City Council & DDC 2016-07-13 15:35:35 -0600