No Conspiracy Behind Modified Bid Posting Armory in New Rochelle, Development Commissioner Explains

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There has been a bit of confusion and controversy over an announcement recently posted to the City of New Rochelle web site.

I sent a series of questions to City spokesperson Kathy Gilwit based on the concerns raised to me; she got a response from New Rochelle Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth (below).

Talk of the Sound Questions:

1. What is the word-for-word difference between the original proposal and the modified proposal?

2. Why were words added or removed?

3. What was/were the precipitating event(s) that drove the decision to make a modification?

4. What is the technical or legal effect of the change in language?

5. What is the practical effect of the language?

6. Was Monroe College a factor, directly or indirectly, in the decision to create what became the Modified Bid Posting Armory.

New Rochelle Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth responded:

The changes only have to do with supplemental information (drawings and elevations, site plans). These were requested by one respondent so we are now making them available to all. Because of production costs, there is a minimal $15 charge. Everyone who contacted us initially was called/emailed by staff to let them know this material was available if they wanted it. No changes were made to any element of the RFP and this material should be helpful; it does not change process, dates nor have legal or practical impact……and NO, Monroe was not involved.

This is standard operating procedure within RFPs, when a question or request is made by one respondent, we answer and make the additional info available to all.

Below is a link to the RFP page on the City web site and the email sent by the City and that caused a stir.

Armory - Reuse Request for Proposals

Modified Bid Posting Armory - Reuse Request for Proposals

Armory - Reuse Request for Proposals The City of New Rohelle (sic) invites qualified developement (sic) teams, cultrual (sic) ans (sic) civic organizations, colleges and universities, non-profit and for-profit business entities to submit proposals for the adaptive reuse of the former Armory located at 260-70 E. Main Street New Rochelle NY.

Please note that copies of the New Rochelle Armory Site Plan and Elevations are available in the Department of Development. The fee for these documents is $15.
Please contact Suzanne Reider, Senior Project Manager Department of Development.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Bob McCaffrey on Mon, 06/25/2012 - 17:24

No one has said anything about conspiracy theory as far as I have seen or heard. New Rochelle does suffer from a case of I strain!

Pick one; Inconsistent, Inaccurate, Incomplete, Incapable and incompetent or ignorant. What fits the latest story of developments in New Rochelle? We see it most every day traveling around this city. I love New Rochelle and we have some great people working for the city. Don’t get me wrong, that is why I speak up. New Rochelle has just been broken and now broke for too long. We can’t let perception become reality. We must be diligent and make sure what is being done is in the best interest of the people of New Rochelle and not those with the inside track or deep pockets.

It is good to hear in the follow up that there are no problems with RFP that was put out by the city. However, it doesn’t have to be a Conspiracy to be wrong. There had been some questions and concern about the recent notice from the city about the Modified Bid Posting for the Armory. It may not be a conspiracy but it is the questionable management and execution of the RFP’s. Some feel that the language of the RFP was an attempt to enroll Monroe into the process. How many times have new or updated RFP’s been issued?

The original RFP issued had language that included the terms "colleges and universities". I haven’t read many RFP’s but how many refer specifically to the colleges and universities, non-profit and for-profit business entities in the descriptions. I don't know who wrote the RFP but it seems to go out of its way to be inclusive for reasons not readily clear. It could have just as easily said "all interested parties".

The recent RFP for the Weyman Avenue Lot50 I believe was not recalled and resubmitted. From what was said it had an incorrect lot number identification when the area was presented to potential buyers. This was covered in a recent TOTS Article. New Rochelle City Council: Everyone Loves Going to the Diner Until the Check Comes from 06/12/2012.

“Despite the fact that the RFP excluded Lot 45A and despite the fact that the adjacent property was never notified it was even possible, the City of New Rochelle intends to recommend that DeRaffele be allowed to purchase both Lot 50 and Lot 45A combined with not a single competing bid for both lots.”

7-0 Vote, Why? Some of these are question people have asked in the past.

It is not just about The Armory or the RFP’s it is about getting on track, getting it right. Follow the New Rochelle Comprehensive Plan (1996) and The City Charter we already have first. We need the right people in the right places and positions to move forward. Without that we stand no chance.

“Common Sense for the Common Good”

Laraine Karl on Fri, 06/22/2012 - 15:43

Perhaps we should all send money to city hall so they can pay to install spell check when typing proposal information on their website.

It is a sad day when they misspell New Rochelle.

Warren Gross on Tue, 06/26/2012 - 21:21

Good observation and likely indicative of a rush job based on a last minute oversight. Perhaps that oversight had more to do with directing the RFP to some desired end state. Yes I now Bob asked the question point blank, but.......... frankly not even sure who the individual is who is the point woman for the RFP. Nice way to reinforce plausible deniabilty.

I am uncharacteristically negative because the Orwellian "newspeak" is so prevalent in the Nation and in New Rochelle. You can fill in the gaps on who are the more accomplished users of "newspeak".

Now I am no big fan of Mitt Romney. But Barack Obama is my case in point. He has come out against ?Romney's use of "outsourcing." You know what outsourcing means -- it is exporting jobs by multi-national and U.S. companies based in the states due to clear cost advantages in other parts of the world.

Here is how we used to speak on oldspeak... Sir, it seems as if you are against outsourcing even though i am sure you are aware of the many industries and job losses we have had here.

Are you planning to end outsourcing and come up with a program to re-grow jobs and industries in the U.S? If so, what is your plan and how will you address the legal issues, the union issues, the investment and competitive issues, etc.?

Ok, so now we have New Rochelle. Sir, I understand you are not sold on the rebuilding of downtown New Rochelle, or the ceding of the Armory to local developers or for that matter, a serious approach to build up our revenue base, securing our downtown assets and revenues while making them safe and in addition, stopping the spread of non-profits, colleges and universities.

sir, this said, and in light of the supportive data for this in the 1996 Comprehensive Plan, how do you plan to accomplish the major unaddressed issues in Section III-1 of that Plan?

Ok, who said old speak was brief speak. I do however suggest that residents look behind the rhetoric, the sophistic cant, and yes, the B.S. and hole our elected officials feet to the fire.

Now that is old speak.

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