Almanac

Viewpoint - December 21, 2011

Letter: Why no bids for added planning work?

In a time of economic hardship, when cities should be tightening their belts in order not to cut services, why has Menlo Park's City Council voted to spend over $225,000 on consultant fees for the El Camino/Downtown Specific Plan without even considering the possibility of reducing this cost?

Indeed, there are legitimate reasons to do some additional studies and answer the questions raised by both the public and the City Council itself on the plan. However, to not even consider competitive bids is outrageous.

Council member Andy Cohen informed his colleagues before the vote that the consultant who carried out Phase 1 of the plan was prepared to offer a competitive bid, which would very likely have come in well under the $225,000 requested by Perkins + Will. Yet, the council and staff dismissed this idea, asserting that the project could be delayed by a month or two. Spending nearly a quarter of a million dollars of taxpayer money without even a competitive bid is business as usual by the majority of the City Council.

Nancy Couperus, Los Altos Hills

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