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“Appearance issue” arises in bidding process for Cheney Stadium renovations

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on Feb. 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm with 3 Comments »
February 5, 2010 5:19 pm

After a selection committee tentatively chose a winner last month from three design-build teams bidding to handle major renovations to Cheney Stadium, allegations about potential improprieties in the bid process have emerged, stalling the city from awarding the contract, city officials said.

Cheney Stadium

But Tacoma City Manager Eric Anderson said the city’s legal department has since reviewed the claims, and the city is standing behind the integrity of the process despite the “appearance issue.”

“While I regretfully must acknowledge the potential of an appearance issue, based on our due diligence inquiry, I am confident in the integrity of the selection process and have concluded that the selection process can move forward unimpeded,” Anderson wrote in a memo to council members released yesterday.

Last month, the ballpark selection panel, made up of city officials, private consultants and representatives of the Tacoma Rainiers and The Cheney Foundation, had ranked highest a design-build team consisting of Mortenson Construction, Belay Architecture and Populous, Inc., said Mike Combs, the city’s public assembly facilities director and a selection panel member.

Later, members of one of the competing bidders reported seeing a member of the selection panel meeting with members of the winning team before the selection was made, city officials have said. The meeting allegedly occurred at a restaurant in the Hotel Murano during the first week in January, city spokesman Rob McNair-Huff said.

Late yesterday, the city released Anderson’s memo to The News Tribune, which has been asking for details about the ballpark design bids since early January. The newspaper filed a formal public disclosure request for information about the bid process late last month.

We’ll have more details of this story in tomorrow’s newspaper. To read Anderson’s memo to council members, click the link below.

Anderson’s memo on Cheney Stadium bidding proposal allegations

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. PeterPlumber says:

    I am a part of the winning bed team(mechanical contractor) and I can assure you there were no improprieties in MY office.

  2. OK, Problem ONE: Anderson gave this to the City Attorney’s Office to look over. The same City Attorney that saw nothing wrong with the selection process to pick two of her new bosses. She couldn’t spot an impropriety if Bebe Reboso were standing on her foot with a snub-nosed .38 in one hand, and a cannolli in the other!
    Problem TWO: There is ONE main rule in matters of ethics: If it LOOKS like a duck, WALKS like a duck and SOUNDS like a duck, it’s a duck. Likewise ethics in City building/construction cases. If it LOOKS dishonest, walks DISHONEST and SOUNDS dishonest, then it’s dishonest and the entire process should be in question. Like the process for selecting City Council replacements, This STINKS.

  3. Luther_Walker says:

    Aren’t there rules about the jury consorting with the teams in the contest? Even if we could trust the account offered, isn’t the appearance of back room dealing enough to cast doubt on the process?

    Why should anyone believe the account of the people caught with their hand in the cookie jar anyway? Was the meeting recorded-meeting minutes-? PROVE IT!

    Why were members of the RAINERS management at a meeting about a different team and stadium?

    VERY hard to believe the topic of a pending $30+ million dollar deal never entered the conversation.

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