July 2nd, 2010 5:33 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, City Hall, CLEAN UP

City Hall: Mayor Cancels Controversial Parking Deal

Roy Jay

Mayor Sam Adams today canceled the city's notice of intention to award a contract to manage six city-owned Smart Park garages to Nashville-based Central Parking System.

The news in April that the Nashville firm would get the contract caused tremendous pushback from two powerful local firms. One of those angry firms was Star Park, which currently holds the Smart Park contract and will now continue to operate the garages while the contract is re-bid. The second unhappy local business was City Center Parking, which previously held the contract and is both the city's largest parking company and the owner of the equivalent of 25 downtown blocks.

Executives of both firms have launched a full-court press in recent weeks to overturn the decision to choose Central Parking for the $10 million-a-year contract. That pressure appears to have worked.

A fascinating sidebar issue is what today's decision means for Roy Jay, the influential president of the African American Chamber of Commerce. Jay (photo above) had been Star Park's partner but more recently aligned himself with Central Parking System.

Here's what the mayor had to say about his decision:
“Robust competition is essential among the firms seeking to manage the City's public parking garages. Since we announced the Intent to Award the contract to a Central Parking in May, questions have been raised challenging the fairness or perception of fairness of the selection process.

“I agree with enough of the concerns raised to ask the City's Procurement Services and the Bureau of Transportation to rebid the contract.

“A new schedule for request for proposals will be forthcoming soon. Proposals will be evaluated by a newly comprised evaluation committee.

“Outstanding, cost-effective management of the City's parking garages is critical to the economic vitality and accessibility of downtown Portland. It's worth taking the time to make sure we get it right.”
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