One protest down, one to go. As WW
reported earlier, the city's two biggest parking companies
are plenty steamed
about the City of Portland's
April 28 announcement that it planned to award a three-year contract to manage six city-owned SmartPark garages
to a Nashville firm.
The SmartPark garages, which charge motorists the lowest fees in Portland—$1.50 per hour for the first four hours—are a crucial piece of the downtown market. The garages support downtown retail and other businesses as well as provide the contract holder—currently the Schlesinger family's Star Park and the Alliance of Minority Chambers of Commerce—with a critical operational mass from which to seek other contracts.
Star Park and its far larger competitor, the Goodman family's City Center Parking, which held the SmartPark contract from 1985 to 2003, both protested
the City's decision to award the contract to Nashville-based Central Parking System.
City officials have now rejected
[PDF] the Goodmans' protest on the grounds that it was insufficiently detailed. (City Center's Mark Goodman sent a one-line email at 4:59 pm on May 5 just before the protest deadline, saying "Based on information recently discovered, please consider this email City Center Parking's protest of the selection process of proposal no. 111118." Mark's brother, Greg Goodman, followed up with a detailed letter (see link above) two days later. But the information he provided came after the protest deadline.)
Here's an excerpt from the May 13 letter from the City's Chief Procurement Officer, Christine Moody, to City Center's Mark Goodman:
City Center Parking' s single sentence email does not provide any of the required content as specified
in PCC 5.33.740(B)(2). Absent any information regarding the protest as required by Code, the City rejects
CityCenterParking's protest as a matter of law.
Therefore, after review of City Center Parking' s protest and pursuant to City Code, I am denying
your protest in its entirety. This decision is final and concludes any further administrative remedy.
City officials are still considering Star Park's protest, although as WW reported
yesterday, it appears Star Park's minority partners have already joined forces with Central Parking System.