Last week, the city's two biggest parking companies protested
the City of Portland's announcement that it intended to award a three-year contact to manage six city-owned SmartPark garages to a Nashville firm, Central Parking System.
The protest by the Goodman family's City Center Parking and the Schlesinger family's Star Park effectively united two rivals who compete hard for parking.
In his protest letter, City Center President Greg Goodman
complained that Central included no plans in its winning bid to address diversity. In 2003, Star Park wrested the city contract from Goodman's company in part because of a partnership with the Alliance of Minority Chambers, headed by Roy Jay, (above) president of the African American Chamber of Commerce.
Although it is unclear whether city officials have responded to the protests (WW
is waiting for a phone call on that question), it appears that Jay is switching the allegiance of the Alliance of Minority Chambers to Central Parking System.
In a statement
[PDF] released late Sunday night, Central Parking System regional manager Jerry Skillett says his company has completed a "hail Mary" pass and formed a partnership with Jay and the Alliance:
“We were not in a position to approach Mr. Jay at the competitive time since he was connected to the Star Park joint venture," the statement said, "but we had conversations with current garage employees and businesses which all agreed that Jay's unique style under the banner of the Alliance of Minority Chambers was something that fit our desire to embrace the opportunity to work with the City of Portland.”