Submit your Bid for Monroe Park Now to stall the process and be given an opportunity to speak out!

Posted: March 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

Make a bid on the lease for Monroe Park – not because you support privatizing public parks, but to allow more time to speak out against abd organize against the theft of our public resources by the rich.

More info to come on what these bids might need to include info wise to meet the City’s requirements. But submitting bids before Monday the 24th will possibly alow the process of City Council privatizong Monroe Park.

If you turn it in at 4:45on Monday March 24th they’ll have to deliver it and if they don’t deliver it we can delay the meeting.

You don’t have to be a non-profit to submit the bid. You just have to make the bid look real.

Parker said he would ask if any other bids were submitted.

No one else has said they would apply. 

The Monroe park conservancy has raised no money a cording to irs 2013.
correct?

The ad for thw bid is all the city put out. There may be some other procedure the city neglected to mention. We are currently makong inquiries with the City Clerk as to any requirements or forms needed to make a bid.

 Few organizations are going to bid when they see that there is already a lease created with the name of another organization on it.

The only other thing I can imagine is you could contact the  clerks office and find out if there’s something additional.

PLEASE ask your colleagues to write letters to council critters! 
Parker says they have the votes so far to win but that’s probably because everyone’s been so busy fighting the stadium and Oregon Hill has been busy fighting the amphitheater that council has not gotten the protest they should have gotten.

It’s all Venture richmond at work.

More:

Dear —,

I am writing you today because I saw an internet reference to —–  and the homeless in Monroe Park.

… I still felt the call to contact you all.  I don’t know whether you would be interested in what I am about to propose- or whether the connection to Mayor Dwight Jones is strong enough for you or anyone to relinquish their feeding programs in Monroe Park. It is possible since they are in the county that they are not aware of the upcoming ordinance that may preclude feeding programs in Monroe Park. 

I personally find it very upsetting that Mayor Jones has proposed the ordinance below which essentially turns over a public park to a private non-profit. In many people’s minds, this is an attempt to remove the homeless from the public eye and quell freedom of speech in the city’s oldest park. The thirty dollars for thirty years of “lease” strikes a chord in my heart that I think you might recognize.

Had I not FOIA ‘d  asking for the publication of  request for bids required by state law, it is possible that the park would have been turned over to the Monroe Park Conservancy with no competing bids. Sadly, this may still happen since the lease developed has Monroe Park Conservancy’s name on it which should certainly discourage competing bids. The lease is included in the linked ordinance 2014-10 below. If it does not load properly, let me know and I will forward the original email.

The lease is exceptionally advantageous to the lease holder. The city puts in 3 million dollars of infrastructure improvements and the group that wins the lease can sublease the park for any paid events they choose without consulting the city. The city pays all utilities. The list just goes on.  And a patron of the paper, Dwight Jones, is also on the Monroe Park Conservancy board…the conservancy for which the lease was written before a request for bids was published.  Dwight Jones is not only on the Conservancy, he gets to appoint its future members. He is also the President of Venture Richmond, another recipient of extremely advantageous low cost leases on city property. 

Two hurdles in the lease are that  the renters need to have a million dollars of insurance and must turn 3 million dollars over to the city before the lease begins. These hurdles do not preclude bidding for the lease, however. 

The Monroe park Conservancy may not have jumped these hurdles yet either. Monroe Park Conservancy raised no money according to Guidestar in 2013.  But given the number of high-ranked VCU employees on the Conservancy board, VCU probably will donate a good portion the funds.  

I am giving you this information because the Land Use Committee Meeting to consider the leasing of Monroe Park is Tuesday March 18 at 3pm. Also the bids for the lease of Monroe Park are due on March 24th at 5 pm- one hour before the bids are to be delivered to city council during their session for consideration.

I am hopeful that your and other organizations might consider applying for the lease despite the distinct possibility that the fix is in. An application for the lease would be a method of speaking truth to power. If awarded the lease, considerable profits could be made from leasing the park and developing the  Checkers house.  

Should this action not be one your community wishes to make, I would encourage you to get members of the Monroe Park feeding programs to express their desire to continue their programs at the upcoming Land Use committee and at City Council on March 24th. 

I hope that you might take this opportunity to write your City Council Representative and Mayor Dwight Jones expressing any concerns you might have about this ordinance and this lease as well as encourage other groups and individuals to do so. You might request a delay in consideration of the ordinance until the ordinance includes protection of the rights of churches and other feeding programs to continue their ministry in Monroe Park. 

Here is an article in the Times Dispatch for reference to this issue. 

 http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/richmond-seeks-to-lease-monroe-park/article_537d9fbb-c4fc-5bcf-a620-f4af3b01ed51.html

Below you will find  a copy of the request for bids from  http://www.timesdispatch.com/classifieds/community/announcements/proposals/request-for-bids/ad_00b017b5-ac10-5a9d-8112-18a1404f4168.html

Sincerely,

Caroline  Cox

Request for Bids

Posted: 2 minutes ago
REQUEST FOR BIDS For Lease, Franchise, Right and Privilege To Use and Maintain Monroe Park at 12 North Belvidere Street In the City of Richmond The City of Richmond is seeking bids for the lease, franchise, right and privilege to use and maintain certain property located at 12 North Belvidere Street for the management, maintenance, and operation of Monroe Park in accordance with a certain Agreement and Deed of Lease, for a term of 30 years, subject to certain responsibilities to be imposed by lease and subject further to all retained rights of the City of Richmond. All bids for the lease hereby offered to be granted shall be submitted in writing to the City Clerk’s office by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 24, 2014. Bids will be presented to the presiding officer of the Council of the City of Richmond on Monday, March 24, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. in open session and shall then be presented by the presiding officer to the Council and be dealt with and acted upon in the mode prescribed by law. The City of Richmond expressly reserves the right to reject any and all bids. The successful bidder shall reimburse the City for all costs incurred in connection with the advertisement of this ordinance in accordance with section 15.2-2101 of the Code of Virginia and shall post the bond required by the ordinance. A copy of the full text of the ordinance is on file in the City Clerk’s office, and the full text of the ordinance and lease to be executed is available at: http://eservices.ci.richmond.va.us/applications/clerkstracking/getPDF.asp?NO=2014-10
Please address any questions or bids to: Jean V. Capel, City Clerk City of Richmond 900 East Broad Street, Suite 200 Richmond, Virginia 23219 (804) 646-7955
Location: 12 North Belvidere Street, Richmond, VA 

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