News: Tennis Anyone?


flamingo park tennis center

Never does Tennis have so much crossover appeal as when an underdog beats a favorite. In September of last year a number four seed beat a number one; $48,000 beat $120,000; and a chamber full of clapping supporters beat the Jimmy Morales administration, his evaluation committee, and the City’s Tennis Advisory Board.

Weeks before an election, the Miami Beach City Commission voted to toss out the bidding process for its’ tennis court management contract and award it to the last-ranked incumbent; the move delighted scores of supporters who for nearly four hours waxed poetic about the Green Square company.

Then the ball bounced to the other side of the court: the last commission was voted out; the previously top-ranked company hired the political consultant who helped elect the majority of the new commission; and the new commission voted to waive the bidding process and give the contract to the Miami Beach Tennis Management company.

Now the commission has rescinded that move, and will serve up a rematch to the bidding process.

At their March meeting, the commission voted to reinstate the original bidding process, and vote based on those results.

“Someone wise once told me that the right process is sometimes better than the right result,” said Commissioner Micky Steinberg in support of the motion.

The latest attempt to removing the bidding process was scrapped when attorneys for Green Square contented that the city manager was obligated to give a written recommendation to the commission.

City Manager Jimmy Morales has always maintained that the original bidding process was fair, and originally recommended to go with the rankings.

“My preference would be that, whenever possible, a competitive bidding process be the preferred means for procurement of goods or services. As such, my recommendation was, and is, not in favor of waiving a competitive procurement process,” the city manager wrote in a memo to the commission.

When asked at the meeting Morales again repeated the sentiment.

“It reinstates the process that I felt was a fair process,” said Morales. “To me that’s preferable to waiving bids.”

The city manager’s recommendations are meant to advise the commission, they aren’t always followed: Commissions have gone against the administration in a variety of instances like tow fee increases, the selection of a convention center developer, and the original tennis management contract selection.

Until the contract comes back to the commission, the dais will review the original evaluation and presentations made a year ago.

Last year’s numbers have number one ranked Miami Beach Tennis Management promising the city a revenue stream of $120,000 while crowd-clapping-favorite Green Square only promises $48,000.

The same commission has already voted in a 5/6th vote for the evaluation’s front runner. Commissioner Deede Weithorn did not vote as her husband is a principle for the incumbent company.


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