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Still more controversy at GBAD

Board member Astorquia blasts majority.

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The Greater Boise Auditorium District board once again ended its most recent meeting bitterly divided.

This month's controversy at a meeting July 11 was a repeat of last month's: restoration of funding to the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau. BCVB had its funding cut off by the GBAD board in 2010, but the May 17 election of Hy Kloc and Judy Peavey-Derr swung the board's majority to the opposite direction, again supporting BCVB. The first order of business was to sign BCVB to a temporary professional services contract for $24,500, expiring at the end of September. The majority of the GBAD board (Kloc, Mike Fitzgerald and Gail May) also voted to draft a new long-term Request for Proposal, whereby BCVB could bid for more permanent funding.

Board member Stephanie Astorquia, who opposed the moves along with Peavey-Derr, questioned both contracts.

"This is a blatant waste of public funds," said Astorquia.

May, who worked on both agreements, faced off with Astorquia.

"They [BCVB] probably already earned this amount anyway just for all of the work that they have been doing for free since the beginning of the year," said May.

"This agreement is not constitutionally valid or statutorily valid," said Astorquia. "There is no requirement for sales efforts here so there is no deliverable."

"Do you really believe that BCVB has not performed?" asked May.

"I have a problem with the form and substance of your contracts," Astorquia responded.

By a 3-2 vote, the GBAD board accepted the temporary contract and moved forward toward a long-term arrangement. Again, Astorquia and Peavey-Derr questioned the wording of the request, giving BCVB an advantage in the bidding process.

"Would you not agree that this RFP is targeted toward BCVB?" Peavey-Derr asked.

"They probably fit the parameters," admitted May.

"It's quite clear that there is only one entity that is contracted to do this work," said Astorquia. "I have difficulty calling this a RFP. Again, you're clearly skirting the competitive bidding process. I don't think this is valid or legal."

But Astorquia and Peavey-Derr once again ended up on the losing end of the debate.

Another GBAD shift involves the board majority's desire to seek a replacement for its legal counsel. In describing former counsel Wayne Meuleman of Meuleman Mollerup, Fitzgerald previously said that Meuleman had been "way too deeply involved in policy making."

Fitzgerald told the board at the July 11 meeting that he had been working on a new RFP for legal services. Hawley Troxell law firm is expected to bid for the RFP. But Fitzgerald admitted during the board meeting that he had showed a draft of the RFP to Hawley Troxell before finishing the final proposal. Astorquia and Peavey-Derr were again visibly unnerved.

"Let's table this issue until the next meeting," suggested Kloc.

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