(UPDATED 4 PM with more reaction added where the story previously ended)
Alki Crab and Fish has lost its appeal of the Seattle Parks decision ending its years of operating the concessions at Seacrest Pier. (If you missed previous coverage, we reported December 5th that Marination had been chosen, in a story that included links to both operations’ proposal documents; we reported on ACF’s protest on Dec. 6, and on a rally by supporters on Dec. 10.) Here’s the announcement just in; it’s from deputy Parks superintendent Eric Friedli:
We have completed the appeal process for the operation of the Seacrest Boathouse Facility. The original decision to award the operation to Marination has been affirmed following the appeal for reconsideration filed by Alki Crab & Fish Company (ACF).
After a careful re-examination of the ACF proposal, including their letter of appeal, the evaluation questions and the raters’ scores for each question, we did not find any compelling facts or reasons that would warrant or justify a reversal of the original decision. The RFP appeal committee consisted of Kathy Nyland of City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw’s staff, Roque Deherrera, of the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, Terry Holme, Seattle Park Board Chair, and Eric Friedli, Parks Acting Deputy Superintendent.
The appeal committee evaluated the ACF protest by raising several key questions related to the overall RFP decision making process:
· Was the RFP solicitation process conducted in a fair and transparent manner?
· Were the questions posed in such a way that the respondents could reasonably be expected to respond within the context of the RFP?
· Did Parks and Recreation use a reasonable evaluation process and practices, including rating instruments?
· Were directions to raters given in such a way that raters could make consistent decisions on scoring from respondent to respondent?
· Did the respondent provide confidences and assurance based on historical performance and future business models that the respondent could reasonably be expected to meet department objectives?
Another key element of the reconsideration process included a thorough review and assessment of the quality, completeness, and depth of answers provided by the top two respondents’ proposals in response to the evaluation questions. It was clear to the appeal committee that the unfortunate omission of financial information and projection of future revenues and expenses for the operation of the facility weakened the ACF proposal. The strength of the business model provided by each RFP respondent is an important factor in assessing the ability of an operator to finance their day to day operations with little or no direct financial support from Parks.
The RFP appeal committee concluded that Marination provided a stronger set of responses to these and other questions.
It was the unanimous decision of the RFP appeal committee that the process that led to the selection of the Marination was conducted in a fair and open manner. They found that the evaluation team operated within a “best practice” framework, and that the evaluation criteria and direction to evaluators were clear and did result in consistent scoring by each rater.
Christopher concurred with the decision of the appeal committee and ACF has been informed that Parks is keeping with the decision to award the operation to Marination.
The decision still has to be ultimately ratified by the City Council, voting on the legislation officially awarding the contract. We’re seeking reaction. More to come. (Photo courtesy Laura James)
ADDED 4 PM: We have heard from Greg Whittaker, whose Alki Kayak Tours is based at Seacrest, and has been a subcontractor to Alki Crab and Fish. His official statement:
With the announcement of the concession at Seacrest Marina awarded to Marination, Alki Kayak Tours hopes to be able to begin discussion the option of collaborating with the new operators. We have worked hard over the last 7 years developing sustainable tourism at the facility, and hope to be able to remain as the boatyard operators of the concession.
And Marination co-proprietor Roz Edison also has responded to our request for comment:
We’d like to send out a big yummy “mahalo!” to all of the kind supporters who reached out during this process. We’re looking forward to welcoming the Seattle summer from the shores of Alki with our aloha-filled West Seattle peeps.
We have messages out to ACF owner Eric Galanti.