Make us your home page
Instagram

Sunshine violations cause TIA headaches

The agency that runs Tampa International Airport violated the state's open government law last year by failing to publish notice of two meetings where staffers ranked bids for work.

Those legal problems were fixed Friday when the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority staff ranked the proposals again — with postings on its Web site and an airport bulletin board. The agency even called to invite bidders to attend.

But the authority is trying to figure out if previous meetings were properly noticed. "We're only aware of these two," said David Smith, an attorney hired to investigate agency procedures. "We will look to see if there are other issues out there."

One bidder said Friday's ranking meeting was the first he knew of that was open to the public in 20 years of soliciting business from the authority. "I've never seen it done," said Kevin Smith, an owner of Fleischman and Garcia Architects and Planners in Tampa. "I just assumed they were closed."

The authority isn't required to inform bidders of meetings by phone or mail, just post a notice in a known public place, Smith said. The agency's governing board awarded multimillion-dollar projects to firms that scored highest in rankings performed at the illegal meetings.

Alfonso Architects was picked in January to design a $11.6 million makeover of curbsides outside the main terminal's ticketing and baggage claim areas. HC Beck was selected in February to expand and upgrade closed-circuit cameras that watch over critical security areas. The project will cost $8.1 million.

Both firms were also top-rated at the do-over meetings Friday, said airport spokeswoman Brenda Geoghagan. The board will vote again on the contracts at its Thursday meeting.

A tipster gave the agency's legal department information about the open meeting violations, she said. She didn't know if the person worked for the authority.

The airport has been awash in rumors and intrigue in recent weeks. After uncharacteristic criticism from board members, executive director Louis Miller abruptly resigned Wednesday. The board will vote Thursday on his request to work through April 23.

Steve Huettel can be reached at huetttel@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3384.

Sunshine violations cause TIA headaches 02/26/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 26, 2010 11:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In dollars: How valuable are Florida's university football programs?

    Business

    The University of Florida football program is valued in a new study at $682 million, making it the most valuable university team in the state but still worth far less than several college programs topping $1 billion. Four years ago, UF's program was valued at just under $600 million.

    The University of Florida football program is valued at  $682 million, making it the most valuable by far in the Sunshine State. Pictured are UF cheerleaders leading the crowd in a Gator cheer on Clearwater Beach last December during the Outback Bowl Beach Day on Clearwater Beach. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. Florida bought more Pasta Passes from Olive Garden than almost any other state

    Food & Dining

    Floridians would like their bowls of pasta to never, ever end.

    Florida was the No. 2 state with the largest number of Olive Garden Pasta Pass purchases, an unlimited pasta pass for $100. Photo courtesy Olive Garden.
  4. Trigaux: Tampa Bay household income tops $50,000 but still makes us look poor

    Personal Finance

    The good news is Tampa Bay's median household income finally crawled above $50,000 last year. The bad news is that figure — officially $51,115 by new U.S. Census Bureau data — still puts the Tampa Bay region as the poorest of the nation's 25 largest metro areas.

    Tampa Bay still has the lowest median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
[Times]
  5. Florida hides details in nursing home reports. Federal agencies don't.

    Medicine

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott widened his offensive Thursday against the Broward nursing home he blames for the deaths of 10 residents by setting up a tip line for information, but when it comes to access to the inspection reports of all nursing homes, the governor's administration has heavily censored what the …

    In the foreground is a document detailing the findings of a Feb. 2016 inspection at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills obtained from a federal agency, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Behind it is the state?€™s version of the same document, from the Agency for Health Care Administration, showing how it has been redacted before being released to the public. [Miami Herald]