10/8/13 – Muoio Announces Transparency Plan for CRA Search
October 8, 2013
(West Palm Beach, FL) – West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio announced today she has ordered the entire evaluation process involving the outsourcing of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to be televised for the public to see. She also announced that the city has invited independent news media into the room to watch the process.
The Mayor also revealed today the organizations on the evaluation committee to rank the companies seeking to run the CRA.
“This process will be open, transparent and above reproach,” said Mayor Muoio. “From day one, I have pushed for open government and allowing the public to see more of the process. My Open Access campaign which began over a year ago is continuing, and letting the public see the CRA selection process is all part of that commitment.”
Five of the six people on the panel will not be city staff and were picked by their own organizations. The city did not pick any of the groups’ representatives. Each organization was told they had the responsibility to select who would represent them. Each group on the panel was picked based on their knowledge and experience surrounding CRA-related issues.
The evaluation committee will be made up of five voting members, and one non-voting advisory member. They will be tasked with evaluating each of the six companies that submitted applications on Friday.
The five voting members are from the following organizations:
The Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit research and education organization representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines working in private enterprise and public service.
The Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, a private, not-for-profit association of businesses that have come together to advance the economic, industrial and civic interests of the Palm Beaches.
The Northwood Village Merchant’s Association, an organization representing the city’s Northwood businesses which are contained inside the CRA.
The Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board, a volunteer board of residents that has served as advisors to the city’s CRA for many years.
The Treasurer of the West Palm Beach CRA, Jeff Green who also serves as the Finance Director for the City.
In addition to these five voting members, the city has also asked a representative from the Florida Redevelopment Association to sit in and provide advice and guidance on issues related to redevelopment. The FRA representative will offer expertise, but will not have a vote.
“Having the input from the FRA is critical. They are the recognized statewide CRA experts, and their guidance will be important,” said city Communications Director Elliot Cohen. “But because at least one of the applicants has previously served on their Board of Directors, it is appropriate that they not be given a vote in the process.”
In addition, the city has invited representatives from the media to observe the discussions.
The entire process will also be recorded by the city’s television station, TV-18 to be played back for the public to see. Portions may not be carried live in order to avoid giving companies that have not yet presented an advantage by watching their competition, and hearing the questions asked by panelists in advance. But the entire process will be recorded and aired on TV-18.
The first meeting of the evaluation committee is scheduled for Friday afternoon.