To the editor:
Approximately three years ago, council voted to renew a contract with KC Riverstop, a privately owned company, to provide food service on publically owned (by the taxpayers) property in the Yacht Club complex. At that time, the new contract was an increase from the previous contract with KC, so that's good, right?
The City Charter sets out specific rules when the city wants to enter into a public/private partnership for the benefit of the taxpayers. For example, if the city wants to purchase fuel, it makes a "Request for Proposal" with what it expects from the private businesses, then sets a period of time in which those interested can submit their proposal and opens the process to everyone, equally. It is the intent of this process to prevent city administration, or five council members, from directing city business exclusively to their friends or cronies. Seem reasonable?
However, as the world of politics turns, it is shocking to tell you that sometimes the good intent of the rules for an R.F.P. do not coincide with the realities of politics.
Three years ago, Mr. Leetz, who could count to 5, decided he would quash the RFP process. With his four other signers and council members from the Road Ahead Group, (aka, R.A.G.) awarded a contract to their friends at KC Riverstop. Was this legal? Yes. Without an RFP, however, no one knew what anyone was willing to offer for the opportunity to provide this food service at the beach. The Road Ahead gang flexed their political muscle and prevailed.
Fast forward to last Monday's Council meeting (Feb. 11) when a request by K.C. Riverstop to renew their contract came before council. This time, Mr. Leetz could only count to 2. You see, the voters, in the last election, ran three of his crony R.A.G. friends off council. They were tired of the turmoil and dysfunctional behavior they saw at Council meetings.
Just because he could not ramrod a vote this time around, master politician Leetz was far from defeated! The K.C. food business has many friends who care about that business and they rose to speak for K.C., as they had a right to do during public input, even if they were not taxpayers. We heard tear-filled testimonials from people who left their snow-covered mountain retreats in other countries to move to Cape Coral just so they could get their daily fix of cholesterol and alcohol (burger and a beer) from K.C. Riverstop.
One council person told us that K.C. was "Kape Coral" and "Kape Coral" was K.C., and that this was "priceless" for Cape taxpayers. He chided council members who wanted R.F.P. info on a fair contract dollar amount to make their decision. Yes, he is up for election this year.
Finally, when the vote was called, it was 6-2, to order the city to issue an R.F.P and give anyone a chance to present their business plan for this publically owned property and how much they would pay for a lease agreement. K.C. Riverstop should be first in line to submit their plan since they have a good reputation. Good luck!
Mr. Leetz characterized the city as heartless (BTW, the press and the TV repeated this view) for taking away the livelihood of this poor, little "mom-pop" business. It is an election year for Mr. Leetz and his enthusiasm to filibuster votes, lecture his fellow council members and continually crown himself as the only true patriot in the Cape, is just starting.
Perhaps Leetz can convince his friend Sullivan to allow him to place a military brass band and throngs of flag waving school children behind him on the dais and they can play "God Bless America" and wave flags when Leetz starts his sermons.
Do you think the voters will see through this masquerade and invite Mr. Leetz to find other employment just as they did with his other Road Ahead cronies?
F. C. Perry