Contract deal won’t reopen
The controversial deal to give Tuggs owner George Foulidis a 20-year lease extension on his boardwalk café is a done deal.
On June 9, council voted against re-opening the decision to award a sole source contract to Tuggs. In mid-May, council voted to extend the contract to Foulidis, but some unanswered questions regarding the yet-to-be-signed agreement caused some politicians to second guess their support.
Councillors Frances Nunziata and Mike Del Grande had a motion to re-open the issue.
“Since the May meeting of city council, the decision regarding entering into a 20-year lease agreement with Tuggs Incorporated has received a lot of media attention,” the motion stated.
The news reports centered on Tuggs, their operation and the apparent monopoly of food and beverage sales for the Eastern Beaches.
It was in 2006 that the issue to renew Foulidis’s lease got traction and city staff have been negotiating the May approval for renewal.
All parties have until June 30 to sign the new agreement.
“There has also been critique regarding the fact that when this item was dealt with at the May 2010 meeting of city council, there were 16 councillors absent as well as the mayor,” the motion stated.
A confidential legal report to city council likely advised against re-opening the issue for fear of lawsuits.
A two-thirds vote in favour was required to re-open the issue at council on June 9. The vote was 22 in favour and 19 against.
A second motion by Nunizata and Del Grande requested the city’s auditor general Jeff Griffiths investigate the process that awarded the renewed contract to Tuggs.
That also failed to get the two thirds of votes required.
Griffiths can still initiate his own investigation.
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