More fun with contracts!
Seriously, I never knew how interesting reviewing a list of contracts would be. So here’s a little one — little as in a fairly small contract — but one that I found fairly amusing.
So I asked the City Clerk’s office for a listing of all contracts below the $75,000 threshold. It’s all fairly standard stuff, but there were a few that jumped out at me, this was one. It’s for a “Farmer D Organics” as part of the “urban forest & garden issues.”
According to the contract, we only have $5000 to spend for this consultant from Atlanta to come out and — from what I assume given the type of work Farmer D does — to show us how and where Alameda can plant its very own urban farm. Look, it’s not that I am against doing this sort of work, there is a fair amount of open space in Alameda and with the Beltline turning over to Alameda’s hands for minimal cost, that would be a perfect place for an urban farm or garden of sorts.
But, Atlanta? Really? I’m sure Farmer D is excellent at the work he does, but isn’t the Bay Area sort of the epicenter of the sustainable food movement. And urban farming has become sort of a phenomenon in the Bay Area, there was even a panel discussion about the issue at the Commonwealth Club a few months ago. City staff could’t find someone, anyone, local to advise on how and where best to have these urban farms in Alameda? Instead of spending then entire lump sum of $5000 on actual work being done, I’m sure a fair amount goes toward travel expenses. Essentially we pay Farmer D himself $150 an hour to sit on a plane to fly out here. I don’t know how long it takes to fly from Atlanta to Oakland. Let’s just say it’s four hours. That’s $600 Alameda bucks to sit around eating peanuts. In addition to whatever Alameda bucks were shelled out to pay for the ticket itself. Must be nice.
Now, again, I am sure that Farmer D is a very nice guy and does good work, but I wonder if our own local organic farm run by the Alameda Point Collaborative couldn’t have done exactly the same thing that Farmer D has been hired out to do. APC has successfully built out an urban farm on Alameda Point growing food for their residents. I bet they would have had some good ideas for city-wide urban farms. Not to mention some of the urban farms already in existence in San Francisco and Oakland. But, I guess it is what it is.
But what makes the hiring of Farmer D so much more delicious is that it turns out that whenever he is in town we have our very own bone fide reality TV star! That’s right, he was a finalist in the reality TV show: What Chilli Wants. For those unfamiliar with the show, it is a Bachelor-type show, but with former girl group member Chilli from TLC. TLC, for those that may not remember sang such hit songs as No Scrubs, Waterfalls, and Creep (not the Radiohead version).
He did not win, or rather, he was not chosen as the ultimate winner by Chilli, this blogger figured that it was because he was so wishy-washy on the subject of religion. I don’t really know because I didn’t watch the show. For those that are interested, here is video of Chilli and Farmer D’s first date on the farm.
Anyway, if the City is hiring based on celeb-reality fameness, I would suggest that one real estate flipper dude from that Bravo TV show. Maybe he can viciously redecorate Alameda Point and “flip” it for some serious cash for Alameda.