Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 25, 2016

Bid duh

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Last Wednesday the Alameda Democratic Club held an endorsement meeting for the City Council race.  Long story short only Malia Vella met the threshold to secure an endorsement from the club.

One very illuminating part was from newcomer Jennifer Roloff who explained why she decided to run for City Council.  Evidently it was because she either doesn’t understand how an RFP process works when the bid is not based on the lowest price or she wants contracts to be allocated on a “who do you know” basis.

Just watch the first part; the second part is Tony Daysog:

This was a port management contract (video here) that was recently awarded by the City.  Jennifer Roloff first talks about how her husband moved to Alameda to take a job with a company to manage some port contract but he subsequently left and his colleagues then started a new company, according to Jennifer Roloff:

Some of his associates started a new company that bid on the port management contract when it came up for renewal.  They know that contract very well and that team is very briefed in all it takes to manage that contract.  They picked the winner and the winner of that contract was $400,000 more over the two year life of the contract.  When it came to a city council meeting the City Council asked questions to the City as to why they picked the winner there were no good answers.

Of course the assessment of “no good answers” neglects to take into consideration the fact that there were numerous public speakers that spoke on behalf of the winning (local) bidder.  The fact that the City Attorney’s office (and they sent one of the city attorneys that I have always found to be super thorough and competent but I can’t ever remember his name) essentially said that the process was sound and that the lowest responsive bidder model did not apply in this case.  Additionally, the “no good answers” assessment neglects to take in consideration that Jennifer Roloff’s husband’s former colleagues company was ranked lowest of the three bidders:

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 2.54.18 PM

Guess who was the only vote against awarding the contract to the best qualified bidder?


  1. So she’s running because her husband didn’t get the port management contract – isn’t that like a conflict of interest?

    Comment by Karen Bey — August 25, 2016 @ 6:44 am

    • Not her husband, her husband’s former colleagues.

      Comment by Lauren Do — August 25, 2016 @ 6:45 am

  2. This was embarrassing at the time and it still is. I hear she’s a smart person. Hopefully she drops this bit from her pitch to voters. It’s not too persuasive.

    Comment by Gaylon — August 25, 2016 @ 7:05 am

    • She hasn’t. She indicated that it was this and only this issue that created the urge to get involved with city politics at a neighborhood meeting last night.

      Comment by Heather Mark Little — September 12, 2016 @ 1:39 pm

  3. I realize she believes that the lowest bidder should have received the contract, but their company ranked the lowest in experience – that’s why they didn’t get the contract.

    Comment by Karen Bey — August 25, 2016 @ 7:48 am

  4. So are we now coming out against getting involved City politics for the purpose of influencing the outcome of City contracts?

    Comment by MP — August 25, 2016 @ 7:59 am

    • I think we’re coming out against people getting involved in City politics who don’t understand how the RFP process works but yet claims there was something untoward about the selection process.

      Comment by Lauren Do — August 25, 2016 @ 8:52 am

    • But we’re still OK with groups financing candidates who then vote on their large contracts?

      Just checking, I try to current.

      Comment by dave — August 25, 2016 @ 8:57 am

      • Don’t like the system that currently exists then work toward a public financing one. All contributions whether it’s from an individual or an organization represents a special interest. Trish Spencer’s contributions represent those who want her to vote against development projects, should she be precluded because that was the intent of the contribution? Frank Matarrese’s contributions probably represent some people wishing he will vote against new public safety contracts, should he be precluded from voting because that was the intent of the contribution? And so on and so forth.

        The difference between Jennifer Roloff’s rationale for running for office and campaign contributions is that she shows an ignorance about how the process works but maintains that there was something fishy about the contract award that necessitated her involvement into Alameda politics.

        Comment by Lauren Do — August 25, 2016 @ 9:07 am

        • Dave, I think Lauren wins the critical thinking contest here. I share concern of unions owning politics, but dat’s da system. And on a national level at least labor has their finger in the dyke to hold back corporate special interests like Koch Industries from drowning democracy. We need legislative neutralization of Citizen’s United. (This spot reserved for Jack’s snarky lambast of Democrats and “liberals”).

          Comment by MI — August 25, 2016 @ 5:02 pm

        • “finger in the dyke…” to hold back corporate interests? Can’t decide if that’s aimed at Hillary or someone on this blog.

          Comment by jack — August 25, 2016 @ 6:05 pm

        • While I agree with you somewhat about Citizens United I see no difference between what the Kochs do nationally and what the IAFF does locally. Indeed, a solid case can be made that the IAFF has much greater impact its sphere than the Kochs have in theirs. They’ve certainly achieved more of their goals, with a far better ROI, than the Kochs have.

          Part of “critical thinking” is to think critically about both one’s own side as well as the other. If you give that a shot you’ll conclude that both the Kochs and IAFF are monied special interests having outsize influence on politicians in order to feather their own nests.

          Comment by dave — August 25, 2016 @ 6:14 pm

      • That is da system, true. And we’re not getting public c financing anytime soon. All the more reason to keep an eye on the best financed, best organized and most motivated interests in Alameda, in this election. And I don’t think there are any of those things arrayed AGAINST public safety, the wish of some that Mr Mataresse vote against there being contracts with public safety notwithstanding. I think the most that group can hope for is that he vote for the right contract. So the question is why do the unions see the need to spend so much in Alameda’s local election? I don’t think the Brothers Koch are a concern here.

        Comment by MP — August 25, 2016 @ 6:50 pm

        • Sit and talk with Jennifer in person and you’ll come to understand why her signs are everywhere. She has passion, smarts and great vision for Alameda. I know her personally and she’s incredibly bright, an excellent collaborator and seeks to gain clarity without smearing anyone in the process. I know she’ll be a refreshing force for good for Alameda. I’ve heard her speak about the RFP multiple times and her complaint is about transparency. That’s not an unjustified concern at a cost of 400K for Alameda, it’s certainly does not make her unqualified to run for a position in city politics. Her business acumen is on point and I trust in her ability to come up to speed quickly on any bureaucratic processes that are thrown her way. I like that she’s new to politics.

          Comment by AW — August 26, 2016 @ 12:08 am

  5. Having participated in bid evaluation for some thirty years, I can say with confidence that if it looks like the bidder does not have the experience or wherewithal to execute the bid requirements, the company would not be granted the bid no matter how low the bid was. Inexperienced bidders often low ball and find they can’t do the work, which means rebidding, starting the process all over and undergoing delays and additional costs. Looks like the bids were scored and the winner was chosen on merit.

    Comment by Kate Quick — August 25, 2016 @ 7:59 am

  6. Progress and Preservation isn’t too convincing a tagline either.

    Comment by Angela — August 25, 2016 @ 9:06 am

    • I was just coming here to say the same thing. I’ve seen her lawn signs around town and “Progress and Preservation” sounds like a classic case of trying to be all things to all people. I was automatically suspicious.

      Comment by trow125 — August 25, 2016 @ 10:09 am

  7. Whoever got the bid for producing and distributing her election posters must have had a pretty good response to her Poster Producing RFP since they’re all over my neighborhood. I read some of her spiel and couldn’t stop yawning.

    Comment by jack — August 25, 2016 @ 9:38 am

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