OnThursday, May 10, 2018, City Manager Edward Lavallee wrote:
I advised the City Clerk that this issue relates to a renegotiation of an existing City contract. It is a staff-level issue. Placing it on the Council agenda for Council to discuss interferes with the negotiation process. The execution of contracts is the purview of the Mayor and the Council. The development and negotiation of contacts is the responsibility of the staff. As you have already spoken to Council members on the issue, I have advised them that they may be asked at a later date to vote on the execution of an amendment, extension, or other change to your current contract. As the policy body voting on the issue they are restrained from also engaging in the negotiation process.
As a member of the public, you are always welcome to speak to the Council under the Audience Participation section of the Council agenda. To participate in that regard just show up at the meeting and sign a speaker’s card located at the City Clerk’s desk. You are allowed up to five minutes to state your issue. The Council is allowed to ask clarifying question of your presentation, but cannot enter into a dialogue with you.
By copy of this e-mail I am notifying members of the Council that you may appear at a Council meeting to make a statement concerning your lease. I am also advising them that you have been in discussion with the Airport Director on this matter and that I have also attended at least one meeting on the subject. In speaking the Airport Director yesterday, he advised me that to date you have provided two written proposals for a lease adjustment. Those two proposals were briefly referenced when we met in Mark’s office several weeks ago. We are hopeful of continuing the dialogue with you on the possibility of a lease amendment. Thank you”
OnSaturday, May 11, 2018, while still out of town and away from my office, I responded by email to the City Manager.
To be placed on the Council’s agenda, followed by being rescheduled to appear two weeks later, then to be uninvited is unacceptable and unprofessional. Furthermore, to characterize this matter as an ongoing negotiation and dialogue, is untruthful. Negotiations and dialogue require two engaging parties. I have presented two legitimate proposals to the Airport manager and both have been rejected. The Airport manager has not formally countered either proposal and in the meeting referenced by Mr. Lavallee between myself, the Airport Director and the City Manager, the Airport Director stated, “he would not be making any counter offers.”
Agape Flights Inc. is a 501 c3 Religious Not-for-Profit that is supported prayerfully, financially, and through tremendous volunteerism, by many citizens of Venice. We are thankful for all of our partners throughout all fifty states and many foreign countries. We are honored that this year, Agape Flights Inc., has been selected as a finalist in the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce’s Not-For-Profit Business of the Year.
For the City Council represented by the City Manager to invite Agape Flights to make a presentation, to reschedule, followed by a ten-day period, then to be suddenly uninvited, making the determination that this was a Staff-level issue and not a City Council issue is unacceptable to Agape Flights.
Mr. Lavallee’s determination to treat Agape Flights as an unconnected third party or a general public complaint is insulting and discriminatory. I certainly hope his sentiment does not represent the Council’s intentions or desires. Agape is a faithful and committed partner with the City of Venice.
Patiently, I have waited to hear from the Airport Director, and would have welcomed and considered a written formal counter offer regarding this matter. But as the Airport Director stated, “he would not be making any counter offers.”
So, I ask each of you, does this sound like dialogue and negotiations between two participating parties?
After consideration and wise counsel, the determination has been made to take this situation to the elected representatives and seek their assistance in this matter. Please allow Agape Flights this opportunity. Please reinstate Agape’s presentation to the City Council’s agenda on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
Thank you and I will await your response regarding this most important issue,
Allen T. Speer-CEO
100 Airport Ave. Venice, Florida 34285
Phone: 941.488.0990 Fax: 941.485.3020 Mobile: 618.521.7245