Elk Grove Bucks Trend, Renews Contract With Scandal-Plagued Vendor

March 26, 2014 | By a 4-1 vote, the Elk Grove City Council decided tonight to renew its red light camera program with Australian-based ...

March 26, 2014 |

By a 4-1 vote, the Elk Grove City Council decided tonight to renew its red light camera program with Australian-based RedFlex. The council decided to continue the program with the scandal-plagued company for a three-year period with the option of two one-year extensions, subject to Reflex's acceptance of the offer, who sought a five-year extension.

Redflex has been dogged by $2 million Chicago bribery scandal in Chicago and a dismissed company executive, who is reportedly working with federal and local investigators, that has asserted the company bribed public officials to gain contracts in municipalities in 13 states including California. Redflex has lost a number of contracts in California based on cost and effectiveness of the cameras as well as concerns revolving around the developing scandal.

During his presentation, Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner stressed the program has led to improved safety, particularly for pedestrians. Lehner did note that when the camera system was installed in 2007, the program was strictly for operational reasons and not designed for statistical analysis.

Following public comment where the contract was criticized for its costs and length, the council agreed to propose a three-year contract with two one-year contracts. Council Member Bob Trigg agreed, but during deliberations said that he was in favor of Reflex's proposed five-year contract while Council Member Steve Detrick voting against the renewal.

Currently Redflex operates five red light intersection cameras in the city. The proposed five-year contract called for costs not to exceed $1.7 million.


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Anonymous said...

Who is overseeing this contract renewal?

I would have offered a one year renewal with four one year options to extend.

Redflex is hurting big time after all those cancellations.

They would have taken any offer to renew.

The city just passed up on a great chance to renew at terms favorable to the residents.

Anybody read about Leland Yee?

That tool didn't know how to negotiate. If it is proven that he took bribes, he took them for pennies on the dollar.

Private industry really knows how to screw the cities.

Anonymous said...

Has this city never heard of the word "negotiate?" It would be very plain to me that when a company is having the problems they are and I want their product...it's time to put the squeeze on. But then again, it's not their wallets...NO PROBLEM!

Sturmbannführer Arnold Ernst Toht said...

Perhaps there is a more nefarious reason why the city did not negotiate.

Anonymous said...

What is the nefarious reason?

No one at City Hall knows how to negotiate?

This is a slam dunk from a negotiators standpoint.

I negotiated million dollar leases and would have been licking my chops to get a huge discount from RedFlex.

Sturmbannführer Arnold Ernst Toht said...

Does the word "commission" mean anything? The larger and longer a contract is, the higher the commission will be.

Anonymous said...

What makes you think the city didn't negotiate? The people on these boards sure do make a lot of assumptions about things they want to believe.

Sturmbannführer Arnold Ernst Toht said...

For one thing, the city council did not instruct the city manager or anyone on staff to negotiate better terms, just get a three year contract. One can hope the city manager will have some business savvy, but the city council gave her wide latitude. Until the council stands up and gives direct instructions, we will never know if she negotiated better terms.

Who's the Boss said...

I agree with the above comment. The council, for the most part, seems to be afraid to give City Manager Laura Gill clear instruction at council meetings so the public is aware. Until or unless we get to see tapings of the council’s briefing meetings with the city manager, we have no idea what instructions, or not, they give her on these contracts.

In come cases it wasn't until the public has spoken up have contracts suddenly been renegotiated; causing Gill to come back at the next council meeting with an “updated” report.

However, last night we saw a glimpse of the council asking from the dais that city staff get out there and let the public know what they are doing. Economic Development Director Randy Starbuck was heavily criticized during public comment which caused Council member Pat Hume to comment that Starbuck needs to do a little PR on himself.

And then low and behold, because of tha same public comment, the council then asked for an economic development update from Starbuck on exactly what he is doing and how.

So once again, if concerned citizens didn’t speak up, we all would be in the dark.

Anonymous said...

I think the city is getting hosed.

One year contract is long enough. The equipment and software are already in place.

Connie said...

This contract and public comment reminds of years ago when the city of Elk Grove contracted with Washington, DC lobbyist Kevin Ring.

When the scandal broke about Jack Abramoff, and it was widely known that Kevin Ring was closely tied to Abramoff and those emails requesting that perks be buried in client billings, we “crazies” and “MMQs” came forward, asking to see the contract. Not only did staff not listen, they issued press releases praising Ring and then renegotiated his contract.

But when Ring was brought up on charges as well, the council couldn’t denounce him fast enough and the contract was cancelled. And what did the council ask that we already asked? Yep, you guessed it: Were Ring’s contracts heavily scrutinized to see if anything was buried in them? We still don’t have the answers to those questions.

So with the Reflex corruption news and all those cities cancelling their contracts – why do they know that we don’t? After all, Reflex has to get those attorneys fees paid from contracts with cities that still do business with them.

That is until. . . is Elk Grove not paying attention here?

Danielson said...

What's wrong with a few perks?

Connie said...

Well Big John, I have no problem with perks unless we citizens are paying for them; which has happened more than once.

Hence, those resolutions putting a stop to those extra perks; such as the double dipping for mileage and meals we caught the council doing when they receive per diems for attendance at regional board meetings that pay for the same meals and mileage.

But hey, I guess it worked until they got caught.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that the city staff could ignore the problems that other cities have with Redflex and didn't use it to their advantage.

Anonymous said...

Did city staff
adequately review the contract and recommend negotiating points and strategy?

Who signed off on the analysis.

Anonymous said...

Gary Davis is getting a cut from the deal.

Davis Supporters said...

If the Mayor is getting a cut, do tell!

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