Bids for a towing franchise agreement with the city will be looked into once again after last year’s process was delayed due to problems with how the selection process was evaluated by the Fullerton Police Department.
The City Council unanimously directed staff on March 5th to find ways of re-opening the request for proposals (RFP) process. Staff had been unable to find an independent consultant to review the RFPs since April, when the City Council last discussed the RFP process after a controversial selection process headed by the police.
“The RFP process last time spawned a lawsuit from one of the parties who was interested in responding to the RFP and the final selection process left a majority of the Council concerned that the process had been flawed,” Mayor Bruce Whitaker explained. Whitaker remains as the sole council member still in office when the RFPs were deliberated.
Fullerton has been trying to open the towing franchise to bids for nearly four years now. It costs the city government nearly $900,000 to operate the towing program with Anaheim Fullerton Towing, but the City faces a $260,000 gap between providing towing services and towing fee revenues. When the results for the RFP were announced back in February 2012, companies that were selected criticized the selection process.
One of the bidders, Charlie Al-Badawi of Bob’s Towing, alleged during the RFP process last year that the Fullerton Police had been intimidating and harassing him from doing his business within city limits, which officials have denied. Al-Badawi went to the Council again on March 5th, alleging that the police have ticketed his company vehicles more than 40 times.