Outgoing Nashville Mayor David Briley’s scheme to privatize parking is dead, following a court ruling.
Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle last week ruled against Briley’s parking boondoggle in a ruling in the Chancery Court for the 12th Judicial District in Davidson County.
One company, NTN LLC, had submitted an application to Metro Nashville’s request for quotation to take over the city’s meter management. Whether by human or computer error, a required pricing worksheet did not upload online, and the city rejected NTN even after the firm resubmitted the form in a day and a half, the court ruling says.
Even after NTN appealed, the city denied them and awarded the contract to the only other applicant, and told NTN, basically, that the rules are the rules when it comes to submissions.
The court had something to say about that.
This assertion, however, glosses over explicit regulations to the Metro Code for not disqualifying a proposal due to a mistake and allowing corrections of mistakes after proposals have been submitted and before selection of a contractor has been awarded.
After studying the law and the record, and considering the arguments of Counsel the Court concludes the Petitioner is correct. The evidence is clear: a mistake occurred, Metro should have processed the events in this case through the applicable Metro law.
Lyle said Metro must cancel the request for quotation and since confidential quotations were disclosed in court, the city must issue a new request. The city was slapped with court costs as well.
Briley in June announced plans to shelve the parking scheme because he realized city residents had little love for it, The Tennessee Star reported.
“It is clear to me that residents still have questions about the merits of this proposal. Residents need more time – and it is unfair to the public and to Council to rush this process,” Briley wrote.
Incoming Mayor John Cooper’s office told WSMV, “This parking privatization was a bad deal for the taxpayers. A judge has now struck it down. It’s time to move forward and develop a better plan to manage our sidewalks, curbsides, and parking spaces.”
Briley had planed to use privatization to balance this year’s budget when the contract winner paid $34 million upfront for a 30-year deal.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.