Future of Summer Concert Series and KLL Park to be decided in November

Mickey Walker speaks on behalf of For the Love of the Game during a Sept. 20 Keizer City Council meeting. (KEIZERTIMES/Joey Cappelletti)

It’s almost November in Keizer. Which means it’s time for pumpkins, apple cider, and . . . RFPs. 

The city of Keizer uses RFPs, short for Request for Proposals, to solicit bids from groups that are interested in providing a particular good or service for the city. Once proposals are submitted, a committee of city councilors and staff members grades them and makes a suggestion to the city council. 

The Keizer City Council will be deciding on two disputed RFPs in the month of November. They will have the option to either sign the contract proposed, restart the RFP process or push the decision back.

The first RFP, which will be discussed at the Nov. 1 City Council meeting, is to decide the next operator of the Keizer Little League Park. The second RFP, to be discussed at the Nov. 15 meeting, will decide the management of the city sponsored summer concert series at Keizer Rotary Amphitheater. 

Keizer Little League Park

In February of this year, the city of Keizer began soliciting proposals for a 10-year contract to manage and maintain Keizer Little League Park. The city received two proposals in response. One came from West Coast Premier Tournaments and the other from For the Love of the Game, a local non-profit created by Maverick League owners Jerry and Lisa Walker.

The Walker’s initial proposal suggested moving the little league fields from their current location to the Volcanoes Stadium to create a sports complex that “would easily hold 10-12 fields.” This proposal was never considered by the city, according to City Attorney Shannon Johnson, as the RFP was to operate the fields at their current location. The Walker’s were allowed to submit a follow up proposal for the fields at their current location.

In April, a committee of six city councilors and city staff graded the two proposals on a scale of one to five points on 12 different criteria. For the Love of the Game was given a combined 243 points out of 360 and the West Coast Premier Tournaments’ were given 194 points. While the committee suggested For the Love of the Game, their scores suggested that both proposals fell short.

“At this point it feels like we are choosing the best of the worst,” said Shane Diarmit, president of the Keizer Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth leagues, at a Sept. 20 council meeting. “I don’t know about you, but that’s not what I want for my kids, my organization or for my city. I don’t want the best of the worst.” 

Since the Sept. 20 meeting, during which councilors shot down the Walker’s contract provision to sell alcohol at the park during adult events, the city and Walker’s have worked to finalize a contract. At the Nov. 1 meeting, councilors will choose to either sign that contract or possibly start the process over again and seek new bids.

“I’ve given up trying to predict what is going to happen,” said interim City Manager Wes Hare. “They may want additional information, they might want to go back out to bid, or they may want to ratify the contract.”

Summer Concert Series

During the Nov. 15 meeting, the Keizer City Council will decide if they want the Keizer Chamber of Commerce to replace Clint Holland as the manager of the Summer Concert Series at the Keizer Rotary Amphitheater. Holland has managed the series for the past nine years.

Holland’s contract with the city expired this year, and in August, the city began seeking new bids for the management of the series. The chamber and Holland both submitted proposals and the chamber’s proposal received 150.5 points out of 225, and Holland 129 out of 225. 

Holland’s objection, which he’s expressed at city meetings, is that the city sent the RFP to the wrong email and home address. Holland has also said that he’s been in regular contact with the city for nine years, so he isn’t sure how they used his incorrect email and home address. 

By the time he got it, Holland claims that he had to submit a rushed proposal.  

Members of the committee that scored the RFPs wrote that Holland’s “handwritten” proposal was “not totally clear” and “poorly filled out.”

“As a reviewer, I am tasked with using the information within the application and the application does not provide enough details for me to evaluate this properly,” wrote Matt Lawyer, who is on the city’s park advisory board. 

During an Oct. 18 council meeting, City Attorney Shannon Johnson said the Chamber received the RFP on Oct. 15 and Holland received it by email on Oct. 19. He added that Holland did not seek an extension nor did he submit a protest once the intent to award to the Chamber was submitted.

But just like the KLL Park, the council will have complete authority to either restart the process that some have called flawed, or to sign the contract over to the Chamber on Nov. 15.  

“The council will say, ‘We’ve listened to the chamber or Clint and we think the process was flawed or we will go forward with it.’” said Hare. “The decision at the end of the day belongs to the council. “

News tip? Contact reporter Joey Cappelletti at [email protected] or 616-610-3093.