Saturday, August 28, 2010

FROED's Fate

The Fall River Redevelopment Authority contract with their staffing agency, the Fall River Office of Economic Development, aka "FROED," aka "Jobs for Fall River," aka Ken Fiola, expired in May. At that time the RA opted to extend FROED's service by 90 days. That 90 days expired last week. This prompted me to search for whether the city/RA made a public request for proposals to fill the staffing position upon the termination of FROED's contract.

Consider this quote from RDA attorney, Peter Bogle, regarding FROED's past bids for the RA staffing contract "FROED was the only qualified respondent on proposals to staff the RA for past contracts. Its staff management includes accounting, clerical support, marketing and negotiating on behalf of the Redevelopment Authority." So where does the RA/city advertise this opening? I did not see an advertisement on the city website, the Central register, the Herald A friend of mine was able to find an ad in a publication I had never heard of and that now escapes me.

If the RA truly wanted to replace FROED, they would have advertised the opening with more than a trivial amount of effort. Somehow, despite the clear lack of publicity for the opening, a competing bid was submitted against FROED. I have little detail on the submission but I do know the RA is voting on it Wednesday at 9:15am.

FROED is just plain terrible and I don't think any competing organization could do a worse job. However, realistically, is the RA ever going to replace FROED? The Mayor sits on FROED along with some highfalutin Fall River residents and business people who, while some may not live in Fall River, probably enjoy the perks of a FROED board of directors position (*read: loans): This is not easily let go.

Anyhooo, I urge anyone who can make it to the RA meeting on Wednesday at 9:15am (presumably at government center) to attend. Express your concern the FROED has 32 (founded in 1978) years to improve Fall River and has not. We can't afford to continue paying Ken Fiola $170,000 a year to loan our tax money to his board members, let buildings sit and rot, and give TIF agreements to chain doughnut stores and gas stations.


Anonymous said...

How about the loan Ken Fiola and the FROED gave to Mike Herren to fund HurricaneRadio?

You didn't think Mike had the money to buy all those computers and rent an office space did you?

After all, he lives at home after losing his appt over Highland Pizza?

Notice how his Aug 23 trial date vanished?

Someone should ask Fiola about that

Lefty said...

How will the RA vote? Well that depends on what the Mayor wants, after all the appointed members are supposed to be on the same page as Flanagan right?

Shamrock, a mutual friend has suggested that a big reason against replacing the Fiola Office of Economic Development is "institutional memory". I would say considering its dismal record, its memory should be something we'd like to forget.

Anonymous said...

They say you get what you pay for but in this case... $175k for Ken Fiola? Are you telling me that we can't get someone more qualified for that kind of money? I think for $100k we could probably get someone more qualified and save 75k to boot!

Anonymous said...

Lefty, I think the institutional memory should be culled right out of the herd.