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Richmond To Check Into Choice Of Design Consultant
May 21, 1996


Tuesday, May 21, 1996
Section: news
Page: A03

RICHMOND Before the federal government looks more deeply into the question of whether there was anything improper in how the City Council chose a design consultant for Point Molate, it wants Richmond to take care of the problem itself, if possible.

The council will hold a special meeting at 7 tonight to discuss the matter.

"Before we get involved in the details of the dispute, we first must determine if all local administrative remedies have been exhausted," wrote Helene O'Connor of the federal Office of Economic Adjustment in a May 13 letter to Richmond City Attorney Malcolm Hunter.

Last month, Councilman Tom Butt accused five council members of bowing to the wishes of powerful local lobbyist Darrell Reese in selecting Dan Peterson & Associates for the design work. City staff ranked Peterson sixth out of seven applicants.

The federal government got involved when Butt passed along his concerns to the Office of Economic Adjustment, part of the Defense Department.

Point Molate is a former naval fuels depot that has been decommissioned. Richmond is now in charge of coordinating a plan for its reuse, with the help of a federal grant.

City staff have called tonight's meeting to hold a protest hearing, allowing both sides in the dispute to make a public statement regarding the selection process.

The meeting will be in the council chamber of City Hall, 2600 Barrett Ave.