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Mar 04

RFP For Attorney Services

Comments (4) 5:30 PM posted by admin |

I’m always more than willing to do my part to help out with things here in Ypsilanti, so I wanted to take the time and share with you the City’s most recent Request for Proposals regarding attorney services.

There have been allegations over the way the recent RFP for Water Street Real Eastate Services was handled. Local real estate broker, Gary Lillie of Sperry Van Ness, was recently critical of the way the RFP process was conducted. His main concern was that the proposal was that no commercial broker knew about the RFP — not even the Ann Arbor Board of Realtors or the Michigan Commercial Board of Realtors.

Mr. Lillie also expressed concern that because the City only publishes RFP’s on the City website and in the Ann Arbor News, the pool from which they would be soliciting offers would be greatly diminished. He said that it was not practical for his firm (as well as others) to monitor municipal websites and newspapers throughout the area for notices such as the Water Street RFP.

Finally, Mr. Lillie stated that he believes there were national development companies in California looking to acquire brownfield property throughout the country.

With the hopes of that not happening again or the attorney bid having to be re-opened, please pass this along to your blood-sucking, lawyer-type friends. I already have.

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  1. Comment by rodneyn
    March 5, 2008 @ 12:18 pm

    Unfortunately, the City chose to lump all of the legal services into one RFP. That significantly limits the scope of potential proposals to the larger firms.

    There are a number of sole practitioner attorneys and small firms that could be excellent candidates for either prosecuting attorney or the municipal legal services, but do not have the capacity to provide both.

    There may be cost savings and better service potential from these individuals and small firms, and the City Council ought to have the opportunity to consider them.

    Without separating this legal services request into two RFPs, in all likelihood we will only hear from the same three or four larger firms.

  2. Comment by Paul Schreiber
    March 6, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

    The city’s RFP for legal services has the following line: Firms are not required to submit proposals for all legal areas, selections of interests will be accepted. The city will consider separate offers of municipal or litigation services. Paul Schreiber

  3. Comment by rodneyn
    March 7, 2008 @ 10:42 am

    Mr. Mayor,

    Yes, the RFP does include a clause down in the text that firms can submit proposals for only part of the work. However, the single RFP format completely discourages this option. In preparing RFPs, you really have to ask for what you want. If you want real choice in legal service providers, split the prosecuting attorney and the other municipal legal services into two separate RFPs. Otherwise, the current RFP format will attract the same cast of legal characters and offer no real opportunity to lower costs and improve the quality and character of legal advice to the City.

    It’s not too late to make the change.

    I hope that the City is more creative when it goes out for bid for Planning Consultant and engineering services at some point.

  4. Comment by elviscostello
    March 9, 2008 @ 12:13 pm

    Jeez, It shore would be nice if Ypsilanti Township bid out legal services instead of renewing with McLain and Winters every year at huge costs. Maybe the City and Twp. could share services and we could…oh forget it…why would two communities who wrap around each other look at consolidation of services or a merger?

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