The city’s hard line decision to evict Bill’s Aboudi’s Oakland Maritime Support Services (OMSS) to start it’s Army Base development project – evicting small businesses and putting big rig trucks out into the community – is being questioned this week after it has been learned that the city is preparing to give at least some of Aboudi’s former property to Douglas Parking in an apparent no bid agreement to conduct the same business that had been performed by OMSS.
s=”mce-wp-more” title=”More…”>The city and its agents are temporarily giving 3.4 acres of OMSS’s former 15 acres site to DouglasParking to provide about 70 spaces of truck parking,according to Phil Tagami, head of CCIG and master developer of the Army Base project, writing Tuesday in a Facebook exchange with Aboudi and others.
“The City of Oakland directed us to provide 70 additional truck parking (spaces) for the next 120 days and has selected a local operator Douglas parking to provide that service,” said Tagami.
“There will be some temporary truck parking on a portion of the site that was occupied by OMSS. The cost of fencing and k-rail is nominal, which is being advanced by the project and which will be recovered by parking fees paid by users over the short term duration,” he said.
“The city controlled truck … lot will be at fees set by the City of Oakland,” Tagami said.
Questioned by the Post, Mayor Jean Quan was asked to explain the decision, which gives the appearance of favoritism, as the city removed one company from its Army Base land, only to turn around and give the business to another company, which was selected without a public process.
Neither Mayor Quan nor Tagami responded to the Post’s questions.
The underlying problem is that the city’s agreement establishing Tagami as master developer gives the “project preapproval to do whatever they want,” said Aboudi.
“They do not have to go through a public process because the city gave the project a lot of leeway. The project can make decisions on anything they want,” Aboudi said.
According to Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, the City Council was not informed about the Douglas Parking decision.
“I just learned about these new movements,” she said. “And the council has not been informed by the process by which Douglas Parking was selected. There are several local parking companies, at least one minority owned, that should have been given the opportunity to bid if the city had made the decision to contract these services.
“I will reach out to the administration to get a better understanding,” McElhaney said.
Oakland business consultant Dexter Vizinau, who represents OMSS and other businesses based at the port,says Aboudi’s business is exactly the kind of company the city needs to support.
“This is a small business in Oakland – it’s a minority business.” He said. “This a perfect opportunity for the city to have local small businesses.”
However, Aboudi has run afoul of serious opponents. “Bill (Aboudi) has powerful enemies, and it appears that there is an ongoing campaign to disrupt and destroy any and all businesses that he is connected with,” said McElhaney.
According to one local observer of the Army Base project,“This is a local small business that is battling the Teamsters union on one side and the master developer on the other.”