Thursday, 20 June 2013 00:00
A special session of the Glen Cove City Council was called on Tuesday, June 11 to discuss and vote on a new tenant for the Soundview Restaurant at the GC Golf Course.
For those not familiar, the prior tenant vacated November of 2012 leaving the city ample time to find a replacement for the start of the 2013 Golf Season. The RFP did not go out until the end of February with bids due back March 25. This was followed by an evaluation and presentation of proposer to the council for vote on April 9. The operator was required to open the snack bar by April 19 and the restaurant by May 1. Already this was behind schedule as golfing begins in April and a tenant would need six weeks for a liquor license.
To complicate matters the bathrooms needed to be ADA compliant prior to the opening. In the true spirit of business as usual the bathrooms were not completed till the end of May. During this entire time the mayor provided inaccurate information to the public and council regarding the progress being made at the restaurant.
On Tuesday, May 21 I received calls from residents who mentioned that the new tenant had pulled out of the restaurant deal. My initial reaction was total shock and anger. How could the council not be notified of such an event by the mayor? When I inquired about the matter I was told that the city had been notified on Saturday, May18 of the tenants’ decision not to open. The mayor’s office replied that they were going to take care of it themselves. Unfortunately, this is not the first time information was withheld from me.
On Friday, May 24 I presented experienced local restaurateurs to the mayor. They were led to believe that a deal would be made for the restaurant with time being of the essence. The mayor was not worried because he believes that all they need down there is a hotdog stand!
I believe the restaurant is one of Glen Cove diamonds in the rough and a real asset to our city.
On June 5 and June 6 I contacted the mayor to remind him of the urgency of the situation but my messages went unanswered.
Now, three weeks after my original May 21 discussion, I am called to attend an emergency session of the council to discuss a new restaurant operator. I was handed a draft agreement with a five-year lease and terms that had never been discussed prior to our meeting. I now had to vote on the mayor’s handpicked choice for the restaurant. The entire process was shrouded in darkness (with the exception of his team members that knew). I voted NO.
I have no problem with the vendor that was chosen. I wish her nothing but success. She is an asset to our community and I welcome her to the job. Unfortunately, the entire process was flawed. The lack of transparency and willingness to share information has disappeared from this administration.
What’s the purpose of being a member of city the city council if you are not allowed to participate in the process?