SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — With record temperatures approaching summer, it’s almost time for families to head to the pools. But the big question on many’s minds is who will take over the Shreveport pools in the summer?
The conflict between ROCK SOLID and the City of Shreveport continues, after one meeting sparked an alleged backdoor deal. There are new developments in the saga that only seem to be raging, and now with allegations of revenge.
During the week of May 9, Shelley McMillian, owner of ROCK SOLID, said her offer of a contract had been turned down. This comes after McMillian said schedules have already been finalized and staff hired for the upcoming season. Now, members of the community are asking questions about how the city made that choice and what the other company has to offer.
Macmillian says her program has helped thousands of children in the community, and is now being ripped from under her power just weeks before the pools open. After hiring lifeguards, staff and planning programs for the current season, McMillian said in a social media post that she believes the mayor’s move stems from a lunch she had with another Shreveport mayoral candidate.
Macmillian took to Facebook on Thursday, May 12 and said the following:
“On May 3rd, I went to lunch with a large group of community leaders to plan a summer event for the youth of our community! An event second to none! Apparently someone saw me there with Mario Chávez throwing his hat in the mayor’s arena! Not a minute of our meeting was about Who was the mayor and who was trying to become mayor! However, a city council member confirmed to local media that someone saw me there with this group and reported it to the mayor!”
“The next day the reviews were at the city pools! Very simple reviews, however we were touched by not knowing how to run the programs we created! The post goes on to say.
According to the City of Shreveport, a letter of intent has been submitted to the USA Department, which is based in Atlanta. City officials say the contract has been put up for tender and several companies have placed orders. Officials say eligible applications have been reviewed and registered by a panel. The KSLA has obtained copies of these result sheets. On them, out of 100 points, ROCK SOLID has scores of 90, 58, and even as low as 31 by raters. These lowest points were given in the areas of “understanding of problems,” “project needs,” and “inability to hire capable staff,” among other reasons, while the USA administration scored a score of 95, 93, and 75 out of a 100.
At this time, it is still unclear which committee members were involved in the recording. The KSLA has reached out to the City of Shreveport and Mayor Adrian Perkins to comment on McMillian’s allegations that ROCK SOLID’s low scores were retaliation over her lunch with Chavez. In response, the city released a statement that said:
“The City of Shreveport operates to comply with state laws, ordinances, and city policies and procedures. Previously, managing a SPAR pool was considered a professional service, but it was determined that it did not fall into this category. A request for proposal (RFP) had to be requested to service this city as the contract was greater than 29,999 US$, based on City’s procurement policy. We will continue to review all contracts to ensure that we comply with state and local laws. This was a fair and consistent process based on state guidelines. It was managed in the same way as the dozens of requests for proposals made annually by the Procurement Department for all City departments” .
The city’s decision on the contract does not appeal to some city council members. Earlier this week, Shreveport City Councilman John Nicholson took to Facebook saying:
The city’s recent decision to award a contract to manage its pools to Atlanta-based USA Management has sparked significant public controversy this week. I did not participate in the decision as a member of the Board… Board member Grayson Scott Boucher and I requested the full Procurement Department dossier on this contract. After we have received and reviewed this information, we will be in a position to identify and address deficiencies in the selection process.”
According to the city, the new pool contractor will provide and compensate all lifeguards, pool managers and maintenance personnel needed to operate the pools at David Raines, Querbes, Bill Cockrell, the airport and Southern Hills community centers. City officials also confirmed that the pools will open in June. KSLA also submitted a Public Records Request for Bids from both ROCK SOLID and the USA Department to compare numbers.
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