Hook proposal: Smoke and mirrors

Two months have passed and still the wait for Sandy Hook Partners’ (SHP) proof of having secured funding has yet to be received.

How long will our government allow this abomination of a proposed lease of the public’s property to continue?

Local newspapers carried the news that, finally, Sandy Hook Partners (SHP) had located a source of funding for its Fort Hancock/Sandy Hook proposal. The fact that proof of financial capacity, i.e. funding, was required of all offerors no later than Nov. 8, 1999, was once again pushed into the shadows.

It was reported that SHP had found its “White Knight,” Palisades Financial, finally. The fact that other offerors had been eliminated/thrown out due to a lack of funding and that SHP had been given improper and undeserved favored treatment in the form of seven time extensions to secure funding that had nearly spanned seven years somehow did not really seem to matter.

The same articles reported that the NPS applauded and welcomed Palisades Financial’s participation. It must be noted that the NPS did so even though they had no financial data to analyze from Palisades Financial.

However, truth be known, the Palisades Financial announcement was a non-event. What it said was, in effect, if, at some later time, when all pending legal difficulties have been resolved or eliminated, we will then consider whether to provide financing to SHP.

No letter of credit was issued. No guarantees were given. I repeat: Nothing has changed! Palisades Financial is not legally bound to do anything at this juncture. Sandy Hook Partners still lacks the financial capacity to perform and should never have gotten to this point.

The NPS has, and continues to, perpetrate a shameful deliberate transgression upon the public. The troubling question is: Why is the NPS still pushing this plan and who will profit by it? It is surely not the U.S. taxpayer.

In my 29-year career in the federal government procurement field I have never encountered or heard of such a flawed procurement. Common sense and correctness require that this lease be stopped.

When the NPS fails to follow federal laws and its own published regulations and procedures in pursuit of a nefarious goal that is contrary to the public’s interests, it is time for a real change to occur.

I believe we are at that watershed now and with the change in both houses of Congress the time is right to contact our federal representatives and make our feelings known on this matter.

Peter P. O’Such Jr.

Fair Haven