I Thought Sam Simon Needed a Contract to Do Spay/Neuter

Back in June of 2006, Boks told the Commission that the spay/neuter contract with Sam Simon was going to be cancelled and that the Amanda Foundation was getting a $500,000 S/N contract.

As you know, back then, before Boks started giving all of his girlfriends $20,000 consulting contracts, the limit that could be paid to any vendor or contractor was $20,000 without going through an RFP competitive bid process. This limit was decreased to $5,000 by the Commission.

Now we learn that Sam Simon was still providing S/N surgeries for LAAS at least through March of this year, but apparently without requiring vouchers and without a contract.

In the March 9, 2009 minutes of the Commission meeting, Boks provides the table on page 4 of those minutes (http://laanimalservices.org/PDF/commission/2009/030909-agd.pdf) showing almost 6,000 surgeries for Amanda and 3,312 for Sam Simon--but Sam Simon had no contract, or if they did, they did not go through the RFP process after their contract was supposedly cancelled in 2006.

In addition, Boks recently told Council that the contract with Sam Simon was going to be cancelled. This was during that meeting when Zine dragged him over the coals.

So, Sam Simon had/has some sort of sweetheart contract with Boks.

Just as importantly, where was the money to pay Sam Simon coming from? The Spaymobile Fund? The voucher fund? Apparently Linda Barth is refusing to tell the Commission.

Linda Barth is also refusing to tell the Commission about its investigation and conclusion about accepting the Value Vet bid for the West Valley shelter S/N contract. She flat out told Commissioners she was not going to tell them.

If you look at the prices being charged by Value Vet versus prices charged at the other City property spay/neuter clinics, (page 3 on http://laanimalservices.org/PDF/commission/2009/030909-agd.pdf), we find Value Vet is charging $240 for spaying a dog 55-69 pounds. Two callers to Value Vet asked them how much to spay dogs over 110 pounds. They were told $500!!! No other contractor is charging half that.

No need to have a sweetheart, no bid contract, when Ed and Linda are set to ram the only bid submitted down the Commission's throats. The reason there was only one bid is that the only ad for bids (RFP) was on the City's contractor site and the Department's website. There was no other outreach than this except to Value Vet who knew all along.

Now, how many veterinarians do you know who weekly check the City contractor website or the Department websites for RFPs? This was a miniscule outreach far less than done a year before that yielded the original Value Vet proposal and the accepted Clinico proposals. This against screams mismanagement that could result in Value Vet getting a contract which will benefit no one except Value Vet and bragging rights for Ed and Linda to say they oppened another S/N clinic.


Anonymous said...

Wait -are you telling us that Ed Boks is corrupt and a liar?

Get in line, pal...

Anonymous said...

Looking at the links you posted, Boks coulda gotten away with it. It looks like the man just took vouchers or shelter animals after he bowed out of the contract and didn't go to SLA.

Did Boks blow the whistle on himself telling Council he's discontinuing the van?

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. At Council, did Boks say he would stop reimbursing Sam Simon for the coupons? Why would he stop taking coupons from one vet and not from others? Is that legal? Did SS do something wrong that he cannot redeem the vouchers people brought him?

BoardWatch said...

Call me crazy, but I think that back in 2006, the Board VOTED to award the mobile spay/neuter contract to the Amanda Foundation. Here are the minutes of item 5B June 12, 2006(yes, 2006!):

5B. Board Report: South LA Spay/Neuter Clinic and Mobile Spay/Neuter Van
The General Manager reported that the Department had formulated a solution to allow both the Sam Simon Foundation and the Amanda Foundation to move forward in their respective fields of expertise in providing spay/neuter services for the City of Los Angeles. The agreement reached between the three parties would allow the release of the Sam Simon Foundation from their current contract with the City, allowing the Amanda Foundation to assume the Mobile Spay/Neuter Van contract. In an interim position, the Sam Simon Foundation would then enter into a new contract to operate the existing South LA Spay/Neuter clinic, which has remained unutilized for several years. This would be done in concert with the Department putting out an RFP to allow anyone in the community to come in and operate the spay/neuter clinic. Commissioner Brown was concerned about having the Sam Simon Foundation operate the South LA clinic after failing to meet the numbers that they had projected in their current contract. If the Amanda Foundation were to assume the existing contract, they would be required to meet the expectations established by the Sam Simon Foundation. He questioned why the Amanda Foundation could not simply take over the South LA clinic, and allowing the Sam Simon Foundation to finish their contract. The General Manager responded that the solution was what both parties agreed upon. The benefit to the Department would be that the underserved residents of the
Board of Animal Services Commission
Minutes for the June 12, 2006, Commission Meeting
Page 5
Please join us at our website: www.LAAnimalservices.com
South Los Angeles community would receive spay/neuter services immediately, also saving the Department money since they would no longer have to send South LA animals to veterinarians throughout the City. Commissioner Riordan commented on the importance of reviewing the Mobile Spay/Neuter Van contract in the future, and suggested that an additional RFP be sent out for other vendors to apply. The General Manager recommended reviewal of performance. If the numbers did not meet expectations, the contract could then be concluded.
Ms. Austin commented that the Amanda Foundation sought to assume the Mobile Spay/Neuter Van contract because they were confident in meeting the expectations of the contract and that no one would be able to perform better at providing the mobile services.
Mr. Sam Simon indicated that the Sam Simon Foundation’s biggest difficulty was getting the numbers. They did not have the outreach. He said that they had the right people to take over a stationary clinic and succeed, and that the Amanda Foundation would be able to do what they do best, which is to reach out to the community.
Mr. Jeff Brill, Sr. Management Analyst II, commented on the Budgetary issues. There were budgeted monies available for that contract when the contract was approved. If the Sam Simon contract were to be terminated and a new RFP were to be issued, those budgeted funds would not be able to be assumed.
Mr. Lesel clarified that the transition would have to be approved first by the Board and then City Council.
Public Comments
Phyllis Daugherty: If the spay/neuter van stops operating and the South LA clinic is not put up, that South LA area faces the possibility of not having any spay/neuter services available for months. Sam Simon simply over-projected what they could realistically accomplish.
Daniel Guss: Two separate issues; the Amanda Foundation taking over for the current vendor, giving Sam Simon a new piece of business. Mr. Boks should hire a veterinarian with decades of experience to run the clinic rather than a vendor who failed in their contract with zero years of experience.
Laura Beth Heisen: Why did Sam Simon only offer to do four days a week? If they have the easier schedule, they should do more days a week. The Department needs to figure out how to pay veterinarians more or hire an executive recruiter to bring in veterinarians to handle the other days.
Mary Catalano: The spay/neuter clinics need to be going all the time. People are turning down adoptions if they cannot go to the clinic to pick up their animal. They need to make it closer and more than four days.
Evelyn Walton: One of the main problems is bringing animals to the mobile clinics. Having a centralized place for spay/neuter services can only be a positive. There have been a number of veterinarians offering to perform spay/neuter services pro bono, especially for rabbits.
Teri Austin: Ms. Jennifer Connelly and other veterinarians might be interested in helping at the South LA clinic on the days they are available. Urged the Department to look into raising the salaries for veterinarians. The Department currently offers $68,000 while most other veterinary hospitals offer $75,000.
Jane Garcia: Having a clinic at South LA would be very helpful. It would also be a way to get the word out
Board of Animal Services Commission
Minutes for the June 12, 2006, Commission Meeting
Page 6
Please join us at our website: www.LAAnimalservices.com
that there are free vaccinations available for people’s pets.
Commissioner Atake motioned to approve and authorize the General Manager to execute (1) an agreement with the Sam Simon Foundation to operate the existing South Los Angeles Spay/Neuter Clinic for the interim period and (2) an agreement with the Amanda Foundation to assume the existing mobile Spay/Neuter Van Contract, with Commissioner Brown’s comments to search for the rationale, the discovery of the rationale, and his acceptance of the rationale

Anonymous said...

Did Boks/Barth think they could get away with this by spending the unredeemed voucher money to cover a second van? Good idea if she had done it by properly redirecting the unused funds, issuing an RFP and spacing out the vouchers issued following the Ordinance.

Because they didn't do it by the book, Boks/Barth just lost us a second van while screwing any other vet who might have bid for that moeny, all the participating vets and Sam Simon for the embarrassment this could cause him.

Anonymous said...

Who do you think they will blame for this one? Will they blame Council, the Commission, Ed Muzika, Sam Simon, Mickey Mouse or Bart Simpson?

Anonymous said...

They didn't do an RFP before signing a contract with the Amanda Foundation, they based this on a rule if someone has "proven" to do an exceptional job, they are not required to do RFPs. The Amanda Foundation is 100 percent paid for by the city, the SS van is only subsidized, in a very small amount and now not at all.

Anonymous said...

"SS van is only subsidized, in a very small amount and now not at all."

Are you saying that 150 to 200 thousand a year paid by the department to Sam Simon is a small amount of money?

Anonymous said...

I'm saying that Amanada is reimbursed $90 per animal surgery and SS was only reimbursed $25 per same surgery.