On Wed. night Feb. 3, 2016, one of Brigantine’s most valuable assets was once again mis-handled and frittered away. The food & beverage contract with unknown and un-signed terms, for the Links at Brigantine Golf Course was awarded to Mike Morgan, owner of Mad Dog Morgan’s and a former public employee of Brigantine. Morgan was lone bidder again, for the second year in row.
Recap: Brigantine allegedly sent out an Request for Proposal just days before Christmas (Dec. 21) for someone to manage the Food & Beverage concession at the Brigantine Links Golf clubhouse. Yeah. We missed it too.
Was the Links Golf RFP properly posted in Brigantine’s chosen newspapers of record? No.
Did they legally post the RFP in the legal notices of The Beachcomber, Press of Atlantic City or Philadelphia Inquirer? No. Was this RFP well publicized to attract the best operators that would financially benefit the Brigantine taxpayers? No. See Stealth RFP here.
Mayor Guenther & City Manager Stinson believe the RFP was well advertised using an odd mix of local Facebook pages.
Councilman DeLucry wants it re-bid due to the deal’s poor financial ROI for Brigantine. Mayor Guenther, Councilpersons McClay, Withers & most on council think 4% rev share is fine. Councilman DeLucry disagrees. If Brigantine’s lucky, the city will possibly garner $2,000 per month at best. And that’s only during the summer months of June, July & August.
According to reports, Mike ‘Mad Dog’ Morgan was the lone bidder. Mad Dog was the only one to attend the mandatory walk-thru too. Wow. Good for him. That guy sure is lucky.
In some towns where basic levels of sanity and ethics are common, this would clearly be seen as bid-rigging. This financial monkey business contributes to the growing number of empty retail businesses and lack-luster Real Estate values on the island of Brigantine
Bid rigging is a form of fraud in which a commercial contract is promised to one party even though for the sake of appearance several other parties also present a bid. This form of collusion is illegal in most countries.
With the taxpayers of Brigantine footing the bill for 100% of Mad Dog’s Links clubhouse related utilities including cable & WIFI….. the piddly $1,500 minimum monthly bid will surely be a superior investment for this former Brigantine public employee and football coach.
Morgan hopes to use the city’s alcohol/concessionaire permit. It’s valued at $250,000. The ABC has yet to approve Morgan for the past year, and it’s unknown of he’ll pass muster with this regulatory oversight.
How council voted:
- Guenther (R) YES
- Simpson (R) YES
- Sera (R) YES
- Bew (R) YES
- McClay (D) YES
- Withers (D) YES
- DeLucry (D) NO
Note: City Manager Stinson still does not share the monthly…or any financials for the municipal Links Golf course. Losing approximately $400,000 per year and growing, this City asset does not contribute to lowering residential taxes. It’s rarely promoted to the outside world and is seen as a major financial liability. But, it’s a wonderful low/no cost amenity for Brigantine’s ruling elite.
The Brigantine ‘Links’ is due for a major sprinkler & irrigation overhaul in the very near future. This will be paid for by Brigantine taxpayers, not Mad Dog Morgan or Atlantic County.
You won’t find ANY of this news in the local papers. City Council (both sides) won’t spend much time sharing these petty details either.
Reach out to any Brigantine Real Estate agent. Ask them if this kind of monkey business affects home values. Ask them if this contributes to all those empty retail businesses you see in Brig.
If they say ‘no’, you may want to find another Real Estate agent.
Click to see the RFP for Brigantine Links Food and Beverage Concession