Friends of the Zeiss
P.O. Box 1041
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.
Electronic Mail: < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Internet Web Site: < http://www.friendsofthezeiss.org >Statement Before Pittsburgh City Council: 2002 November 19
Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh, and I reside at 633 Royce Avenue in Mount Lebanon. I am Project Director of Friends of the Zeiss.
On Saturday, we received a letter from the Department of General Services making two assertions:
1) The three Memoranda of Understanding for the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, and Mercator's Projection Map of the World, between the City and The Carnegie Science Center, are the legally enforceable documents for disposition of the artifacts;
2) "The Carnegie has provided complete financing arrangements" for this disposition.
The RFP issued by the Department of General Services specifically stated that the proposals sought were for the lease of the equipment and artifacts. A lease agreement has been executed for the lease of the Buhl Planetarium building, but thus far, we have received no copies of any lease agreements for the historic equipment and artifacts.
The Department of General Services did not provide any evidence to support their claim that The Carnegie has provided complete financing arrangements for the proposed dismantling, transport, storage, and reconstruction of the artifacts. The overwhelming evidence we have seen indicates that The Carnegie Science Center does not have "Complete and secured financing arrangements," as required by the City RFP, and hence, cannot legally lease the artifacts.
The official response to the City RFP, issued by The Carnegie Science Center, specifically indicates that financing arrangements are neither complete nor secured! On page 6 of this document, which is attached to all three Memoranda of Understanding, it states, "CSC is prepared to raise funds to cover design and fabrication of display costs, but will require others to meet the costs prior to storage." In this statement, they admit that they will need to raise funds to utilize the equipment and artifacts.
They also state that they do not have the funds, and will not seek the funds, for dismantling and removing the equipment as they propose! They expect others[perhaps the City???] to underwrite these costs! Again, we fail to see how requiring "others to meet the costs prior to storage" is responsive to the RFP.
Further, on page 3 of the RFP it states: "Bidder must submit with proposal, a detailed description of funding sources available and secured..." Although the Science Center's RFP response does include a detailed project budget, for their proposed $111,020 project, it describes no funding sources at all!
If the Department of General Services believes that The Carnegie Science Center can legally remove the artifacts from Buhl Planetarium, under current conditions, we ask to see the evidence of how this is legally possible. Again, we are sending a letter to the Department of General Services asking for this evidence.
Again, Friends of the Zeiss offers to help maintain these artifacts while they remain in the Buhl Planetarium building. We are willing to cooperate with The Carnegie Science Center, to ensure that these artifacts no longer deteriorate from lack of maintenance. We will await a reply from the Department of General Services.