Friends of the Zeiss
P.O. Box 1041
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.
Electronic Mail: < email@example.com >
Internet Web Site: < http://www.friendsofthezeiss.org >
2002 November 18
Mr. Chester J. Malesky, Assistant Director
Department of General Services
City of Pittsburgh
526 City-County Building
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219-2458
Re: Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law Requests
Dear Mr. Malesky:
I am in receipt of your letter, dated November 12, which arrived in our post office box on November 16. This letter did not fulfill our request for information.
In the second paragraph of your letter, you state that "the previously sent Memoranda of Understanding's between the City of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Science Center are the official, legally enforceable documents executed to secure the disposition of the Buhl equipment in question."
The Request for Proposals[RFP] issued by the City in April of 2002 specifically states[italic emphasis added]:
1) Cover Page: "THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH
DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR LEASE OF:
THE ZEISS STAR PROJECTOR
THE 10 INCH SIDEROSTAT REFRACTOR TELESCOPE
HISTORY OF TECHNOLOGY MURAL AND
SEAPORT LIGHT MAP"
2) Page 2: "General Description: The City of Pittsburgh is seeking proposals for the lease..."
Hence, according to the City's own RFP, the winning bidder can only assume control of the historic equipment and artifacts by way of a lease agreement.
You sent to us the lease agreement, between the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Children's Museum, for the lease of the Buhl Planetarium building. In the same package[received October 31], we found only three Memoranda of Understanding for the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, and Mercator's Projection Map of the World. Although the Memoranda of Understanding outline terms that could possibly be used as adjuncts to lease agreements, sometime in the future, we have yet to receive any lease agreements for the lease of these historic pieces of equipment and artifacts.
Mr. Chester J. Malesky 2002 November 18 Page 2 of 3
In your third paragraph, you say: "...be advise that the Carnegie has provided complete financing arrangements for the therein described disposition of equipment." There are several problems with this assertion:
1) The City's own RFP requires[italic emphasis added] "Complete and secured financing arrangements," not just "complete financing arrangements" as indicated in your letter of November 12.
2) You provide no evidence, as requested in my letters of October 22 and November 4, of the "Complete and secured financing arrangements" as required in the RFP.
3) 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.
In this statement, 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[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, in order to accomplish the objective as set forth in this proposal by the City of Pittsburgh for the display and/or operation of each piece of equipment specified herein." 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!
With all of this evidence, it is quite clear that "Complete and secured financing arrangements," as required by the RFP, do not exist!
Hence, I am, again, renewing our requests under the terms of the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law [Act of June 21, 1957, P.L. 390, No. 212, 60 P.S. 66.1 et seq., as amended]. When The Carnegie Science Center has made "Complete and secured financing arrangements," please send us the following:
1) A copy of the signed and legally in-force Lease contracts, between the City of Pittsburgh and The Carnegie Science Center, to preserve the three artifacts in question: Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, and Mercator's Projection Map of the World.
2) Detailed information on the "Complete and secured financing arrangements" as required in the RFP, of The Carnegie Science Center, for the proper dismantling, transport, storage, and reconstruction of the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, and Mercator's Projection Map of the World.
I must also renew our request, under the terms of the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law [Act of June 21, 1957, P.L. 390, No. 212, 60 P.S. 66.1 et seq., as amended], originally issued in our letter to Dale A. Perrett on July 1, and renewed in our letter of October 22 to Jacqueline R. Morrow:
"2) A copy of the award letter(s) to the organization(s) which received bid award(s) to preserve the four artifacts in question: Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, Mercator's Projection Map of the World, "Rise of Steel Technology" Mural by Nat Youngblood."
Mr. Chester J. Malesky 2002 November 18 Page 3 of 3
The package of documents you sent to us on October 28 included only a letter to John Radzilowicz, Planetarium Director of The Carnegie Science Center, dated October 25. This hand-delivered letter was simply a cover letter for the three Memoranda of Understanding sent to him, at that time.
There was nothing in this October 25 letter indicating the announcement of the award of three bids. In fact, the three Memoranda of Understanding could not have been negotiated without an earlier letter notifying The Carnegie Science Center of the award of the three bids! This award letter should have been dated in June or July of this year. I will look forward to the prompt receipt of a copy of this award letter.
From the overwhelming evidence we have seen, it is quite clear that no lease agreements currently exist for the lease of the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope, and Mercator's Projection Map of the World. Further, it is quite clear that no lease agreements may legally exist, as The Carnegie Science Center has not provided "Complete and secured financing arrangements," as required by the City RFP, for their proposed project. If you believe our understanding of this matter is in error, please present to us the evidence that supports your assertion.
Again, I would like to, hereby, offer the services of Friends of the Zeiss to assist the City of Pittsburgh in maintaining the historic equipment and artifacts, while they remain in the Buhl Planetarium building. We are willing to work under any conditions or supervision you might require. We are willing to cooperate with The Carnegie Science Center in this endeavor, if that is the wish of the City of Pittsburgh.
I will await your reply.
Glenn A. Walsh
< firstname.lastname@example.org >
Attachments: City of Pittsburgh Department of General Services Request for Proposals for Lease of four historic pieces of equipment and artifacts in Buhl Planetarium, April 2002
Page 6 of Carnegie Science Center RFP Response
Letter from Mr. Chester J. Malesky, November 12, 2002
Copy: Members of the Council of the City of Pittsburgh
Members of Friends of the Zeiss
News Media in Pittsburgh and Vicinity
Dale A. Perrett, Director, City of Pittsburgh Department of General Services
Jacqueline R. Morrow, Solicitor, City of Pittsburgh
Yvonne S. Schlosberg, Assistant Solicitor, City of Pittsburgh