In a decision reminiscent of American Idol, the pool snack bars are "Going to Hollywood"!
The West Caldwell Council listened to Bagelwich Bagel & Deli owner Frank Oldewurtel state his case for why his establishment should be the 2012 snack bar operator at both the and pools Tuesday night.
But in the end, the council voted unanimously to award the contract to Fairfield-based Hollywood Pizzeria.
Council President Stan Hladik said he appreciated Oldewurtel's appeal and did not have a problem tabling the resolution for awarding the snack bar contract until the next meeting on May 15.
However, with both pools scheduled to open on May 26 for Memorial Day weekend, the council thought giving the selected vendor only 11 days to set up and staff the snack bars would be insufficient.
The council tabled a resolution to award Bagelwich the contract at the , when Hladik and other council members raised concerns about the vendor's previous performance as the snack bar operator, citing long lines during peak hours.
Since then, the town received three formal quotes and one informal quote given over the phone, and Recreation Director Gabe DiMasi recommended Fairfield-based Hollywood Pizzeria.
Oldewurtel addressed concerns in his plea to the council.
"I have been doing this for 10 years. I have a very good reputation. This has been the only issue. I know what the pool needs. I know how to operate," Oldewurtel said.
Oldewurtel also said he was offering a higher fee of $14,000 to the town, while Hollywood's fee bid was only $9,500.
Oldewurtel added that since Hollywood Pizzeria is a new vendor, they will invariably have start-up issues to iron out. Furthermore, as the new vendor for the Farifield town pool, Oldewurterl said he is still fixing issues left behind from Hollywood as the outgoing vendor.
Council members responded that Hollywood received "glowing" recommendations from both the Fairfield township Recreation Director and from managers at Floyd Hall Arena.
Oldewurtel countered he had received praise from both the towns of West Orange and Cedar Grove. In addition to his flagship store in Verona, Oldewurtel also owns in West Caldwell.
"I am very impressed Frank [Oldewurtel] came to talk about service. I did not get that two years ago, and neither did people I talked to at the pool when Bagelwich was the operator," Hladik said.
"It is not just about the financials. While generating revenue is advantageous, it is about a fresh and healthy menu and service," Hladik added.
Councilman Steven Wolsky added that while he too appreciated Oldewurtel's personal appeal, he believed the council should go with the recommendation made by DiMasi for Hollywood Pizzeria.
As Business Administrator Jock Watkins explained, the evaluation was based upon customer service, cleanliness, staffing, menu selections and maximizing revenue for the town.
"All things considered, [DiMasi] made the recommendation based upon the most advantageous proposal," Watkins said.