Keyser Marston, the same consulting firm Sonoma City Manager miraculously got the only qualifying bid for the impact study surrounding the hotly debated Hotel Growth Ballot initiative, is also widely used by Darius Anderson's other big development projects like Sacramento Sports Arena complex widely covered by Darius' newspapers the Press Democrat and IT.
If Darius routinely sends Keyser business, it would stand that he's well known as a client and if he is also doing the report at the City of Sonoma suggests the appearance of a conflict of interest and a chance for manipulation in the outcome and conclusions with bias. This report thus is NOT an arms length transaction and independent report and placed Preserving Sonoma in a disadvantage. Therefore in my opinion, the City of Sonoma may have influenced the potential voting process as its almost certain to head to vote in November.
Did Darius mention to City Manager of Sonoma that "Keyser Marston might be a good choice for the study?" Why and how quickly did City Manager call Keyser?
According to emails exchanged between myself and the City Manager Ms. Giovanatto, Keyser Marston was contacted July 10th and 12th and a written proposal offered. However, two other consultants were contacted in April.
It stands that Darius Anderson could have easily "greased" the wheels with Keyser Marston given his relationship and done it quietly behind the scenes any number of ways.
It just doesn't look good and the City of Sonoma had an obligation to ensure there were no other conflicts of interest with the consultant or preparer and it appears they either failed or are covering it up thinking we People in Sonoma won't put two and two together.
I submit the impact study is null and void given the holes in the bidding process and now this gaping hole in other relationships between Darius and Keyser. This in my opinion is embarrassing for Sonoma and further evidence that the process needs revamped and the personnel reprimanded and replaced.
"Sacramento Sports Arena, City of Sacramento. Keyser Marston, along with other consultants, conducted a two-phase study to assess the feasibility and economic impacts of a new sports and entertainment district, “SED”, anchored by a new sports arena for the Sacramento Kings, and other destination-type attractions in downtown Sacramento on the site of the Union Pacific (UP) Railyards."