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It’s all happening at the Zoo

Gazette staff June 27th, 2012

You know it’s a bad day as a public body when you ask if there are any attorneys who want to speak and the standing-room-only audience erupts in a lawyerly chorus of, “Yes! I do!” That’s what happened at the Oklahoma City Zoo Trust’s June 20 meeting, as it considered whether to give the contract for operation of the Zoo Amphitheatre to a new company.

Credit: Brad Gregg

The dispute between the Zoo Amp’s current operator, Facilities Management Group, and the Zoo Trust is over whether the trust has given preferential treatment to a new group looking to take over operations, 3Horse Productions.

FMG’s CEO Howard Pollack, said that his business has been hurt by the Zoo Trust putting out a request for proposals in the middle of the concert season.

He also has accused the trust of giving unfair advantage to 3Horse along the way. City Manager Jim Couch countered that the bid process has been standard and that officials are simply ensuring good stewardship of public money.

The trust voted to wait until a special meeting in July to decide whether to authorize negotiation of a contract with 3Horse, after no less than four attorneys for Pollack warned of litigation.

Our money is on the notion that the trust wishes it could go back to just talking about elephants, gorillas and turtles.

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