But if a deal can’t be forged with Festival Designs, city staffers are prepared to manage the party at Gemini Springs, interim City Manager Ron McLemore recently told City Council members.
Festival Designs was the only company to respond by the deadline when DeBary put out feelers for potential vendors online, said Parks and Recreation Director John Fletcher.
Eleven entities downloaded information about DeBary’s event, which was posted on myvendorlink.com, Fletcher said.
Terms and conditions
On Jan. 17, the City Council authorized McLemore to negotiate with Festival Designs and make a recommendation about whether the city should hire the company.
A contract would have to be approved by the City Council, McLemore said.
“So, as part of this, we will be evaluating them as well as studying and negotiating terms and conditions,” he added.
DeBary entered the market for a party planner after McLemore and some council members expressed concerns about an arrangement with a nonprofit that ran the show annually since 2011.
CPPI ‘handshake’ deal
A DJ’s burst of profanity-laced music just before the fireworks display on July 4, 2017 prompted city officials to take a closer look at their deal with Community Partnership Program Inc. (CPPI).
They realized they had no official agreement with CPPI, even though DeBary contributes thousands for the cost of fireworks, security, and staffing.
Last year, for example, the city’s cost was about $35,000.
McLemore called it a “handshake” deal that left responsibilities unclear and exposed the city to certain liabilities.
‘People like to get involved’
The City Council, in a 4-1 vote, agreed on Nov. 15 to seek proposals from other entities.
Council member Stephen Bacon, who cast the dissenting vote, went along with the recent decision to negotiate with Festival Designs. But he still expressed an interest in having a community-based operator like CPPI.
“People like to get involved,” Bacon said.
Mayor Bob Garcia’s response: “It’s not as easy as you think it is, sir,”
Festival Designs said in a letter to DeBary that it is licensed with Volusia County and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Festival Designs pitch
“As a graduating company of the UCF Business Incubator Program in 2013, started by Volusia County, Festival Designs has grown to provide festival and event management services to several regional events,” the letter said. “These include the World Rowing Championships in September, Christmas Tree Experience in November, the Chuck Strauser Candy Cane 5k in December.”
Cathy Pulliam, a 35-year resident and veteran office manager with experience in finance and law, is the sole member of Festival Designs LLC.
“Scott Chesley is the Director of Operations and will be the primary contact,” the letter added.
Chesley has more than 38 years of festival design, layout, and event management experience and has participated in more than 3,000 festivals and events.
“The purpose of Festival Designs is to create events of any size that exceed the expectations of the attendees and enhance the community, the city and this region,” the letter added.Festival Designs,
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