Controversial consulting contract about parks has been canceled by the Fresno City Council

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Most of the money in the contract was awarded to Bretz-Rosa Consulting, their subcontractors Catalano, Fenske and Assoc. and Building Healthy Communities each had a small portion of the deal.

Newly elected Council Member Garry Bredefeld made it clear how he felt about the $172,000 parks consulting contract.

"To me this has been a waste of money."

Bredefeld thought it was absurd to pay a consultant to figure out what Fresno's parks needed.

"I think I know people like parks, and I think I know what they want in their parks, they like green space and they like a place for their children to play and perhaps basketball courts, and they want their parks to be safe and to be maintained, and I don't think we need to spend $200,000 to find that out."

Bredefeld was not on the council when the deal was first approved. But Council Member Esmerelda Soria was. She opposed it last October because she said the city was already doing studies on what the community wanted in parks and brought it back for reconsideration.

"I thought that the process was a little not as straight forward and we were already doing what the contract called for doing."

City Manager Bruce Rudd defended the deal, as did council members Luis Chavez and Paul Caprioglio. But it was canceled on a four to two vote with one council member absent.

The consultants spent about $17,000 of the money already but the rest, about $150,000, goes back into the general fund and the hope is it will be used for park maintenance.

The consulting firms, Bertz Rosa and Carey Catalano did not appear before the council.

A small portion of the money, about $20,000, would have gone to the park advocacy group Building Healthy Communities.
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