Your report today of the Tourism Authority’s action yesterday to contract with an Ohio company rather than my wife’s business for the production of the 2011 travel planner states that Greg Sheehan voted for the Ohio company proposal because the Authority had received a letter from me which was viewed as an “implied threat”.
I was not at the meeting and I do not know exactly what Mr. Sheehan said or what he meant. However, the report does not indicate that the letter was written because after the selection committee deadlocked, the full board then voted on the matter by e-mail and communicated its decision to the various proposers, a clear violation of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Law. I assumed that this was inadvertent and the purpose of the letter was to inform the Board and to allow it to correct its mistake. Any suggestion that the letter was a threat or intended to condition a result is misguided as I served as the Authority Solicitor for a number of years and wish it to succeed. If Mr. Sheehan believes that saving him from a violation of the law is a threat, he is misguided.
The board was free to make a decision and I admit to partiality on the value of service which my wife’s company provided to the Authority during the years that it produced the travel planner. As the loss of the contract is business difficult for a local company to replace, it is natural to want to compete for the business. Perhaps this causes some tension on both sides which is understandable. However, taking a shot at the quality of Mediavisions work or impuning my motives certainly causes me to rethink the wisdom of my donation of furniture to the Authority when it was trying to get its legs under itself in promoting tourism and wasn’t a wash in hotel tax funds.