This summer, the Juice brought you the troubling tale of the City of Pembroke Pines' decision to outsource its building department to a private consulting firm, Calvin, Giordano & Associates. At the time, this was worrisome because the Fort Lauderdale-based firm already does engineering work for Pembroke Pines. It was hard to imagine the company's employees being objective when inspecting plans for projects that could impact their bottom line.
But that potential conflict of interest pales in comparison to Calvin, Giordano's role in West Park, a tiny city that borders Pembroke Park. In this Broward suburb, Calvin, Giordano is the new Halliburton.
Check out West Park's website and you'll notice that the company runs a staggering number of city services -- code enforcement, community development, engineering, construction, planning, maintenance, public works, utilities -- even the website itself. Aside from policing the streets and putting out fires, there's not much Calvin, Giordano doesn't do.
To add to the fun, Calvin, Giordano gets down with other local governments too. According to the company's news releases, it provides contracted services to Weston, Sunny Isles, and Loxahatchee Groves -- not to mention the many roads it helps the Florida Department of Transportation build, including a just-announced $12 million contract to oversee construction of the new I-595 express lanes.
That's a handsome pile of public money flowing to one private firm, particularly in a state whose economy depends on the construction business.
With hands in so many different government pots -- not to mention a concern for its own bottom line -- how do we know whose interests Calvin, Giordano serves?
A phone message left for Dennis Giordano, the company's president, was returned by his P.R. consultant, who said Giordano is in meetings all day. The Juice is now playing phone tag with him, along with West Park Mayor Eric Jones. Will update when their responses come in.
Update: To read Dennis Giordano's response, click here.