After several requests by Tallahassee Reports, City Commissioner Nancy Miller has refused to identify a City vendor that has ties to a family member.
On December 12, 2012, the City Commission voted to approve the staff’s ranking and recommendation for Civil Engineering Consulting Services. The recommendation included eight vendors and authorized staff to execute three-year contracts.
City Commissioner Miller abstained from voting on the item and revealed a family member was a “principal” with one of the eight companies. However, Commissioner Miller never identified which company caused the conflict. The family member involve was identified as Rich Buss.
Compounding the concern over this specific conflict is the fact that Commissioner Miller’s husband, John Buss, is a City employee in a position to have influence over the specific Consulting Service vendors who are selected for City projects.
This is important because the engineering services contract approved for Rich Buss’ company laid the ground work for the City of Tallahassee staff to award lucrative engineering jobs to the company. These engineering jobs could have originated in a city department under the supervision of Rich Buss’ brother and Nancy Miller’s husband – John Buss.
Since the vote, a number of the firms selected in 2012 have been awarded contracts by City staff without going before the City Commission. The value of the work for some of the firms surpasses $100,000.
Also, on July 13, 2016 the City Commission voted 3-1 to approve acceptance of an easement agreement between the City of Tallahassee and Frenchtown Square Partners, LLC, as part of the Casanas Village at Frenchtown Square project. Once again, City Commissioner Miller abstained by stating a family member is a subcontractor on the project.
Tallahassee Reports requested the name of the vendor to determine if the vendor that employs Miller’s family member is receiving special treatment. Tallahassee Reports has requested the name of the vendor via phone and email, but after two weeks TR has not received a reply.