Sherwood Recreational Facility RFP FAQs
The YMCA continues to receive support and favor from Sherwood residents for its role in the community. In an effort to provide meaningful dialogue, we have compiled Frequently Asked Questions relating to the City of Sherwood’s Request for Proposals (RFP) to operate its Recreational and Aquatics Center.
Please see the City’s Website for complete RFP responses from all proposers.
Is there a link to the video of the Aug. 15, 2017 Sherwood City Council meeting where the YMCA vote took place?
Yes, you can view it here.
I received a large, color postcard in the mail from the YMCA. How do I know this information is correct?
The YMCA stands by its mailer and is focused on our commitment to protect the City and its residents from operating deficits, as we have done for 19 years. Since publishing the postcard, Health Fitness provided new information to the City. The table below contains the comparison data presented and can be verified through a review of the proposals on the City's Website.
For more information see answers to additional questions confirming the validity of the data in our postcard.
The winning bidder's proposal shows it was first updated from a projected loss of ($788,000) to a loss of ($1,509,000). Why did they do this?
We were told by a city representative that the numbers were updated to correct that company's computational error.
In the updated projections by Health Fitness, do they guarantee to pay any losses, recognizing they currently project a gain of $596,000?
In the fourth set of Health Fitness numbers now projects a gain. This proposal is the only proposal that has changed during the RFP process. According to published reports, only the YMCA has committed to cover any operating deficits. In addition, we believe those numbers are unrealistic and are overstated by at least $2MM.
Were all proposers asked to update their five-year projections?
No, the Y was not asked to update its pro forma. On page 4 of "Health Fitness Sherwood Additional Questions and Answers" it shows this company was asked by the City to provide revised projections.
I don’t understand the scoring system. How can the winning bidder score so well when they did not guarantee the City will be protected from unknown operating losses, as the YMCA has done for 19 years and continues to promise in its proposal?
Below, we have attached the City’s scoring matrix, taken from the City’s RFP disclosure. Note the scoring system gives a maximum of 25 points out of 100 for the “financial” category. Therefore, even if a bidder projects losses of $1,500,000 or $2,000,000 and doesn’t cover the City’s financial liability, there is still a low limit as to how many points it can lose in that category.
On the flip side, the YMCA, as the sole bidder who promises to protect the City from any possible operating deficit, has its potential point total limited by the scoring system’s reduced emphasis on the financial category.
I understand the Council voted 3-3, yet Health Fitness was chosen to negotiate a City contract ahead of the YMCA? Was there a tie-breaker?
Yes, the tie was broken because two Councilors put the YMCA in third place on their ballots (see above chart). The City Council may still elect to reject the negotiated contract from the winning bidder, and the City may decline to accept its contract proposal. Then, the YMCA will be next in line to negotiate with the City.
Was the scoring system designed to be subjective, or were there guideline definitions corresponding to each category?
There were no objective guidelines for scoring each category listed in the City’s RFP. Councilors were free to score categories as they saw fit.
With the YMCA’s financial guarantee, did it outscore all others in this category?
Surprisingly, no. As an example, one councilor gave the winning bidder a perfect score in the financial and every other category. The perfect score was awarded on both the proposal and interview, despite projecting substantial losses the City will be responsible for funding.
A City Councilor criticized the YMCA for "redacting," or not disclosing information for public view, saying it looked like we were hiding something. What did the YMCA redact?
We chose six (6) pages to redact or not disclose. The winning bidder redacted fifty-five (55) pages from public view. One item we redacted contained confidential comments our staff listed in their employee survey. The comments were largely positive, matching the positive survey results. However, we felt disclosing personal comments would have violated their trust, so we did not disclose them.
The City’s Feasibility Study (October 2016) cautioned that choosing a new operator would result in high switching and transition costs. Was this reflected in the financial projections of the other proposals?
We believe transition costs will be significant, and do not see where those costs are being projected in the proposals. It is an uncertain risk to the City and its taxpayers.
The winning bidder is a for-profit company, yet they budget similar amounts of revenue from fundraising as does the YMCA. Is this feasible for a for-profit company?
We have no data as to whether a for-profit fundraising concept has even been achieved on equal terms as a non-profit company.
The Sherwood Y says they offer 115 distinct programs, designed to meet the various needs of kids, families, seniors and the disabled. Does the winning bidder have experience offering these types of programs?
We understand they have good experience in the corporate health club market. Based upon our reading of their proposal, we do not see a similar community or family emphasis.
Does the winning bidder have contracts with Silver Sneakers or Silver and Fit? Do they currently offer any Active Older Adult programs?
Based upon their proposal materials, we do not see them mention their participation in those programs.
Where will all our seniors go for classes that provide rehabilitation, reversing the aging process and developing community?
The Sherwood Y offers 41 different weekly classes for our seniors, all covered under Silver and Fit, Silver Sneakers and general memberships. Please see our transformational programming for our active older adults listed on our website.
Does Health Fitness include child watch with its memberships?
We do not see that Health Fitness has included Child Watch in any of its memberships. In contrast, the YMCA does include Child Watch with membership. For 2017, your Sherwood Y budgeted to spend $212,000 on this service for members. In our research, we find most fitness centers charge additional fees for this service, over and above membership fees.
Has there been an independent study done on Sherwood Y member satisfaction?
Yes, FourSquare Market Research performed a detailed study in 2016 and rated the Sherwood Y’s member satisfaction score as excellent.
Sherwood Y volunteers help out at a dozen or more community and YMCA special events throughout the year. Does the winning bidder have a similar record of generating volunteerism and community impact?
Based upon our reading of their proposal, we do not see a similar emphasis or experience in volunteerism or city community building.
Has the Sherwood Y performed staff satisfaction surveys in recent years?
Yes, our staff 2017 satisfaction survey results can be found in the document available here. It shows very positive results in all areas.
What makes the YMCA unique?
We believe our people and culture make us unique. Our staff is drawn to our Mission, which focuses on living out the Christian principles of Love, Respect, Honesty, Responsibility and Service through programs for ALL, and our Cause, which focuses on building strong communities.
Many of our Y staff refer to their colleagues as family, which is a hallmark of YMCAs around the country. Our people take great pride in building relationships with each other and with our members, as well as building community between members.
Don’t cities usually hold Town Halls for open, back-and-forth dialogue on important community issues? Did the City hold one?
City Council held a modified Town Hall prior to the creation of the City’s RFP. On Mar. 14, 2017, the public was invited to comment on what they desired in a recreational and aquatic facility and its operator. After a record turnout, the City recorded 48 pages and hundreds of comments from the public, which you can find here. Almost universally, these comments supported the YMCA.
Subsequently, the Council chose not to hold any further public meetings for citizens to provide face-to-face feedback and discussion with councilors in regards to the various proposals received. Some councilors, via social media, asked the public to send emails. Public records indicate these emails are overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the YMCA as operator. The YMCA remains disappointed in the lack of public dialogue allowed, and encourages the City and/or Council to allow for an open, question and answer session with Council members.
How can my voice be heard in this process?
You may email the City Council, the Gazette, and post respectful comments on social media, such as the Sherwood Community Info page, which boasts over 4,000 members (Facebook).