Chandler Vice Mayor Phill Westbrooks plans to ask the City Council tonight to reconsider a one-year contract extension with Cactus Towing.
The council voted 4-2 at a Sept. 29 meeting to extend the exclusive towing contract with the Mesa-based company.
During that meeting, Cactus Towing general manager Todd DeMasseo told council members his company had no facility in Chandler, but that building permits for a $1 million facility were ready to be picked up at the city’s planning department. The company, however, has operated a temporary facility at 1600 N. Delaware St. since 2003.
Company officials did not return calls for comment Wednesday, but said last week that DeMasseo "made a mistake" in his statement to the council.
Now Westbrooks, who voted in favor of the contract last month, wants company officials to explain that mistake in detail. He said Wednesday he’s not sure he’ll push for a re-vote on the contract.
"It’s going to depend on some of the responses I hear (at the meeting)," he said.
Councilman Lowell Huggins, who voted in favor of the contract, said Wednesday he has no plans to change his vote.
"I’m surprised he voted for it the first time," Huggins said of Westbrooks. "Now he’s second-guessing himself."
But to Councilwoman Donna Wallace, who voted against the contract extension the first time, it’s time the city issued a request for proposals on the towing contract.
"I wanted to go for RFP the first time," she said. "Now I want to go for RFP even more."
City officials already ordered Cactus Towing to clear out the Delaware Street operation by today and may no longer use the site until its permanent facility is completed and has been issued a certificate of occupancy.
Cactus Towing lawyer Kent Nicholas said Wednesday that company owner Lee Watkins plans to sell the company to general manager Todd DeMasseo and Dan Rush, who owns East Valley Auto Recyclers in Mesa and Rush Auto Recyclers in Phoenix. The firm was named the 2005 Small Business of the Year by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
- Tribune writer Brian Powell contributed to this report