By Tim Pallesen
The man hired by the city to monitor sea turtles on Delray Beach beaches for 31 years is out of a job.
John Fletemeyer, a Florida International University research professor who works as a consultant, had his contract routinely renewed each year until the city required competitive bidding for all contracts.
City commissioners gave his job to DB Ecological Services on Feb. 24 for a low bid of $40,081. Fletemeyer’s bid was $59,422.
Fletemeyer said he was surprised that his past performance wasn’t considered before the low bidder was awarded the contract.
“I was surprised because I had hoped for consideration of past performance,” he said. “In 31 years, our team never missed a day at the beach with hurricanes or sickness.”
Sea turtle monitoring begins each year with the nesting season that starts March 1.
The city’s turtle conservation program requires reports on hatching and reproduction success rates. Turtle inventories are kept and turtle nests are excavated after the eggs hatch.
DB Ecological Services already has turtle monitoring contracts for Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach County and the town of Palm Beach.
The city’s push for competitive bids began after Mayor Cary Glickstein and Commissioner Shelly Petrolia were elected in March 2013.
Beach cabanas were the first city contract that went out to bids. Competition for the waste hauler contract recently saved the city $8.4 million.
Fletemeyer’s boss, city Environmental Services Director Randal Krejcarek, had no complaint with Fletemeyer’s performance.
“But his 31 years without bidding was way longer than any other contract,” Krejcarek said.