Just before the close of business Friday evening, Michael Pinto, the Deputy Director of the Traffic and Transportation Department, delivered the revenue records collected by Traffic and Transportation going back to 2010.
After contacting our editor by phone, Mr. Pinto was kind enough to drop the records by our offices, and was quite cordial in the process.
The receipt of the consignment capped off a dramatic week, in which Transportation and Traffic Director Doug Hausladen refused to turn over the revenue records to this magazine.
Doug Hausladen initially instructed Tastie Fish to submit the FOIA request to the City Coporation Office, and to direct the request to attorney Kathleen Foster.
He also refused to answer any questions.
Our FOIA request asked for the following materials.
- The master contract between Duncan Solutions and the city of New Haven that was executed in 2011
- The revenue collected by Transportation and Traffic from 2010-2016
Attorney Foster, after receiving the request, and a subsequent voicemail, turned over the master contract between Duncan Solutions, and the City of New Haven later in the afternoon.
She also informed Tastie Fish that the agreement with Duncan Solutions had expired, and that a new vendor was in play.
Attorney Foster expressed to Tastie Fish that she would be turning over the second agreement when she was able to locate it.
As of Saturday Afternoon, Tastie Fish reporters have not received that agreement, so the exact length of the contract between Duncan Solutions, and the City of New Haven is currently unknown to this magazine.
As well as any new revenue splits, or contract stipulations as it pertains to the actual revenue New Haven collects after the assumed contractual revenue split.
Once we are possession of that agreement, we will publish it in it’s entirety.
Attorney Foster then directed this magazine to submit another FOIA request to Traffic and Transportation in the interest of the revenue records.
Attorney Foster pointed out she is not the keeper of the records, and that the agency in possession of the revenue records should receive the official request.
Attorney Foster expressed confusion as to why Doug Hausladen would direct this magazine to forward a FOIA request to her attention.
Tastie Fish than submitted a 2nd FOIA request for the records to Doug Hausladen’s attention, and copied both Michael Pinto, and Kathleen Watson on the email.
Attorney Foster replied to the email chain with the official master contract, but cautioned this magazine that it would be “premature” to assume that there is not an exemption in place that could legally preclude the Traffic and Transportation Department from releasing the records.
Tastie Fish disputed that notion in a response, reaffirming that the revenue collected by Traffic and Transportation is public money, and that there is no such exemption, or legal basis, for the department to hold on to the records.
After the close of business Tuesday night, Doug Hausladen went on a tweet storm directed at this magazine.
He did not respond to our email request directly, we had the pleasure of consuming his angry tirade on social media.
We published a response, stating that this was not personal, that our mandate is to serve the citizens of New Haven, and that we would not rest until our investigation had reached it’s destination.
Tastie Fish then commenced a joint investigation into Duncan Solutions, and the Department of Traffic and Transportation, publishing a report on Thursday night.
Tastie Fish also asked City Hall in an email to comment on Doug Hausladen’s behavior, and how city officials would appraise a public servant attacking a city magazine for simply attempting to inform the public.
City Hall did not respond to the email request for comment.
@TastieFish @nhregister @newsgirlct @NewHavenDOT @BoardofAlders @newhavenindy @NewHavenEng Also, I challenge @TastieFish use of the plural "reporters" and the word "editor". Can one person edit their own writing? I'm not in news…
— Doug Hausladen (@doughausladen) April 18, 2017
Friday afternoon, after 10 days of investigating, Tastie Fish received the revenue records.
We have attached the tables for our readers.
In 2015 Doug Hasuelm told the New Haven Register that the meters bring in roughly “$5.5 million a year”.
According to the revenue records released to this magazine Friday night, that claim is false.
Tastie Fish did not factor in the 2016 figures, because how could Doug have possibly known what the final audits were almost a year in advance?
Even with 2016 figures factored in, the city still did not bring in “roughly $5.5” a year.
The city of New Haven collected an average of $5,004,608.24 between 2011- and 2015 from meters in New Haven, which would mean Doug Hausladen misrepresented the numbers by almost $500,000.
Keep in mind, the terms of the master contract between Duncan Solutions and the city of New Haven affords Duncan Solutions a 6% cut of the revenue if the city collects less than 5 million dollars roughly.
Which they did several times between 2011 and 2015.
So if you factor in the revenue split under the master contract, the revenue collected by New Haven Traffic and Transportation does not even approach $5.5 million a year.
The veracity of the following figures cannot be confirmed without the extended financial documentation still in the possession of Doug Hausladen.
But based on the tables he forwarded, and the master contract, here is the breakdown.
In 2011, after the revenue split, Duncan Solutions walked away with $245,519.75, and New Haven walked away $3,846,476.11
In 2012, after the revenue split, Duncan Solutions walked away with $281,715.61, and the City of New Haven pulled down $4,413,344.54
In 2013, Duncan Solutions collected $322,053, and New Haven walked away with $4,931,534.21
In 2014, Duncan Solutions collected $372,346.31, and New Haven made $5,384,174
In 2015, Duncan Solutions gathered $400,856,210 after the split, New Haven made $5,710,121.
Over that 5 year period, with the revenue split, New Haven walked away with an average of $4,857,129 under the terms of the agreement with Duncan Solutions
Duncan Solutions made an average of $265,047 over that same time period.
After reviewing the revenue records, we have determined that Doug’s claims don’t pass the smell test either way.
— Doug Hausladen (@doughausladen) April 18, 2017
Before, or after the revenue split, at no point was the city averaging $5.5 million a year from parking meters.
If you factor in the revenue split, Doug’s claim is off by “roughly” $642,871 before serious approximation.
That’s under the assumption that the numbers he furnished do not include the revenue split.
On Tuesday night, after ignoring our requests through email, Doug claimed on twitter that this magazine was misinformed, but the numbers indicate that he misinformed the public on the record.
He referred to our copy as “unresearched drivel”, but refused to turn over public information.
He compared us to CNN, and President Trump.
The numbers released to us also provide some clues why Mr.Hausladen did not want the records released, they are a far cry from the numbers he trumpeted in a 2015 interview with the New Haven Register.
— Doug Hausladen (@doughausladen) April 18, 2017
$500,000 is quite a bit of money, especially in the context of parking meters.
There is other concerns.
Point 16 of the Master Contract states that “The city reserves the right to audit the contractors books in relation to this agreement any time during the period of this agreement, or at any time during the 12 month period following the closing or termination of this agreement. In the event that the city makes an audit, the contractor shall immediality make available to the city all records pertaining to this agreement, including, but not limited to payroll records, bank statements, and canceled checks”.
Tastie Fish did not just request the revenue records, we inquired about the actual audits conducted by Duncan Solutions, and we have extreme interest in all forms of financial documentation, and any other transactions that took place between the private contractor, and the city of New Haven.
As of Saturday afternoon, Tastie Fish has not received the extended documentation we have requested, only the tables forwarded to us by Traffic and Transportation, and copies of the city budget between 2010-2016.
The unconfirmed books do indicate that the city of New Haven increased it’s revenue during that time period, the exact uptick will be included in our second report tonight.
Tastie Fish is still in the process of reviewing these records with our team of reporters.
We will be releasing the figures for parking tags, residental parking, and total revenue from all the streams sometime later tonight as well after we have had proper time to analyze the figures.
We also are coordinating with some of our esteemed colleagues in the area.
April 22nd, 11:06pm
Tastie Fish has taken the time to fully examine the revenue records submitted by the department of Traffic and Transportation to this magazine.
The 3 streams of revenue that we have yet to publish are as follows.
Tags, residential parking, and the total revenue from the year 2010 to the year 2016.
Residential parking is by far the smallest stream of revenue at the Traffic and Transportation division, but within the table describing the residential parking figures is a mathematical anomaly.
Allow us to explain.
In 2010, the total revenue collected for residential parking was $31,782.20, that figure fell short of the city budget revenue projections by $8,217.80.
The projected revenue in 2010 per the city budget was $40,000
In 2011, Traffic and Transportation collected $36,450,00, and that in particular year, the city budget projected that the Traffic and Transportation division would collect almost twice that, $60,000.
Whatever the reason for the increase, Traffic and Transportation fell far short of that goal, almost $25,000 short.
There must have been a little pressure to bring in more money on residential parking in 2012 considering the city budget revenue projection, and the actual figures published by the Traffic and Transportation.
As luck would have it, the numbers skyrocketed in 2012.
The division of Traffic and Transportation collected $60,609.99, and registered a surplus against the city budget of $609.99.
It was the first time in 3 years that the Traffic and Transportation division registered a surplus.
But if you compare it to the previous year, the jump in revenue from residential parking is astonishing, almost like the figures were collected from a different city.
In 2013, the numbers return back to mean, the city collected $34,040.00, with a deficit of $1960.00.
In 2013 the projected revenue according to the city budget was cut from $60,000, to $36,000, the reasons why the budget revenue projection was cut so dramatically from 2012 are unknown to this magazine.
In 2014 the city collected $33,285 in residential parking fees, and registered a deficit of $2715.00, which is consistent with every year except for 2012.
In 2015, the department of Traffic and Transportation collected $34,290.00, and registered a deficit of $1710.00.
In 2016, the Traffic and Transportation department collected $36,720.00, exceeding the revenue projection by $720.00.
Over the course of 7 years, Traffic and Transportation collected $267,176 in residential parking fees.
For the most part, Traffic and Transportation does not generally meet the expected revenue that the city budget dictates in regards to residential parking, that just based off the records that were submitted to us.
But 2012 is a bit odd.
The average amount of money collected for residential parking over a 7 year period, from 2010 to 2016, is $38,168.
If you eliminate 2012 from the equation, the city pulled down $34,427 a year.
2012 alters the narrative considerably.
On paper, the trend is not consistent, 2012 is a mathematical phenomenon as it relates to revenue from residential parking over the 7 year period.
It indicates a higher population, perhaps the rates were hiked in that year, something changed during 2012, and then went back to normal in 2013.
2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 are similar in arc, and figures.
2012 on the other hand is causing some confusion in our newsroom, to the point that we are not comfortable publishing anything more on these records until we can be totally sure what we are looking at.
Originally we intended just to publish the tables, but we are actually finding more questions within the document that is supposed to provide the answers.
Due to this unforeseen snafu, Tastie Fish is bringing in an expert to dispel some of our questions before we finalize this report.
Please stay tuned to Tastie Fish for updates.