City Management's $3 Million Christmas PackageReturn To Front Page
(December 7, 2004) -- We urge Councilmembers not to approve a management doubling -- doubling! -- of $3 million for three previously approved three-year contracts with "construction management" firms with the Dept. of Public Works.
We believe the Council should refer this item to the Council's Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (Councilwoman Reyes Uranga, chair, Vice Mayor Kell vice chair, Councilwoman Gabelich, member) and insist on real data and serious answers.
This is not a reflection on the firms involved. It is the result of the desultory manner in which city management seemingly expects Councilmembers to approve massive expenditures of public money.
As we understand it, the $3 million previously approved and the additional $3 million now being sought don't by themselves construct things. These large taxpayer expenditures pay firms to manage constructing things. Exactly why City Hall management can't do this with the amount of money they already consume is a perfectly fair question.
This is the same city management whose majority had the gall to unionize despite many within City Hall's "six figure club" (Business Journal publisher George Economides' jibe at extravagant salaries), justified (managers claimed) because of their expertise.
We urge Councilmembers not to settle for accept some closed-door management "briefing" on this massive proposed $3 million expenditure. This is public money and a Council "briefing" isn't public. Assertions offered in briefings can't be publicly examined before the vote. In view of the magnitude of what's being proposed here, an 11th hour Council-delivered explanation from the City Manager or a subordinate really isn't adequate.
Management is asking the Council to fork over $3 million in public money on top of $3 million the Council was told would run to 2006. That basically amounts to a 100% underestimation by city management of the real taxpayer costs involved when management told Councilmembers they should begin the process. In our opinion, there's enough in city management's memo to merit questioning the Council's 2003 decision to spend the original $3 million.
Yet in logic we find Orwellian, city management cites the early depletion of $3 million it said 18 months ago would suffice as demonstrating the usefulness of services provided under the contracts. We are amazed.
LBReport.com posts city management's Dec. 7, 2004 memo text in full below. Read it and ask yourself if this is a good deal for you, other LB taxpayers and businesses.
Based on what we read, we remain unpersuaded. We believe the $3 million additional sum requires detailed answers in a Council committee, not some thin justifications at the end of a lengthy, exhausting Council agenda.
LB taxpayers have watched Councilmembers raise fees, shorten library hours, cancel district Council meetings and 1/4 of their public meetings to "save money" while still not fixing curbs, gutters and sidewalks to prevent standing water or providing police officers that LB's Police Chief said he needed a year ago. Other cities somehow manage to do both and more.
We're impressed that $3 million in additional spending can be so easily proposed. We can think of a number of places where that sum might be better spent.
Councilmembers should send this item to their Transportation & Infrastructure Committee for serious fact finding...and possible alternative recommendations as merited by the facts.
City management's agendized Dec. 7 memo text to the Mayor, Councilmembers and the public follows:
SUBJECT: First Amendment to Agreement No. 28450 with 3Dllnternationa1, Agreement
No. 28424 with Concept Marine Associates, and Agreement No. 28361 with
CBM Consulting, Inc., for As-Needed Construction Management Services
On June 17,2003, the City Council authorized agreements, with three-year terms, for as-
needed construction management (CM) services with 3D/International (3D/I), Concept
Marine Associates (CMA), and CBM Consulting, Inc., (CBM) for an amount not to exceed
$1 million per firm. Each firm was selected in accordance with Administrative Regulation 8-
4, "Selecting Professional Consultants." CM services are used to assist City staff to ensure
efficient and cost effective service delivery for meeting tenant facility and capital
improvement needs throughout the City of Long Beach. These services have greatly
helped to alleviate the backlog of capital projects for facilities identified in the City's Capital
Improvement Program (CIP) as well as improve overall project delivery.
The City has successfully utilized CM services on various projects throughout the City such
as the Emergency Communications and Operations Center, the Public Safety Building, the
Family Health Education Center and the City Hall Elevator Modernization effort. Because
of the increasing number of CIPs, and the demonstrated usefulness of the services
provided by these firms, the City has already expended 75 percent of the contract amounts
for 3D/I and CBM and 54 percent for CMA. It is anticipated that the need for CM services
will continue to increase but, at the current rate of expenditure, the contract amounts will be exhausted prior to the termination of the agreements in June 2006.
It is therefore recommended that each contract be increased by $1,000,000 to cover
anticipated CM service needs over the remainder of each agreement's term. As individual
project needs are identified out of the Administration and Planning Bureau's workload, the
Bureau will issue a "project specific" scope of work. Each scope of work will be funded with
CIP funds allocated to the project requiring those services.
This matter was reviewed by Senior Deputy City Attorney Donna F. Gwin and Budget
Management Officer David Wodynski on November 24,2004.
City Council action on this matter is requested on December 7,2004 in order to continue
moving CIP projects forward.
Sufficient funds to support the CM services will be budgeted in various capital improvement
projects within the Department of Public Works (PW). All work will be contingent upon
annual appropriations by the City Council.
IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE CITY COUNCIL:
Authorize the City Manager to execute first amendments to increase the amount of
the as-needed construction management contracts for 3Dllnternational (Agreement
No. 28450), Concept Marine Associates (Agreement No. 28424), and CBM
Consulting, Inc., (Agreement No. 28361) by $1,000,000 each.
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS
GERALD R. MILLER
Contact us: mail@LBReport.com