Sunday, August 17, 2008

Task Force Reports & will CH2MHill be a good deal for us?

Saturday was the first day that all of the candidates got a chance to meet as a group and then we listened to the various Citizens for Dunwoody Task Force Reports and asked questions. We went over the Dunwoody charter, possible future ordinances, courts, planning & zoning, parks, permits & inspections, code enforcement, transportation and then finally police was rushed in at the tail end of the day. The reports are the culmination of thousands of hours of work whereby hundreds of Dunwoody volunteers looked at other cities best practices and then wrote a report on their suggestions to the future city council on how Dunwoody should operate.

As a Candidate, Transportation Task Force Chairman & an electronic pack rat; I requested to each of the other Task Force Chairs that electronic documents be provided to me in advance so that I could burn compilation DVD’s for each of the candidates. That was done for all presentations that were made today, except for Police and they will be forwarding that very soon to all the candidates. Once I get a copy of the police report, it will be uploaded to the police folder and all of the task force reports will also be available shortly on the Citizens for Dunwoody website. There are sill several of these task force sessions (Aug 20 & 28) with the candidates and Human Resources, Finance & IT will report out on these dates with their reports being uploaded at that time.

The report discussions were just quick over view sessions since the candidates will need to analyze the documentation in each report and then pose questions back to the Task Forces for clarification. As of today, all of the reports that were discussed in the public meeting (David Markiewicz of the AJC was there today and has already written an article) are now a matter of public record and are therefore available to the Citizens of Dunwoody to review.

Please note that it is taken for granted that there is probably a little bias built into each of these task force reports whereby the people who volunteered to work on a specific topic, probably felt that their subject was the most important of the task forces and therefore wanted to possibly spend more money than realistically available. For example, the people serving on the parks committee probably thought that park development was more important than the police department and the police committee may have wanted a larger police force but didn’t care about the roads being maintained. Because of this, these reports are just suggested starting points for the city council; they can accept and implement these reports as they are, reject them completely or pick and choose the pieces as they see fit. The elected officials when finally seated will be the decision makers in the process and these reports are only being offered as advisory suggestions.

Also on the agenda was a block of time on contracts presented by Mr. Oliver Porter. It was at this point that the candidates were informed that there were two official bids that were presented to run the city and that only one bid was strong enough to consider because the other bid only wanted a very small portion of the overall city work. The one now acceptable bidder to the RFP is the company CH2MHill and they talked to the candidates for about an hour regarding their qualifications and the services they would provide. Time was limited and this subject could have gone on for days. Luckily there is a separate committee of Dunwoody residents skilled in purchasing, contracting and law negotiating the services of this contract for the future City Council. Unfortunately with only one bidder if the negotiating team can’t get a fair price the city council will either need to continue the negotiations after being seated or will need to go a different route at that time. Hopefully for all concerned we hope that this turns out well, but the city council may need to be prepared to make some very tough decisions quickly after being seated if they fail.

The Task Force Reports as well as a few related documents that I provided to the candidates on the DVD have been saved to my personal servers and are now available below.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update John. But, I'm a little concerned here - only one company is being considered to provide the services for Dunwoody? Aren't there more than 2companies that could provide said services? Isn't that one of the major complaints we had about Dekalb County - lack of competitive bidding?

themommy said...

Hey John

Any way to see who was on what committee?


John Heneghan said...

Paula, I fully understand your concerns and let's see what happens.

Mommy, I have uploaded a list of 150 task force members that was published on May 1, 2008. Please keep in mind that this was very early in the process and some may have dropped off and others joined.

Task Force Roster

Thaddeus Osbourne Dabell (TOD) said...

"As of today, all of the reports that were discussed in the public meeting are now a matter of public record"

It is a shame that CfD chose to operate in secret and not perform these studies in the open. No (good) reason these should not have been on a WikiWiki all along. Even ordinary citizens could have benefited by reviewing source material, knowledge of meeting agendas and minutes and reading draft reports.

Given the number of candidates coming from this organization (mayor is guaranteed his post) this does not bode well for an open government at city hall.

I must say you have been the exception.