Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why is this a tough decision? A $6.9 million surplus vs. $2 million deficit over 3 years.


Sunday night Senator Dan Weber presented the Dunwoody City Council the comprehensive financial information compiled by his ad-hock committee for the hybrid plan in comparison to the CH2MHill expense numbers being batted around by the City Council. In these very tough economic times, the “Weber - Boyken Hybrid” plan appears to save us $6 million dollars over three years in comparison to the CH2MHill plan which currently shows a $2 million dollar deficit over the same period. The CH2MHill plan which was initially presented at $10 million to match the request of the RFP (see page 8 – why did we tell them a price?) but has now been cut way back in price and to a level of service which is unknown. The City has also whittled down the expenses to where we have very little money for capital improvements, very little reserve funds for contingencies (others use 8%), very little money for parks, a tight police budget and very little wiggle room until which time the City Council will need to come begging the citizens for a possible tax increase. Senator Weber explained these spreadsheets during the Sunday meeting and I encourage you to re-listen to that specific segment as you look at the documents.

Besides the money issue, the next big question is what level of service does each proposal present and at what price? The CH2MHill proposal has been cut way back from the original response to the RFP and I honestly don’t know the levels of service that they are currently proposing since it is still a moving target. I was looking for definitive, detailed information from CH2MHill during their presentation Sunday night but they only offered their “reputation of quality” and “customer service” speech, instead of specific levels of service. If we are having hard time getting this type information from the single master contractor prior to the contract, it doesn’t bode well for us in the next three years if we do decide to sign on the dotted line.

The “Weber - Boyken Hybrid” appears to offer a reasonable alternative which enables us to control and maintain our own assets, and creates a capital pool of savings that could be allocated to some “immediate needs” expense items. The scope of Boyken International is in-depth project management. The company’s strengths are implementation and management. Don Boyken is a DHA Board Member, former President of DHA and trusted citizen and stake holder in Dunwoody. He has made significant contributions to the community throughout the years. Although the implementation “may take longer”, the CH2M Hill model prohibits Dunwoody from addressing parks improvements and other infrastructure improvements for 3 years! As you know, a future expense for some necessary improvements needed immediately could create exponential expense multiples 3 years out. I believe the Weber - Boyken route presents a clearer, more affordable path; but I am only one member of the City Council.

I am still awaiting the formal announcement and agenda of our tentative Wednesday evening meeting (7 p.m.) at Peachtree Middle School and please be aware that this item may be voted upon and decided at that time? Whether the CH2MHill proposal is or isn’t on the agenda for Wednesday, I would like to hear your public comments on these proposals at the meeting. As per my recommendation at the first work session, the City Clerk should post a sign up list which will allow 10 commenter’s three minutes each to speak at the beginning of the meeting and if those slots are full there will be public comment at the end of the meeting.

I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to voice your opinion, people will be listening. Thanks.

5 comments:

tomdwyer said...

I served on the Permits and Inspections Task force and I feel that a mixed approach to the issue is the proper solution. Hire a city manager with a few department heads. Subcontract road repairs, traffic signals, building inspections and other services directly instead of through a middle man like CM2MHill. Even they are subcontracting their road work and building inspections and probably most other services. It seems to me you get the best of both worlds.

That is how I run my business. I have direct employees to look out for quality control and handle the sticky issues. We subcontract work to those who can do it quicker, more cost effectively and most importantly on an as needed basis.

I know that the revenue from permits is being looked at to subsidize some overhead costs that would be shared by the building department. I also know that there are individuals out there who could pick up the ball and run with a building department day one. Some services that are long term maintenance items could wait a few months to get up and running. They are not being done now so what is the difference? I feel that the long term benefits of a mixed approach outweigh getting stuck in a do it quick for less confusion solution.

Tom Dwyer, CR
Harbour Towne Construction, Inc.
GA Residential -Light Commercial
Lic.# RLC0001958





www.HarbourTowne.net

Kelly Spratling said...

John...Why the rush to vote on CH2MHill proposal on Wednesday?

I'm bothered by a few things. In your last blog entry, you stated that "Since negotiations are still on going; they provided no cost detail and very little service detail." Who are they negotiating with? Why will they not provide cost and service details to the city council members?

It sounds as if CH2MHill is simply too expensive. They may provide great services at a fair price (or they may not...who knows?) but the price is more than Dunwoody can afford to pay. If we can't pay the bill, why are we still considering this as a viable option?

Thanks for all the information, John!

Charles said...

One observation is that the choice between CH2 and the “Hybrid” approach sets up a false dilemma.

Based on what I’ve personally experienced in private business and the government, with just little bit more creativity, the Council can have more fiscal breathing room and minimize risk to the same level.

Based on the points system in the RFP, the services listed below were considered “high” value (up to 10 points each) by the RFP task force. Best to go with CH2 on these.

Accounting
Court & Police Support
Finance
IT
Transportation
Planning & Zoning
Inspections, Code Enf. & Permits


Likewise, services considered “low” (only up to 5 points each), are good candidates for “build ourselves” with a lower impact of issues, either because there is more time to fix or there is less immediate health and safety consequence than the list above. No doubt there is some impact, it’s just less than the list above and there’s more time to remediate. A shorter contract with Boykin, or accelerated hiring of the initial city manager could spearhead these “build” efforts. I imagine these could be parsed even further to lower risk another notch.

As an aside, I’m also certain a first attempt to build doesn’t foreclose the option to fold these into the CH2 contract piecemeal or as a package in the future.



Administration
Human Resources
Public Works
Streets, R.O.W. & Facilities
Parks & Recreation
Capital Improvement Plans

It’s a thorny issue and one that will regularly recur - and I wish everyone the best in sorting it out. Based on the positive spirit I sensed at the meeting, I’m confident you all will figure out what’s best for us now.


Charlie Collins

Charles said...

Regarding General Fund reserve requirements, the Government Finance Officer's Association recommends, at a minimum, that general-purpose governments, regardless
of size, maintain unreserved fund balance in their general fund of no less than five to 15 percent of regular general fund
operating revenues, or of no less than one to two months of regular general fund operating expenditures.

Pat Eubank said...

----- Original Message -----
From: Pat Eubank
To: Jack and Pat Eubank
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 11:02 AM
Subject: CH2M Hill, Goodwill, website


I am sure you are already familiar with CH2M Hill's history and website. My husband, who has spent his career as an engineer in commercial construction thinks CH2M Hill receives most of its revenue from developers. Since they are a privately held company, there is no way to determine that. Look at the markets they work in on the website. http://www.ch2m.com/corporate/about_us/history.asp Suppose CH2M Hill has a commercial construction client or developer in another location that wants to build a large office building in the Perimeter area? Conflict of interest; the other client might even be local.
More importantly, if we exceed our city income and have to raise taxes, there will be a firestorm of recalls in this community. All city and campaign literature claimed no tax increase, better police protection, and zoning. The CH2M Hill package leaves too little for contingencies which the city is sure to encounter.

The public comment about the need for a city website last night was so timely.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is regarding the possible lease of the former Ace Home Center to Goodwill: The community needs to know about this, whatever their perspective.

1. Kroger bought the right to lease the space when Harris Teeter went out of business.

2. The actual owner of the space is Mark Burkhalter of Johns Creek. He is a state house representative from North Fulton.

3. Per Mr. McNamera, Kroger's senior real estate man, they have successfully leased to Goodwill in a number of former Harris Teeter locations. Mr. McNamera
was told that visits with other tenants in the shopping center went well. I made him aware that one tenant certainly was not happy. The next step he said was to
meet with DHA and neighborhoods. The DHA meeting is scheduled for Thursday night. This is not intended to be a public meeting. Mr. McNamera thinks it is to
be a store as well as receiving donations. He is open to leasing to the city. (see below)

4. Dick Williams (Crier) said Fran Millar asked Mark Burkhalter to hold off on Goodwill, as the city is interested in the location for the police station.

5. Bottom line from Mr. McNamera: they have not done a deal yet and won't if they think it would not be well received in the community.


Here is what we can do:

Talk to his other tenants in the shopping center. I talked with the owner, Mark Burkhalter, today. He believes there is a better tenant for the space than Goodwill, but his hands are tied. He asked us to make our wishes known to Kroger, who is the driver's seat. Perhaps the easiest way to do that is to write a short letter stating your concerns about Goodwill occupying that space and hand deliver it to Kroger at Orchard Park. Keep a copy and document the date. Ask the manager to send it to Mr. McNamara; tell the manager your opinion. I don't think it wise to threaten them with not shopping there; letters will get their attention.

Call Goodwill of North Georgia's president, Ray Bishop and express your concern. (404) 420-9900. They already have a store in Sandy Springs and one in Norcross at Peachtree Parkway and Spaulding.

Call DHA officers. Gordon at (770) 350-0044 ( Pegasus International) or email dhaadm@earthlink.net. I don't think they pick up email often. If any of you know the name and number of other DHA officers, please reply to us all.

Pat Eubank
(770) 396-6378














----- Original Message -----
From: Pat Eubank
To: Jack and Pat Eubank
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 11:02 AM
Subject: CH2M Hill, Goodwill, website


I am sure you are already familiar with CH2M Hill's history and website. My husband, who has spent his career as an engineer in commercial construction thinks CH2M Hill receives most of its revenue from developers. Since they are a privately held company, there is no way to determine that. Look at the markets they work in on the website. http://www.ch2m.com/corporate/about_us/history.asp Suppose CH2M Hill has a commercial construction client or developer in another location that wants to build a large office building in the Perimeter area? Conflict of interest; the other client might even be local.
More importantly, if we exceed our city income and have to raise taxes, there will be a firestorm of recalls in this community. All city and campaign literature claimed no tax increase, better police protection, and zoning. The CH2M Hill package leaves too little for contingencies which the city is sure to encounter.

The public comment about the need for a city website last night was so timely.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is regarding the possible lease of the former Ace Home Center to Goodwill: The community needs to know about this, whatever their perspective.

1. Kroger bought the right to lease the space when Harris Teeter went out of business.

2. The actual owner of the space is Mark Burkhalter of Johns Creek. He is a state house representative from North Fulton.

3. Per Mr. McNamera, Kroger's senior real estate man, they have successfully leased to Goodwill in a number of former Harris Teeter locations. Mr. McNamera
was told that visits with other tenants in the shopping center went well. I made him aware that one tenant certainly was not happy. The next step he said was to
meet with DHA and neighborhoods. The DHA meeting is scheduled for Thursday night. This is not intended to be a public meeting. Mr. McNamera thinks it is to
be a store as well as receiving donations. He is open to leasing to the city. (see below)

4. Dick Williams (Crier) said Fran Millar asked Mark Burkhalter to hold off on Goodwill, as the city is interested in the location for the police station.

5. Bottom line from Mr. McNamera: they have not done a deal yet and won't if they think it would not be well received in the community.


Here is what we can do:

Talk to his other tenants in the shopping center. I talked with the owner, Mark Burkhalter, today. He believes there is a better tenant for the space than Goodwill, but his hands are tied. He asked us to make our wishes known to Kroger, who is the driver's seat. Perhaps the easiest way to do that is to write a short letter stating your concerns about Goodwill occupying that space and hand deliver it to Kroger at Orchard Park. Keep a copy and document the date. Ask the manager to send it to Mr. McNamara; tell the manager your opinion. I don't think it wise to threaten them with not shopping there; letters will get their attention.

Call Goodwill of North Georgia's president, Ray Bishop and express your concern. (404) 420-9900. They already have a store in Sandy Springs and one in Norcross at Peachtree Parkway and Spaulding.

Call DHA officers. Gordon at (770) 350-0044 ( Pegasus International) or email dhaadm@earthlink.net. I don't think they pick up email often. If any of you know the name and number of other DHA officers, please reply to us all.

Pat Eubank
(770) 396-6378














----- Original Message -----
From: Pat Eubank
To: Jack and Pat Eubank
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 11:02 AM
Subject: CH2M Hill, Goodwill, website


I am sure you are already familiar with CH2M Hill's history and website. My husband, who has spent his career as an engineer in commercial construction thinks CH2M Hill receives most of its revenue from developers. Since they are a privately held company, there is no way to determine that. Look at the markets they work in on the website. http://www.ch2m.com/corporate/about_us/history.asp Suppose CH2M Hill has a commercial construction client or developer in another location that wants to build a large office building in the Perimeter area? Conflict of interest; the other client might even be local.
More importantly, if we exceed our city income and have to raise taxes, there will be a firestorm of recalls in this community. All city and campaign literature claimed no tax increase, better police protection, and zoning. The CH2M Hill package leaves too little for contingencies which the city is sure to encounter.

The public comment about the need for a city website last night was so timely.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is regarding the possible lease of the former Ace Home Center to Goodwill: The community needs to know about this, whatever their perspective.

1. Kroger bought the right to lease the space when Harris Teeter went out of business.

2. The actual owner of the space is Mark Burkhalter of Johns Creek. He is a state house representative from North Fulton.

3. Per Mr. McNamera, Kroger's senior real estate man, they have successfully leased to Goodwill in a number of former Harris Teeter locations. Mr. McNamera
was told that visits with other tenants in the shopping center went well. I made him aware that one tenant certainly was not happy. The next step he said was to
meet with DHA and neighborhoods. The DHA meeting is scheduled for Thursday night. This is not intended to be a public meeting. Mr. McNamera thinks it is to
be a store as well as receiving donations. He is open to leasing to the city. (see below)

4. Dick Williams (Crier) said Fran Millar asked Mark Burkhalter to hold off on Goodwill, as the city is interested in the location for the police station.

5. Bottom line from Mr. McNamera: they have not done a deal yet and won't if they think it would not be well received in the community.


Here is what we can do:

Talk to his other tenants in the shopping center. I talked with the owner, Mark Burkhalter, today. He believes there is a better tenant for the space than Goodwill, but his hands are tied. He asked us to make our wishes known to Kroger, who is the driver's seat. Perhaps the easiest way to do that is to write a short letter stating your concerns about Goodwill occupying that space and hand deliver it to Kroger at Orchard Park. Keep a copy and document the date. Ask the manager to send it to Mr. McNamara; tell the manager your opinion. I don't think it wise to threaten them with not shopping there; letters will get their attention.

Call Goodwill of North Georgia's president, Ray Bishop and express your concern. (404) 420-9900. They already have a store in Sandy Springs and one in Norcross at Peachtree Parkway and Spaulding.

Call DHA officers. Gordon at (770) 350-0044 ( Pegasus International) or email dhaadm@earthlink.net. I don't think they pick up email often. If any of you know the name and number of other DHA officers, please reply to us all.

Pat Eubank
(770) 396-6378














----- Original Message -----
From: Pat Eubank
To: Jack and Pat Eubank
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 11:02 AM
Subject: CH2M Hill, Goodwill, website


I am sure you are already familiar with CH2M Hill's history and website. My husband, who has spent his career as an engineer in commercial construction thinks CH2M Hill receives most of its revenue from developers. Since they are a privately held company, there is no way to determine that. Look at the markets they work in on the website. http://www.ch2m.com/corporate/about_us/history.asp Suppose CH2M Hill has a commercial construction client or developer in another location that wants to build a large office building in the Perimeter area? Conflict of interest; the other client might even be local.
More importantly, if we exceed our city income and have to raise taxes, there will be a firestorm of recalls in this community. All city and campaign literature claimed no tax increase, better police protection, and zoning. The CH2M Hill package leaves too little for contingencies which the city is sure to encounter.

The public comment about the need for a city website last night was so timely.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is regarding the possible lease of the former Ace Home Center to Goodwill: The community needs to know about this, whatever their perspective.

1. Kroger bought the right to lease the space when Harris Teeter went out of business.

2. The actual owner of the space is Mark Burkhalter of Johns Creek. He is a state house representative from North Fulton.

3. Per Mr. McNamera, Kroger's senior real estate man, they have successfully leased to Goodwill in a number of former Harris Teeter locations. Mr. McNamera
was told that visits with other tenants in the shopping center went well. I made him aware that one tenant certainly was not happy. The next step he said was to
meet with DHA and neighborhoods. The DHA meeting is scheduled for Thursday night. This is not intended to be a public meeting. Mr. McNamera thinks it is to
be a store as well as receiving donations. He is open to leasing to the city. (see below)

4. Dick Williams (Crier) said Fran Millar asked Mark Burkhalter to hold off on Goodwill, as the city is interested in the location for the police station.

5. Bottom line from Mr. McNamera: they have not done a deal yet and won't if they think it would not be well received in the community.


Here is what we can do:

Talk to his other tenants in the shopping center. I talked with the owner, Mark Burkhalter, today. He believes there is a better tenant for the space than Goodwill, but his hands are tied. He asked us to make our wishes known to Kroger, who is the driver's seat. Perhaps the easiest way to do that is to write a short letter stating your concerns about Goodwill occupying that space and hand deliver it to Kroger at Orchard Park. Keep a copy and document the date. Ask the manager to send it to Mr. McNamara; tell the manager your opinion. I don't think it wise to threaten them with not shopping there; letters will get their attention.

Call Goodwill of North Georgia's president, Ray Bishop and express your concern. (404) 420-9900. They already have a store in Sandy Springs and one in Norcross at Peachtree Parkway and Spaulding.

Call DHA officers. Gordon at (770) 350-0044 ( Pegasus International) or email dhaadm@earthlink.net. I don't think they pick up email often. If any of you know the name and number of other DHA officers, please reply to us all.

Pat Eubank
(770) 396-6378














----- Original Message -----
From: Pat Eubank
To: Jack and Pat Eubank
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 11:02 AM
Subject: CH2M Hill, Goodwill, website


I am sure you are already familiar with CH2M Hill's history and website. My husband, who has spent his career as an engineer in commercial construction thinks CH2M Hill receives most of its revenue from developers. Since they are a privately held company, there is no way to determine that. Look at the markets they work in on the website. http://www.ch2m.com/corporate/about_us/history.asp Suppose CH2M Hill has a commercial construction client or developer in another location that wants to build a large office building in the Perimeter area? Conflict of interest; the other client might even be local.
More importantly, if we exceed our city income and have to raise taxes, there will be a firestorm of recalls in this community. All city and campaign literature claimed no tax increase, better police protection, and zoning. The CH2M Hill package leaves too little for contingencies which the city is sure to encounter.

The public comment about the need for a city website last night was so timely.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is regarding the possible lease of the former Ace Home Center to Goodwill: The community needs to know about this, whatever their perspective.

1. Kroger bought the right to lease the space when Harris Teeter went out of business.

2. The actual owner of the space is Mark Burkhalter of Johns Creek. He is a state house representative from North Fulton.

3. Per Mr. McNamera, Kroger's senior real estate man, they have successfully leased to Goodwill in a number of former Harris Teeter locations. Mr. McNamera
was told that visits with other tenants in the shopping center went well. I made him aware that one tenant certainly was not happy. The next step he said was to
meet with DHA and neighborhoods. The DHA meeting is scheduled for Thursday night. This is not intended to be a public meeting. Mr. McNamera thinks it is to
be a store as well as receiving donations. He is open to leasing to the city. (see below)

4. Dick Williams (Crier) said Fran Millar asked Mark Burkhalter to hold off on Goodwill, as the city is interested in the location for the police station.

5. Bottom line from Mr. McNamera: they have not done a deal yet and won't if they think it would not be well received in the community.


Here is what we can do:

Talk to his other tenants in the shopping center. I talked with the owner, Mark Burkhalter, today. He believes there is a better tenant for the space than Goodwill, but his hands are tied. He asked us to make our wishes known to Kroger, who is the driver's seat. Perhaps the easiest way to do that is to write a short letter stating your concerns about Goodwill occupying that space and hand deliver it to Kroger at Orchard Park. Keep a copy and document the date. Ask the manager to send it to Mr. McNamara; tell the manager your opinion. I don't think it wise to threaten them with not shopping there; letters will get their attention.

Call Goodwill of North Georgia's president, Ray Bishop and express your concern. (404) 420-9900. They already have a store in Sandy Springs and one in Norcross at Peachtree Parkway and Spaulding.

Call DHA officers. Gordon at (770) 350-0044 ( Pegasus International) or email dhaadm@earthlink.net. I don't think they pick up email often. If any of you know the name and number of other DHA officers, please reply to us all.

Pat Eubank
(770) 396-6378














----- Original Message -----
From: Pat Eubank
To: Jack and Pat Eubank
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 11:02 AM
Subject: CH2M Hill, Goodwill, website


I am sure you are already familiar with CH2M Hill's history and website. My husband, who has spent his career as an engineer in commercial construction thinks CH2M Hill receives most of its revenue from developers. Since they are a privately held company, there is no way to determine that. Look at the markets they work in on the website. http://www.ch2m.com/corporate/about_us/history.asp Suppose CH2M Hill has a commercial construction client or developer in another location that wants to build a large office building in the Perimeter area? Conflict of interest; the other client might even be local.
More importantly, if we exceed our city income and have to raise taxes, there will be a firestorm of recalls in this community. All city and campaign literature claimed no tax increase, better police protection, and zoning. The CH2M Hill package leaves too little for contingencies which the city is sure to encounter.

The public comment about the need for a city website last night was so timely.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is regarding the possible lease of the former Ace Home Center to Goodwill: The community needs to know about this, whatever their perspective.

1. Kroger bought the right to lease the space when Harris Teeter went out of business.

2. The actual owner of the space is Mark Burkhalter of Johns Creek. He is a state house representative from North Fulton.

3. Per Mr. McNamera, Kroger's senior real estate man, they have successfully leased to Goodwill in a number of former Harris Teeter locations. Mr. McNamera
was told that visits with other tenants in the shopping center went well. I made him aware that one tenant certainly was not happy. The next step he said was to
meet with DHA and neighborhoods. The DHA meeting is scheduled for Thursday night. This is not intended to be a public meeting. Mr. McNamera thinks it is to
be a store as well as receiving donations. He is open to leasing to the city. (see below)

4. Dick Williams (Crier) said Fran Millar asked Mark Burkhalter to hold off on Goodwill, as the city is interested in the location for the police station.

5. Bottom line from Mr. McNamera: they have not done a deal yet and won't if they think it would not be well received in the community.


Here is what we can do:

Talk to his other tenants in the shopping center. I talked with the owner, Mark Burkhalter, today. He believes there is a better tenant for the space than Goodwill, but his hands are tied. He asked us to make our wishes known to Kroger, who is the driver's seat. Perhaps the easiest way to do that is to write a short letter stating your concerns about Goodwill occupying that space and hand deliver it to Kroger at Orchard Park. Keep a copy and document the date. Ask the manager to send it to Mr. McNamara; tell the manager your opinion. I don't think it wise to threaten them with not shopping there; letters will get their attention.

Call Goodwill of North Georgia's president, Ray Bishop and express your concern. (404) 420-9900. They already have a store in Sandy Springs and one in Norcross at Peachtree Parkway and Spaulding.

Call DHA officers. Gordon at (770) 350-0044 ( Pegasus International) or email dhaadm@earthlink.net. I don't think they pick up email often. If any of you know the name and number of other DHA officers, please reply to us all.

Pat Eubank
(770) 396-6378