Header image alt text

Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

It has been 17 years and 222 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

The Glendale city council’s summer break is over and they will be meeting again regularly. In this first nighttime voting meeting there are 29 agenda items. All but one, a final land plat application, is on the consent agenda. Expect it to be a speedy meeting, over before you realize it. Even though nearly everything will be voted upon in one motion, there are 3 items of interest. Will council pull these items off the consent agenda and ask questions about them? I doubt it.

One agenda item of interest is the final approval of 2 fire trucks. Remember the controversy they generated? One of the bidders complained basically that the fix was in and the company’s proposal was never considered fairly.  Each fire truck will cost the city $459,894.08 with vehicle taxes of $76,343.40 for a total of $996,143,56.00.  This figure represents the original, council approved price for the 2 vehicles. Not so fast. The two $996, 143, 56.00 vehicles now cost $1,027,344.78. Why, you ask? The fire department requested additional equipment of Blitzfire Monitors and Intake Adapters. These items were not included in the original bid price. Each truck, instead of costing $459 thousand now costs $513 thousand. Are these items essential? Oh well, it’s only taxpayer money.

Another agenda item of interest is the city’s contract with Westgate to rent Parking Lot 1, with 259 spaces, just northeast of the AMC Theater for $40,170.50. The rental of these parking lot spaces is to satisfy the city’s parking space commitment to the Cardinals for their 2 pre-season games and 8 home games.

The last agenda item of interest is a city contract with Citygate Associates, LLC., to “determine how best to staff the departments (police and fire) in order to meet their mission.” It promises to be a six month study and analysis of both departments with a “not to exceed” price of $161,152.00. Well, that “not to exceed” price doesn’t includes reimbursable costs of mileage, airfare, lodging and any associated travel expenses. In the future, expect a request to come before council with additional expenses.

This a California firm having done a great deal of work there and some work in Arizona – namely Surprise, the City of Maricopa and Goodyear. Their project team is heavy on Fire Chiefs and includes a Police Chief, a Human Resources Director and a Finance Director. They are heavy on the use of technology and the collection of data. I would hope that council would direct that there be interim reports issued prior to the final report submission.

Let’s tune in at 6 PM today and see what happens.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Remember the fire truck purchase debacle? As a refresher on November 26, 2013 the Glendale city council accepted a grant of $425,000 from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community for the purchase of a new fire truck. Typically grants such as these are good for a year from the date of award.

On January 28, 2014 the purchase of said fire truck was on the council voting agenda for approval. The fire truck’s purchase price was $484,206.92. The price was $59,206.92 greater than the grant awarded to pay for it.  It was to be purchased cooperatively using a Houston‐Galveston Area Council (HGAC) purchase agreement. An RFP was to have been issued to solicit local bids but that never occurred. Why an RFP was not used has never been answered satisfactorily.

During the Public Comment portion of the January 28, 2014 council meeting a representative of Freightliner spoke of the irregularities he encountered in attempting to satisfy specifications for the fire truck purchase. After the meeting Fire Chief Burdick went ballistic on this gentlemen in the City Hall lobby. The Freightliner rep’s comments raised enough eyebrows that City Manager Brenda Fischer pulled the item from the agenda.  She determined and communicated to council that she would investigate and an RFP would be issued.

Three months later and you can throw those city manager pledges out the window. Word has sifted out from the usually tightly fortified City Hall that the very same fire truck purchase will be up for city council approval sometime this June.

Apparently the Human Resources Department was tasked with investigating any fire employee improprieties in the process and found none. Even if there had been something discovered, it would have been handled internally and neither council nor the public would have been informed.

The reasons given by Tom Duensing, Executive Director for Finances, for reverting to the old process are: 1. Not enough time and 2. Not enough people to manage an RFP. If you buy these reasons I have a bridge in Brooklyn for you. There is already enough information to dust off and to write an RFP in short order. But let’s for argument’s sake, say it took a month to write it. It could be issued by the end of May 2014. Typically an RFP requires 45 days for responses. That gets us to the middle of July 2014. The successful response would then be presented to council for final approval no later than September 2014 (as council vacates either the month of July or the month of August). The grant award is good until November of 2014.

As for lack of people to manage an RFP… Come on, really? Council recently authorized two more bodies in the Purchasing and Procurement Department. Somehow or other the city has managed to issue timely RFPs for a host of other items all this time.

If the City Manager had acted responsively after she pulled the item in January of 2014, at this June 2014 meeting council would be acting on a successful response to an RFP issuance instead of resurrection of the original scheme.

So much for the representations of a new era of governance by senior staff. It’s merely the same old game with new players.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

%d bloggers like this: