Our city manager’s December 2, 2015 “Financial Adviser Request for Qualification Report” is unsigned. There is no letter of transmittal explaining who wrote the report or why they wrote it. It is probably correct to assume that it was written by the city manager and his assistants in response to a request from the mayor. Why it is unsigned is probably another example of them trying to establish deniability sometime in the future.
There is an interesting email in the report from our former city manager to our current city attorney. The email is dated August 26, 2013. It starts:
Sylvia, as requested by City Council during the August 1 executive session, the following is a summary of the chronology of events and issues surrounding the delays in proceeding with the sale of bonds for the ballpark project.
It is interesting that the city manager (who reports to city council) would send the document through the city attorney.
The email goes on to say:
Project was over-designed and the city’s project team failed to insist on scope reductions immediately to ensure the project came in within budget.
I would say so. What was the budget? On November 27, 2012 city council approved a contract with an out of town architectural firm that says in part:
3.4 PROJECT CONSTRUCTION BUDGET. The Consultant acknowledges that the construction budget for the Project allocates THIRTY FIVE MILLION AND 00/100 DOLLARS ($35,000,000.00) for the award of a construction contract base bid, which is to include all features essential to the operation of the Project for its intended use as described in the Scope of Services and Project Budget in Attachment “A”. The Consultant does hereby agree to design the Project such that the Consultant’s final agreed upon cost opinions for the construction of the Project, including all features essential to its intended use, is within the above budgeted amount for the base bid. If the cost options exceed the Project Budget at any time, the Consultant shall make recommendations to the Owner to adjust the Project’s size or quality and the Owner shall cooperate with the Consultant to adjust the scope of the Project.
The contract with the architect was for $3,095,370.00. On June 18, 2013 the city amended the contract to give the architect an additional $725,310. After all, when you design a project to go over budget you might think that you deserve more money.
We deserve better