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Consultant efforts expected ‘soon’

By Staff | Sep 25, 2010

Councilmember Pete Brandt said the consultants recently hired by City Manager Gary King to examine the city’s fleet and public works department “were ready to reveal some things” soon, but would not elaborate on what those things might be.
Brandt said Jim Martin and Bill Towler — each hired for three month positions at $39 an hour — are making reports to Gary King, but none of those reports have thus been made available to council.
He speculated that their findings would become available before the end of their three-month contracts.
Brandt said King would report their findings when he feels ready, and is “so confidant” in their work that he would admit their hiring was a mistake if they don’t turn up some serious cost savings.
“I’m confidant most of the citizens will pleased with the outcome,” Brandt said.
City Manager Gary King said the consultants have been making reports to him as they hit certain initiatives.
He said those reports were not on a specific schedule, and came in as they made certain discoveries.
Of the reports he has received, he said he’s not willing to make the information public yet, as they are still in the process of determining what the information means.
“We’re still putting the data together and analyzing it,” King said.
Councilmember Kevin McGrail said that it would be tough for the consultants not to show any cost savings, especially where the city’s fleet is concerned, because it’s generally accepted that inefficiencies exist.
While he “understands a fresh set of eyes” when it comes to the city fleet, he said that he’s received no information or reports pertaining to consultants’ work.
“I have not seen any weekly or monthly reports coming,” McGrail said, adding, “We’re Mr. King’s boss. And I don’t like being in the dark.”
The lack of information received thus far is part of a larger problem, according to Councilmember Marty McClain.
He said that some, but not all, of council is privy to certain information, and cited the final budget hearing as an example. He said he had no clue a third budgeting option was available.
“It appeared several council members were aware of this alternate budget plan,” he said.
McClain has not received any reports on the consultant’s work yet, either.
“I have not received any updated report based on any of what their findings might be to date,” McClain said. “They should be providing council with updated reports on a weekly basis.”