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HWA submits resignation of services to CEPD, board

By Staff | Oct 4, 2019

CEPD Chairman Mike Mullins

A consulting firm for the Captiva Erosion Prevention District recently tendered its resignation to the commission, terminating its service contract with the district effective at the end of November.

On Sept. 30, the CEPD and board received notification from Hans Wilson & Associates.

“Pursuant to our Management Services Agreement for September 2017, as amended September 1, 2019, we are tendering our resignation in accordance with Section 4 Term: Termination,” Hans Wilson, president of the firm, wrote. “For reasons beyond our control it is no longer tenable for HWA to provide consulting service to the CEPD for the purpose of providing the administration to the district.”

“We appreciate the opportunity provided to our firm and continue to support the core mission of the CEPD in protecting and preserving the island beaches,” he concluded in the letter.

District Chairman Mike Mullins responded to the decision.

“Following the retirement notices of our erstwhile administration team, (the) CEPD has been working through the transition with HWA. This meant reviewing the outsourcing approach,” he said in a statement on Oct. 3. “HWA decided to part ways with (the) CEPD with an effective date 60 days hence. The board will be discussing next steps at the regular meeting scheduled for Oct. 7.”

“The CEPD appreciates HWA’s assistance during the last renourishment project,” he concluded.

HWA has been a consultant for the district for seven years, handling the staffing of the CEPD’s administrative positions, advising on subjects related to its industry and speciality as marine engineers and environmental consultants, and serving as a resource to tap for prior commissions’ actions.

Wilson explained on Oct. 3 that he has been on Captiva and involved in the island since 1966. He worked for the district from 1977-1978 and served as a commissioner himself from 1985-1988.

“It was really a business decision,” he said of the resignation. “I don’t work with clients who don’t communicate well with us, so I thought it was in the best interest for my firm to terminate.”

Hans added that it is for the company’s health and to retain the level of respect it has.

“There was a lack of communication from the commissioners indicating any dissatisfaction with our services, other than in the public venue (commission meetings),” he said. “They didn’t exercise the courtesy of contacting me directly before the meeting – and giving me the opportunity to resolve it.”

Hans noted that anyone on the board could have contacted him individually about a problem.

“I invited them to do that at any time,” he said.

Hans described the communication issues and the need to terminate the firm’s contract with the CEPD as “unfortunate,” adding that he has had an excellent relationship with most of the commissioners.

The resignation will be effective on Nov. 30 at midnight.

In a related email to the CEPD and board, Hans explained that HWA is amendable to assigning its current contact – which includes the sub-consultant contracts for Administrator Carolyn Weaver and Deputy Administrator Joe Wagenti – to Wagenti Consulting. That company is owned by Wagenti.

Hans reported that the option would provide for a “seamless transition.”

“This option would allow the board sufficient time to determine the best course of action regarding administrative services: continue to contract or bring (the) employees in-house,” he wrote.

The existing contract expires on Sept. 1, with an optional one-year term.

“They are in an excellent position to continue forward,” Hans said on Oct. 3.

A third option would be to allow the sub-consultant contracts also to expire after Nov. 30.

“I think that would be damaging,” Hans said.