Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nanninga is looking for answers...


Encinitas council candidate Bob Nanninga files Public Records Act request asking for detailed list of private consultants hired by the City of Encinitas since 2001

Responding to concerns of citizens Encinitas City Council candidate Bob Nanninga has filed a Public records Act request asking for a lists of consultant hired by the city between January 1, 2001 and August 20, 2008.

In the spirit of transparency and due diligence, Nanninga is looking for answers regarding the amount of money being spent on consultants when the City is fully staffed with highly paid and professionally competent employees. At question is whether Encinitas taxpayers are paying twice for the same work to be done.

“As I talk to residents and voters as part of my campaign, one of the major concerns if the fiscal wisdom of hiring consultants to do the work of city employees. If city council and the city manager believe current staff is unable to do the tasks required for the proper functioning of city business and civic planning perhaps it is time they be replaced by those who can.” Nanninga continued, “I believe staff is up to the job if only council and department heads would allow them to do it.”

The Public records request covers all consultants hired by the City of Encinitas between January 1, 2001 and August 20, 2008 and includes their primary business address, job contracted, price paid and resulting actions.

22 comments:

  1. I would rather sit around in my living room and complain.

    Now that Dalager is charge there is much more for me to do these days.

    From the UT,

    "Are we going to be a kid-and-family town, or are we going to be a town of old grumps that want to sit in their living room and complain?" Dalager said.

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  2. I applaud this effort. The mobile home study was a travesty - inept survey design, dubious analysis and wildly overpaid consultant with special interest. Grrrr

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  3. While I agree that if City Staff can do a job, let's have them do it. However, there is some benefit of using consultants if you can avoid hiring someone and therefore, avoid not paying their pension for life...

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  4. anon 301 makes a good point, but is that the reality?

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  5. I can't speak for other departments in the city, but I do know firsthand about the Planning staff. They currently have more on their plate than they can handle. They do have significant talent, but little time in which to complete studies that a consultant would be hired to do.

    A simple example is the Cardiff Specific Plan. The hired consultant blew it and the council was not willing to pay them to redo the effort. Staff was not able to rewrite the document and run additional meetings that went on weekly for 6 more months.

    Also, planning staff is busy accepting and reviewing current projects, and the owners are generally outraged by how long it takes. They cannot keep up now. Can't imagine how they could handle more.

    Another example might be the Leucadia Streetscape study. There really isn't anyone on staff with the depth of experience that the consultant has, whether you might agree with his results or not.

    It is often reasonable to hire private outside consultants to provide services that staff could do. Building plancheck is a service provided by a private firm, Esgil in Kearney Mesa. If Esgil was not contracted to the city, there would be 6-8 more city employees to pay benefits and pensions to. There are probably many services that are contracted out. I believe we should contract out much more, and leave the long term costs out of the equation.

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  6. On 8/20/08 Council approved a residential rehabilitation program allocation of $855,360 HOME and $216,197CDBG Funds recommended by a consultant who also suggested they do so. The City council also agreed to negotiate and execute a professional service agreement with that consultant, Comprehensive Housing Services, Inc. to dole out public money.

    The council also authorized the City Manager to terminate an existing contract with the San Diego County Housing Authority.

    So who ends up paying Comprehensive Housing Services, Inc.?

    Where does that money come from?

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  7. Don't forget Rick Engineering...
    I heard they were paid over a million for what they did while we hired them. The did make improvements on the Leucadia drain system but gave us very bad advice about a new drain system. They wanted to rip out the median trees to fix it. Sound familiar?

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  8. To leftcoast,

    Uhm.... why not instead have employees with defined contribution plans instead of defined benefit plans. Like the rest of America.

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  9. Does anyone know exactly how many staff people we employ at the City? If they are so busy, why do I see them standing around talking to each other when I am at the planning deptartment? If we take the Cardifff Specific Plan as as example, where were the checks and balances on the consultant? They handed us a piece of crap and some of the concerned citizens of Cardiff went back and redid it, at no charge to the City. So, why did we pay the consultant? Same with the Hall property. One of our own citizens designed a wonderful park, and showed it to Council many years ago. However, it was a wasted efffort on the part of this citizen, as Council went on its merry way and did what they often do, ignore us. If Planning is so overwhelmed, or doesn't have the expertise, then let's get some planners that do know what they are doing and fire the others. Kerry Kusiak comes to mind. His suggestions are often questioned by Council as well as citizens. Ther tatto parlor in Cardiff is one of Kerry's boondoggles. He didn't know s--- when asked by Council who actually owns the place at this time. I could go on, but I think you all get my drift. I would use my own name, but the repurcussions would be too , so sorry everyone.

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  10. I agree with Left coast.

    I rather pay highly specialized consultants who perform efficiently, verses pay out government union employees who have no incentive to perform and have no accountably. Plus their benefits costs are huge!

    This proves to me, Bob is not my guy.

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  11. 7:39 - Why does it have to be either or? Why does have to be private contractors with no accountability VS under performing union emplyees with no accountability and no incentives for excellence.

    Why can't Encinitas expect city employees to be efficient?

    When I asked for the public records it was to be better informed.

    By the tone of your post I assume you have all the facts. For me the jury is still out.

    Hence the reason I made the information request.

    Peace

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  12. Bob, when you talk about incentives for excellence, it rings loud and clear that employee bonuses could be the next advertised perk on the city website.

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  13. "I'd rather pay highly paid consultants" Hello, highly paid consultants are hired by council and bow and scrape to the council, i.e., the three stooges. Nanninga is spot on. Almost all approved EIRs in the last five years have been carried on the back of "consultants" who are only hired guns. All these Anons should shoulder up to reality and post their names. I could give a shit of somebody takes offense to my opinion. Sincerely, Diane Bond

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  14. "I'd rather pay highly paid consultants" Hello, highly paid consultants are hired by council and bow and scrape to the council, i.e., the three stooges. Nanninga is spot on. Almost all approved EIRs in the last five years have been carried on the back of "consultants" who are only hired guns. All these Anons should shoulder up to reality and post their names. I could give a shit of somebody takes offense to my opinion. Sincerely, Diane Bond

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  15. "I'd rather pay highly paid consultants" Hello, highly paid consultants are hired by council and bow and scrape to the council, i.e., the three stooges. Nanninga is spot on. Almost all approved EIRs in the last five years have been carried on the back of "consultants" who are only hired guns. All these Anons should shoulder up to reality and post their names. I could give a shit of somebody takes offense to my opinion. Sincerely, Diane Bond

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  16. opps, didn't mean to shout three times in a row but that bloody word verification kept telling me I was an english idiot

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  17. 9:21 - How about the perk of keeping your job by doing an excellent job? How is that for an incentive?

    I'm not sure the city could afford any more bonuses.

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  18. Some planners in the city already have the perk of keeping their jobs. It's call the city manager and planning director looking out for them.

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  19. Still no lights fixed at LBlvd and 101, how pathetic!! What's wrong with this city?? Why can't they hire people that want to do the job for which they are paid??

    Fire the city manager!
    Fire the head of public works!

    And vote out ALL incumbents!!
    RSPB

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  20. RSPB, I do not want to pick a fight, but I have a different take (about the crossing ; I agree about incumbents):

    Saturday morning seemed so peaceful to me. The Amtrak trains went by at neighborhood-appropriate speeds. The horns were quiet compared to their usual blaring. At that time, there were no traffic signals at all.

    Later in the day, traffic signals were flashing red in all directions. I used the crossing by car and by foot many times over the weekend. I never had to wait more than a few seconds. Normally, each green light lasts about a minute, even if no cars pass through. I would like to see them try flashing reds every weekend from say 6pm Friday to 6am Monday.

    BTW, I think that the new NO RIGHT TURN neon sign is what pushed the thing over the edge. (j/k)

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  21. Diane -

    Your quote is wrong like the rest of your thoughts.

    "I'd rather pay highly paid consultants"

    I wrote "specialized"

    Let’s see Bob try and fire existing deadwood. He can't get through the union crap.

    The consultants are needed because of their expertise. They seem to be getting steered strongly by staff.

    Lets see what you can do Bob?

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  22. I agree with Ribeye2k-

    I like the way the intersection is performing on all way red.

    Leave it be. It works much better.


    When in the all red mode, I can get through that intersection in one tenth the amount of time that it takes when its on its normal operation.

    sorry RSPB- We seem to like the calming effect, not the speeders racing through town.

    What don't you like about it?

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