Grand Jury News

City Papers: Main Street Project Vol. 2

September 18, 2014

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Another 1,250 pages. Points of interest for me (but you may see something else):

Chief of Staff John Asmar had George Maiberger, Purchasing Director, bid out the owner’s representative contract. Hatch Mott and Volkert submitted bids, but Maiberger had to send an email to Steve Dana of Jerry Pate Design to get his quote. Dana responded: “I gave those to the mayor last week…for main st, admiral mason, and main st irrigation design. Do you need copies?”

We know based on the documents in Vol. 1 that Dana had been working for the city since August without a contract or compensation. Dana sent in his proposal on Nov. 9, 2011. He was not the low bidder, but the mayor determined that Jerry Pate Design was “the best choice for this contract.” Read OwnerRepBids

By late February 2012, Dick Barker reported that the Main Street project was over budget by almost $600,000. City Administrator Bill Reynolds called an emergency meeting: “I can not fathom how we can be almost $600k short. Gentlemen, we have an unbelievable and absolutely unacceptable situation. I am dumbstruck. We will meet tomorrow so I can be in a position to brief the Mayor. At the end of the day, I can assure there will be repercussions. This is a major failure.”

In an email to Asmar, Reynolds blamed Dick Barker, City CFO, primarily: “He originally said some things didn’t need to be approved. Plenty of blame to go round, but Al (Graza, head of public works) certainly contributed and Derrik (Owens, city engineer) approved. I am stunned. All 3 need to go. This is yet another Dick screw up. I haven’t been able to understand how he kept his job after the 3.2 mil issue in 2008.”

(Note: Barker is now the interim city administrator.)

Barker and the staff figured out how to reclassify expenses to make the project appear to be within its budget. How? I couldn’t completely figure it out – expenses got shifted to sidewalks and other city projects, I think. Read major failure.

Read Volume 2: A B C D E

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