OPINION: TICK TOCK – TICK TOCK

By Ron Munden – November 30, 2018

The clock is running and the Marshall City Commissioners, true to form, appear to be doing nothing.

Of course, the City Commission has chosen to not keep the public informed on their progress. Why let the citizens know what is happening?  The Commissioners could be doing great work but that is hard to believe based on their record.

In my November 21, 2018, article I said:

I have learned that the Commission met on November 14 and narrowed the list of candidates and agreed to hold interviews. It is all good but now the bad part. They agreed to hold interviews on December 3. This is still good, BUT the Commissioners decided not to interview all the candidates the same day. I can only assume that they did this because some of the Commissioners don’t have the endurance to work a full day.

So, the Commissioners had to select a second day for interviews. Because of the commissioners’ busy schedules, the next day they can hold interviews is December 12. This means that is going to take these Commissioners one month to interview 4 to 6 people.

Since writing that article I have learned that there are only four candidates to interview.  So, the Marshall City Commissioners have decided that it is impossible to interview four people on the same day.  If the interviews are one hour and there is 15 minutes between interviews, the entire process would take less than 6 hours.  In my opinion it is very important to interview all four candidates on the same day.  The Commissioners need to hold the interviews on one day and meet the following day to make the selection.

That is not what the Commissioners plan to do.  They plan on interviewing two candidates on December 3 and nine days later interview the remaining two candidates.  The Commissioners better take detailed notes during each interview since the selection process will be at least 10 days after the first interview.  How can someone be expected to remember the details of these interviews for 10 or more days.

WHAT! NO NOTES!!

I recently learned that the Commissioners are strongly encouraged NOT TO TAKE ANY NOTES during the interviews.  The reason given for this advise is that these notes would be subject to an open records request.  The Commissioners notes could become public information.

This “no notes” recommendation would not be a problem if the process of selecting a new city manager was completed in a single day.  However, based on the current timeline and track record of the Marshall City Commission, the process is going to take between 10 to 20 days.  It may be even longer.

What is wrong with these City Commissioners?  Why can’t they complete the interviews on December 3? I have come up with only three explanations:

1.       They are lazy

2.      They are physically unable to perform the duties of a City Commissioner

3.      They just don’t give a damn

As I said in my last article:

The clock is ticking. The City Commission should act quickly and the person that can make that happen is Mayor Hurta. In bridge they say, “he who hesitates is lost.” The same thing can be said for hiring a city manager.

I would not recommend you select one of these commissions as your bridge partner.

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Cost of Construction Management Services for the Memorial City Hall Renovation

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By Ron Munden

In October 2018 at meeting of the Marshall City Commission acting City Manager Jack Redmon told the Commissioners that the construction management fees were not included the cost numbers that he had presented to the Commission.

Based on data obtained by an open records request, at the end of October 2018 the city has spent $268,669.74 on construction management for Memorial City Hall (MCH).  The number includes the salary of Construction Supervisor Vance Walker — $197,689.38 and the salary of Support Services Coordinator Jeffrey Whiting — $37,749.48.

The number also includes the supplemental pay for to Jack Redmon.  During 2016, 2017 and 2018 Mr. Redmon salary was increased by $1000/month because of his construction manager responsibilities.  The total through the end of October 2018 is $33,230.88.

The cost of construction management is continuing.  Based on the latest reports one must assume these charges will continue through April 2019.  The predicted addition cost is $57,840.51.  This will bring the total construction management cost to $326,510.25.

Based on the numbers Mr. Redmon provided to the City Commissioners the cost overrun for the MCH renovation will be $453,874.  But Mr. Redmon said this did not include the construction management costs.  So, this takes the MCH cost overrun to $780,384.25 plus additional architectural fees that are not known at this time.

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Feedback for the Week – 11/25/2018

City to postpone lighted Christmas parade to December 2 because of weather concerns
11/30/2018 — parade goer — text message
The city constantly changing the date for the Christmas parade is confusing to the public. It is understandable that they moved the parade from Saturday because of the football playoff game. However when they made that decision there was an 80% chance of rain on Friday. Why didn’t they just change the date to Sunday December 2nd at that point?

Cost of construction management services for Memorial City Hall 
11/29/2018 — anonymous — text massage
This renovation has been a disaster from the start.  It just keeps getting worse.

Cost of construction management services for Memorial City Hall 
11/28/2018 — anonymous — text massage
I thought that the city was going to save money by being it own construction manager. It looks like they actually are spending more money. Where is the extra money going to come from?

Your New Feedback System
11/28/2018 — anonymous — text message
I love your new feedback system. I particularly like the ability to use text messaging to provide my feedback. Good work.

Outstanding New Addition To Your Website
11/27/2018 — anonymous — phone call I am very very pleased with the addition of a verbal feedback system for the website.
What a very very clever idea. Thank you.

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