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From the Mayor’s Desk- August 11, 2010

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CH2MHILL ADVOCATE AD:

While this matter was in litigation, I have necessarily been silent on this issue.  I now want to take the opportunity to address the allegation regarding the ad placed in the Advocate by CH2M HILL prior to the election.

While the court held that:

     “the March 26, 2010, advertisement was not placed in connection with their contract with the City of Central by rather in their private capacity for their own benefit”,

I feel the need, as your mayor to ensure that an issue of this sort does not arise again.

To avoid any future confusion, I have asked CH2M HILL, simply as a courtesy, to allow me to review any advertisement that they plan to place in the local area, using the City of Central’s name before said advertisement is placed.

CH2M HILL has agreed, which is just another indication of the strong relationship we have with this company.

I can assure you that I, nor anyone working on my behalf, had prior knowledge of the ad.  The citizens of Central are a very intelligent group of people and I would never do anything to be misconstrued as a negative campaign ploy in the last days of the race.  I would not chance placing a negative light on a hard fought campaign.  

This is my pledge to you;

I will serve you with honesty and integrity, moving this city forward in the fashion that is conducive to our unique community.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

We are growing!

  1. CVS Pharmacy will begin construction of a 13,225 square foot building at the corner of Wax and Sullivan.  Construction should start before the end of this year and be ready by late summer of 2011.
  2. The Quarters at Central Square also located at the corner of Sullivan and Wax, will start construction in two weeks and will include the following tenants:

a)  Central Buffet  –    7,500 square foot,   buffet restaurant

b)  Menchies Frozen Yogurt  –  1,500 square foot,   Yogurt and Ice Cream facility

c)  All State Insurance –   1,200 square foot (relocation from Baker)

d)  Central Nails   –  1,200 square foot,   Nail Salon

e)  Extra Innings  –  3,600 square foot,   Sports Bar

 

FOR YOUR RECORDS:

Below you will find a listing of all City services provided by CH2MHILL.  If you have need of one of these services, you can reach our City Service Office at 262-5000.  This office is located at the corner of Hooper Road and Greenwell Springs Road.

General Services:

1) Administrative and Financial Services

   a) Capital Program Administration

   b) Forecasting and Policy Implementation

   c) Contract Administration

   d) Communications and Public Relations

   e) City Purchasing

2) Departmental Support

   a) Overall Admiistrative Support to All City Functions and Departments

   b) Assist City in Development of Emergency Preparedness Plan

   c) Citizen/Customer Response

3) Information Technologies and Website

   a) Centralized Management of All Network Resources and Storage of Documents

   b) Data Security and Backup

   c) Software and Hardware Uniformity

   d) Archive Email

   e) Establish and Maintain City Database of Occupational and Businesss Licenses

   f) City Access to Data 24/7

   g) Design and Host City Website

   h) Daily Updates to Website

   i) Publish GIS Data on Website

   j) Develop and Maintain GIS Data for Admin, City Public Works, Planning & Zoning

   k) GIS Data Includes Utilities and Infrastructure

   l) Service and Update GIS Monthly

   m) Provide GIS Data to City and Contractor Requests

4) Records Management Program

   a) Implement and Maintain Document Management System

   b) Maintain System to Preserve Document Security

   c) Protect Document Integrity

   d) Provide Application Server to Store and Manage Data

   e) Provide and Maintain Access to Data

   f) Design Storage Strategies and Systems

   g) Implement and Coordinate Transfer of Data as Necessary

Public Works:

1) Funding and Grant Applications

   a) Conduct Activities to Identify, Pursue, and Manage Funding

2) Maintaining and Improving Roads

   a) Street Design- Maintain Street Plan

3) Road and Drainage Maintenance

   a) Maintenance of Roadway and Drainage Systems

4) Sidewalks, Gutters, and Related Street Areas

   a) Maintain Sidewalks, Gutters, and Related Street Areas

5) Rights of Way and Facilities

   a) Manage and Coordinate Transfer of Right of Ways from City/Parish

   b) Establish and Maintain ROW Permitting Process

   c) Conduct Maintenance of ROWs and Public Properties (including grass cutting, trash and debris pick up)

   d) Maintain Traffic Signage and Specific School Zone Signals

Planning, Zoning Services and CODE ENFORCEMENT SERVICES:

1) Establish and Administer P&Z Services

   a) Working Relationship with Central P&Z Commission

   b) Provide Information to General Public

   c) Provide Information to Builders and Developers

   d) Oversee Development and Use of Land Use and Zoning Maps

   e) Develop and Recommend for P&Z Commission Policies and Procedures Regarding All P&Z Activities

   f) Provide Information to Mayor, Council, and P&Z Commission

   g) Develop for P&Z Commission a Plan for Implementation and Assessment of Impact Fees

   h) Conduct P&Z Activities for City

   i) Develop, Implement and Manage P&Z Activities

   j) Develop, Implement and Maintain Code Enforcement Process

   k) Develop, Implement and Maintain Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan Review and Inspections

INSPECTIONS & PERMITTING

SERVICES:

1) Establish and Maintain Staff

2) Develop, Implement and Maintain Plan Review Process and Inspections

3) Develop, Implement and Maintain Building Permit Process

4) Develop, Implement and Maintain Issuance of Certificates of Occupancy

*Note: user fees fund service delivery activity.  City retains 10% of total collected to support City operations.

 

I will update “From the Mayor’s Desk” every two weeks.  I deliver this article to Central City News, CentralSpeaks (it will be placed on CentralSpeaks website as well as their newspaper) and also this will be posted on my website:

www.mayormacwatts.com

By the way, this site is donated, hosted and maintained by Bone Marketing a fellow Central resident.  

Again, if you have questions or situations that we need to address, please call my office at 261-5988 and make an appointment with Charlotte, my secretary.

Thank you and God Bless Central

Mac Watts

Mayor 

The purpose of “FROM THE MAYOR’S DESK” is to disseminate public information to as many citizens as possible.  The author grants permission to third parties to forward and/or publish the entire text of this edition of “FROM THE MAYOR’S DESK” including this statement.  Forwarding or publication of any edited version of said document is not authorized by the author.

58 Comments

  1. Wade Evans

    August 13, 2010 at 6:41 am

    This is what we needed to move forward. Thanks Mayor Watts.

  2. resident

    August 13, 2010 at 7:46 am

    I thought they were suppose to get permission from you before placing ANY ad, not just one for their own benefit/advertisement.

  3. KeithK

    August 13, 2010 at 9:55 am

    resident, Is this not crystal clear?

    “To avoid any future confusion, I have asked CH2M HILL, simply as a courtesy, to allow me to review any advertisement that they plan to place in the local area, using the City of Central’s name before said advertisement is placed.”

    The Mayor of Central has no authority to review all ads made by this world wide organization. Only those concerning our City!

  4. mike mannino

    August 13, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Dont see why this anouncement was necessary.

    Direct from the contract under scope of services:
    1.1.4.10- Prepare various media presentations of City programs to the staff and general public as approved by the City.
    2.5- City designates the Mayor as the authorized representative of the City under this agreement.
    2.6- All communications to the Mayor, City Council, and press, unless otherwise authorized, shall be through the Citys representative. All mass communications to residents shall be reviewed and approved by Citys designated representative prior to publication or in the case of of oral or electronic communication prior to dissemnination.

    Pretty clear to me but I’m just an average guy not a lawyer.

  5. resident

    August 13, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Thanks Mike!

  6. mike mannino

    August 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Resident,
    Just the facts as the saying goes.

    I dont think this language indicates any exclusions that CH2 has any rights to promote themselves if thats what this ad was, without approval.

    Again, another common contract clause so that a company cannot promote themsleves or use a client as a selling point without approval of the client. Thats why I believe the judge did not rule correctly on this and should be appealed.

  7. resident

    August 13, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I agree.

  8. Jimmie Keith Kepper

    August 13, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    1.1.4.10- Prepare various media presentations of City programs to the staff and general public as approved by the City.

    This does not mandate approval by the city for advertising. Although advertising is a form of media, it is surely not the only form! This is with reference to media used in communication of City information to the staff or public which the city would of course have the final say.

    But aside from what I think this paragraph in this Lcontract means which I, just like 99% of Central have never seen and probably never will, aside from that, it was a pretty simple statement from Mayor Watts and it surprises me it would offend you. What if he would have said “from this point forward we are going to interpret paragraph 1.1.4.10 as media presentations to include advertising”? Would more than 10 people know what he was talking about? Still surprised this statement would draw criticism?

  9. HadEnuff

    August 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    As usual there will always be those that are never satisfied. Personally I appreciate Mayor Watts effort. To his critics, is there anything that would please you? Instead of the constantly criticizing, try to think of something positive YOU can do to help those that have been elected by the MAJORITY make this a great place to live. Mr Mannino, we are all entitled to our opinion. I think the Judge ruled correctly, based on FACTS.
    Mr

  10. Mike Mannino

    August 13, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Kieth,
    Dont want you on me because you are bigger and may whup up on me LOL.

    All I’m saying is CH2 should have known better. The Mayor says he didnt know so I have to take his word. No excuse for CH2, they are a big company and know why this clause is a standard paragraph in any major contract. It protects the client from being used to advertise for CH2 without permission.

    I will state again for all of you that jump to conclusions, that I am not blaming the mayor but CH2 violated those terms and they had to know it.

    HadEnuff,
    Surely you realize this election was close enough to have not been a mandate for either side. So dont go invoking the MAJORITY because its certainly not overwelming. Given todays environment, the outcome would be different so I suggest the current administration start listening to the “other” side becuase its much bigger now than it was back then. That I can promise you.

  11. HadEnuff

    August 13, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Manano, Overwhelming or not, the results speak for themselves. And, I am sure the current council is more than willing to listen. Unfortunately, some have to spend so much time defending themselves against vicious accusations that they hardly have time to try and move this community forward. Does the Salem Witch Trails ring any bells? Work together people! That is what makes a community succeed!

  12. Mike Mannino

    August 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I’m willing as soon as they are. But when Ms. Morris and Mayor Watts try to embarrass me at a council meeting,( backfired BTW) thats not trying. I’m on no witch hunt, have been very vocal about saying so, but they dont want to play fair. So dont think I’m going to lay down and take it.
    Have you seen me make accusations ? I go out of my way to say I see no wrongdoing, only mistakes that people will forgive. But the response to my reasonable data and facts, and the attacks, only back me in the corner with more resolve. Not a place you want to put me because I’m not going to put up with it. Ask anyone who knows me. The personal threats that I have not discussed will not be tolerated.

  13. KeithK

    August 13, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Mike, big or not my whooping up days are bout over!!lol. My point is that the paragraph in question is not the standard or common paragraph for denying use of a particular project or constructed item or services rendered in self promotion, marketing and advertising. I have reviewed and signed contracts with the Disney corporation that do include this exclusion in their contracts and it is very definitive! Furthermore, this exclusion is not a common portion of most contracts, quite to the contrary, most companies are completely ok with you using the work you performed for them in your ads and marketing media.

    I agree that CH2 is a large company and providing municipal services is only one small aspect of their business. This huge amount of concern over a single ad is beyond ridiculous and is agenda driven. You may be sincerely concerned about the city budget and unnecessary costs but others are not and are as hadenuff said “on a witch hunt”. When Central no longer supports them and no longer provides a measure of profit for their businesses they will no longer be here. But we will, just like we have been all the way back to the days of Mikes Auto Parts.

    I encourage you to stay on the side of Central! That’s what me and all I know and love are concerned with…building a better stronger smarter Central. Not the back biting and slick journalism that has become the rule instead of the exception.

  14. Mike Mannino

    August 13, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Agree Kieth. This ad controversy is ridiculous and should not have ever risen to this level. Ive known you a long time, know how much you are dedicated to Central, have the utmost respect for you, your dad, and your family. Good people that I’m privelged to call my friends.

    I know you are sincere and I can work with people like you who are willing to listen, debate and form your own opinion without all the hatred and nastiness. Wish everyone was the same.

  15. Centraldad

    August 13, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    BTW, Kieth is spelled Keith lol

  16. Concerned Citizen

    August 14, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Ok, everyone take a deep breath. The Mayor has issued a statement saying that he did not approve the advertisement nor did he have prior knowledge. The only remaining issue seems to be a disagreement with regard to the language in the contract with CH2MHill as it pertains to advertisements. This was challenged in court and the judge has ruled. As for now the issue is settled unless Mr. Jenkins appeals the ruling. Judges are not perfect and can certainly rule in error after all that is why we have an appeals process. My personal opinion is that as citizens we should all make a better effort to work together. So let’s assume that the language in the contract is not abundantly clear regarding this matter. Arguing about it on this website or make additional court challenges will not accomplish anything .because we can still disagree with the judge.

    It seems obvious to me that we already have a solution, the Mayor has stated that CH2MHill has agreed to let him review ANY advertisement that they plan to place in the local area. As a follow-up we should make sure future contracts for city services are clear on this issue to prevent future occurrences.

  17. Jimmie Keith Kepper

    August 14, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Not arguing just clarifying! But, let me say this…when a life long politician chooses to use a community newspaper and his position as editor in chief to try and destroy all the hard work done to unite our city then he needs to be checked! Many dear friends and associates of mine have had their integrity and motives placed in question through his slick, yellow journalistic style of journalism. Then at the end of the day he gets in his car and crosses our beautiful Comite River and drives home!! He doesn’t even live here!!! Leaving a divided and wounded community in his exhaust fumes.

    No concerned, I’m not arguing yet but I certainly will!! This is my house! My community! My friends! And My family!! You don’t come into my house and cause 10 kinds of hell for all of the above and leave without a fight!! I have no agenda, but I got loads of passion and I for one am sick of what I am seeing and hearing from all the critics. I will take a deep breath, but only to be ready for round two!!

    All of this nonsense started because Woody’s candidate for Mayor didn’t get elected. Now we are searching through all city documents for what? Cause Woody didn’t like an ad ran by CH2 that somehow helped the incumbent? So now he wishes to slant the public opinion of them and those associated with them. Grasping at straws to make some kind of a case out of something, doesn’t matter what. Now we have a council that basically fires our City’s lawyer! Are you kidding me?? For what? Cause she has worked closely with the two people Woody can’t stand? Really, give me another reason, and not the cost because that is completely in line with the legal fees for other infant city’s.

    I’m tired of it and I will use this site to say so!

  18. Mike Mannino

    August 14, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Hey Keith,
    Lets just us 2 old men get out the gloves and settle it in the ring LOL. We wont last 1 minute anyway.

    Appreciate your passion. Lots of people out here have the same passion, just dont agree and thats OK. We still have to live together.

  19. Kyle

    August 14, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Here’s my question: Why won’t Woody print “From the Mayor’s Desk”? Apparently, it is sent to him, but he refuses to print it. So the mayor is trying to get information out to the citizens, but Woody is refusing to print his information. I think that is a matter that needs to be looked into. Why won’t Woody print it? Why doesn’t Woody want the mayor’s information to be given to the citizens? Seems Woody has a hidden agenda. Thank you Dave for printing the city’s information.

    I found this on another site. Look at it. It will open your eyes and you will see a lot of similarities to what Woody is trying to do to Central.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YirUshZvGf4

    Also, I found these articles as well on a google search. They are eye openers as well. Everyone needs to read them:

    http://redstick.wordpress.com/2008/03/05/ethics-for-dummies/

    http://redstick.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/centrals-woes/

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/0708/Republicans_catch_break_in_race_against_Cazayoux.html

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2007/09/dissecting_a_claim_perkins_v_b.php

    http://www.talk2action.org/story/2007/9/28/31634/0724/Front_Page/Dissecting_an_Error_Laden_Post_Brayton_v_Brayton

    Wake up citizens of Central! We need to protect ourselves from this outsider!

  20. R.R.

    August 14, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Thanks Mike for all that you are trying to do for Central. I agree with Resident, most of the people in Central thought that the Mayor had the final say as to what is published in our Local Newspaper. What concerns me is the fact that it has taken an awful long time for the ‘Mayor’ to make any kind of statement as to whether he did or didn’t know about the Ad.
    For the life of me I can’t think of one good reason why CH2 would not simply say who the person was that placed the Ad if they didn’t have anything to hide. No one company, I don’t care how ‘World Wide’ they are should have the right to withhold information concerning a city that they are being ‘Highly Paid’ to take care of. I also resent the fact that my tax dollars are being spent by a company & I do not have a right to know how that money is being spent. When this kind of underhandedness is going on there’s usually a woodchuck in the pile somewhere…..FOLLOW THE MONEY & you’ll get answers.
    As the old saying goes ‘There’s also an awful lot of Chiefs & not nearly enough Indians’ in Central & the Chiefs are not listening to what the people in Central want for our fair City. This is all so sad.

  21. Jimmie Keith Kepper

    August 16, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Mike, maybe in a perfect world, but seems to me criticism just for the sake of criticism is the rule these days. I would venture to say that no company or city for that matter has ever put a budget together and been 100% successful in maintaining it. It is a guide used to reach a desired result. I completely agree that there MAY be better answer out there than what we have now.  But really, all of this energy simply to say in the end let’s do better next time?  Couldn’t that point have been made without a discovery of documents?  I know you stand independently, but this was all motivated for purely political purposes. Now it’s trying to be reclothed as something it’s not.   A mayoral candidate used as his platform information concerning city services that were misleading and not accurate and that was exposed in an ad by CH2.  I am sure that had that candidate been elected this post would not even exist. 

    I’m on the side of privatization for what I think are sound economical reasons.  This doesn’t mean that I will maintain this position as our city grows and changes occur. 

    RR- one question? Will Walmart tell you how they spend the money they make off of you when you purchase goods from them?  

  22. Jimmie Keith Kepper

    August 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Mike, this should have posted where you and Dave were discussing the budget, I’ll repose there.

  23. Paul

    August 16, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Jimmie –

    In response to your Walmart question – the difference being Walmart is not profiting from our tax dollars. They are a private company and when you buy a product, you know what you are getting because you have it in hand.

    CH2 is providing a government service in lieu of a government entity, is being paid by tax dollars, therefore they are the de facto government entity. That is the quandrum with privatization. For profit companies want to maintain secrecy and non-transparency but being paid with public funds negates that. It’s not just CH2, its merely all for profit government contractors. The state and federal government have laws that allow them to view, inspect and audit every expenditure of a contractor to ensure and all those inspections and audits are public record.

    I believe the records need to be audited, but it can be done with civillity. There is no need for the ruckus. Complete the audit and report the results. We can move on from there. This applies to everyone. Rush to judgement and childish behavior has occurred on all sides of this issue.

    • dave

      August 16, 2010 at 10:17 am

      Paul, Thanks for your calm approach to this discussion. Central needs more of that. I have a related question. The Central school system is in the process of awarding a $33 million contract to build 2 schools on Sullivan Road. The project will take upwards of 2 years. The General Contractor is taking the requirements provided by the school system, sub-contracting all of the work to other companies, and making a profit. the School System, if it wanted to, could have hired an experienced individual to work directly for the school system and coordinate all of the subcontractors. People do this often in building their own homes. Question: What financial information should the school system have a right to see in this project?

  24. Keith Kepper

    August 16, 2010 at 11:28 am

    private |ˈprīvit|
    adjective
    1 belonging to or for the use of one particular person or group of people only : all bedrooms have private facilities | his private plane.
    • (of a situation, activity, or gathering) affecting or involving only a particular person or group of people : a small private service in the chapel.
    • (of thoughts and feelings) not to be shared with or revealed to others : she felt awkward intruding on private grief.
    • (of a person) not choosing to share thoughts and feelings with others : he was a very private man.
    • (of a meeting or discussion) involving only a small number of people and dealing with matters that are not to be disclosed to others : this is a private conversation.
    • (of a place) quiet and free from people who can interrupt : can we go somewhere a little more private?
    2 (of a person) having no official or public role or position : the paintings were sold to a private collector.
    • not connected with one’s work or official position : the president was visiting China in a private capacity.
    3 (of a service or industry) provided or owned by an individual or an independent, commercial company rather than by the government : research projects carried out by private industry | more than 1,400 state enterprises that were about to go private.
    • of or relating to a system of education or medical treatment conducted outside the system of government and charging fees to the individuals who make use of it.
    • of, relating to, or denoting a transaction between individuals and not involving commercial organizations : it was a private sale—no agent’s commission.
    ****************************************
    private enterprise
    noun
    business or industry that is managed by independent companies or private individuals rather than by the state.
    *****************************************
    private sector
    noun
    the part of the national economy that is not under direct government control.
    ****************************************
    Paul, I beg to differ! No difference between your tax dollars and your grocery dollars. It’s all your money from your pocket. I agree that when you buy an item from Walmart you have that item, that you agreed to pay and did pay it’s sale price. As are the services rendered to our City by CH2 per our contract with them. If the argument is that a private enterprise, such as a corporation must divulge all information associated with there profits and expenses simply because they used some of your or my money through their normal business practices, then their would be no such thing as a private company. There is no “quandrum with privatization”… example: if an A/C guy is hired by the City, and per contract paid $500.00 per month to maintain all of the Cities air conditioning systems, is it our right as citizens to know where and how he spent that $500.00. I think not. As long as all air conditioning systems are working then he is doing what he was contracted to do. If all of the air conditioners in the city are say less than 3 years old then he probably negotiated a pretty good contract. If they are all over 20 years old then I would say the City negotiated a pretty good contract.

    Also, their is no secrecy, what secret? That they provide services for our City per an existing fully enforceable contract and have provided per public records those services rendered. If there is a service that they have not provided or are not providing that the contract states they should be providing then this should be brought to the attention of our city council and city attorney as a violation of contract and should be handled accordingly.

    You believe an audit is in order… on what basis? Not that I have a problem with an audit, but can you state to me what has been done that would clearly prescribe an audit? Where have they defaulted?

  25. Concerned Citizen

    August 16, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I agree with Keith, there are no legitimate issues with our current contract, assuming that all of services are being provided satisfactorily. If you have a legitimate performance issued related to our existing scope of services plead your case, if not quit complaining. Based on comments made in our local tabloid CCN, I believe that many people may be confused as to the type of contract the city has with CH2MHill. Which is a fixed fee (Lump Sum) contract; we pay a fixed amount on an annual basis for a scope of services as outlined in the contract. The amount is fixed whether CH2MHIll makes 20% profit or losses 20%. The cost we pay for the services are fixed. Moving forward we will have the option to rebid the contract using this method of payment or we may choose to explore other options such as cost plus or unit pricing.

  26. Mike Mannino

    August 16, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Concerned,
    I totally agree to a point. I am VERY familiar with fixed fee agreements but this one is too broadly written. Trick is to have an adequete scope of work defined up front or somebody will come out way ahead. It does not clearly define how many of what services we are to be provided to steward against actuals, just very broad descriptions like “cut grass”, “maintain drainage”, etc. There is value in this not so much for current contract but for future contracts to see if we can improve. The way this is written and stewarded, you have no more information to bargain with than the first day of the contract. I suspect that the $150,000 CH2 reduced the contract by in April was due to the excess amount of prophit they are making and was a goodwill gesture to try and knock down the controversy and not out of the goodness of their heart.

  27. Kyle

    August 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Paul:
    A similar issue was brought to my attention by someone. The Parish of EBR has an almost $20 million per year contract with Allied Waste to pick up your garbage and trash. Allied is a private company. This is an example of privatizing a public function. The parish of EBR found it cheaper to contract this work out to Allied. Does that mean Allied has to turn over all their documents to the city? Simple answer: NO. They are a private company. How do we know we’re getting our money’s worth out of Allied? Are they making a profit or losing money? We don’t know because they are private and that is their right. As long as they are doing the service and it was properly advertised and awarded, their private company business is not to be disclosed, even though they are being paid with public funds.

    The Central School System contracts out its computer and software maintenance and installation to a local private firm (GM Cable and MIS Industries on Joor Rd) and pays them thousands and thousands of dollars each year. Does the public have the right to request the financial and all other records from these private firms? I don’t think so because they are a private firm.

    I think what we’re doing here is more harm than good. If and when the city services contract goes out for bid again, I think some companies will be reluctant to bid because they will be afraid that all of their private company information will want to be exposed, and they won’t want to put up with the hassle and even submit a bid. They will probably think it’s not worth it. We need to be thinking about that!

  28. Paul

    August 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Keith and CC – I believe an audit is a routine thing. Government expenditures should always be audited and should be done so on a scheduled basis. There is a difference though in an audit and an investigation. An investigation needs to be predicated on some credible allegation.

    And CC – I am not complaining. I am merely giving my opinion on an issue. I believe I should have the right to do that without you getting defensive or divisive. But if that’s the attitude you wish to take, so be it.

    I don’t know where all this will bring us. Maybe by the end of the day it will bring us no where. I don’t know. I tend to wait until things are completed and look at all the facts before passing final comments. But I absolutely support the public’s right to review the documents and IF something is found, to hold those responsible accountable.

    I could care less about everyone’s personal or political motives.

    • dave

      August 16, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      Paul, or anyone, I still would like an opinion as to my earlier question:
      The Central school system is in the process of awarding a $33 million contract to build 2 schools on Sullivan Road. The project will take upwards of 2 years. The General Contractor is taking the requirements provided by the school system, sub-contracting all of the work to other companies, and making a profit. the School System, if it wanted to, could have hired an experienced individual to work directly for the school system and coordinate all of the subcontractors. People do this often in building their own homes. Question: What financial information should the school system have a right to see in this project?

  29. Nathan

    August 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Dave

    Good question but a much bigger can of worms then a house. One thing you have to remind yourself is that this is a 33 million dollar project as compared to the average 250,000 dollar house. There is no way one man could be responsible for all these subcontractors building this school. Whichever company is chosen will have Engineers, Architects, Project Managers, Fore-mans Etc. all working together to pull this thing off.

    Also I think we have no right to any financial information on the contractor that is chosen. I think people in Central fail to realize that just because you work for the city doesn’t mean it is on a volunteer basis. I realize that we don’t want the contractor to get rich but they also have to make a living.

    People please get off this CH2 band wagon. This horse is being ridden into the ground over and over. The council you elected voted on the approval for this contractor and the contract. IF you want to blame someone blame yourself.

    I think as a city we need to bite the bullet finish out the contract and send them packing. I hope we can learn from this experience and move on to solve much more pressing issues such as infrastructure, drainage problems, economic stress, and traffic flow

  30. Jimmie Keith Kepper

    August 16, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Paul, you are absolutely correct and I misspoke because I thought you were talking more about an investigative audit than a routine audit. An routine/annual audit really won’t indicate anything other than if the the monies received by CH2 and paid by the City agrees with the stipulations of the contract. Therefore, it would need to be an investigation of wrong doing or contact violation or default to really do any good. Which, I would assume, is why the request for public records is taking place. Looking for a smoking gun, not THE smoking gun, any smoking gun, even if it’s not really smoking, try to make it look like it’s smoking or at least make it a smokey colored gun. Because going into this with no real basis or reasonable accusation of wrong doing, or contract violation or default and swaying the feelings of the citizens of our city falsely against our Mayor and others is what seems criminal to me.

  31. Nathan

    August 16, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Paul

    I agree with your opinion on contracts for state and government. The only problem with your statements is that when you enter into a contractual agreement between to parties both parties are bound by the intent of that agreement. I think people are getting confused on what is public record and what is not. I can promise that you will never find in Louisiana where a private company provided any service to a municipality and was allowed to audit financial documentation. Unless otherwise stated in the CONTRACT. I can assure you that if there were some remote chance that this were possible this thing would have never gotten thrown out and would have definitely went to trial. I hope next contract approval we can hire a reputable law firm who is experienced in these types of lump some contracts that has our best interest at heart.

    I still haven’t figured out why Louisiana is still stuck in this NAPOLEON BASE LAW SYSTEM. I guess we are last in everything else this has to be one more thing.

  32. Donna Dufour

    August 16, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Keith, this is in response to your remark “A mayoral candidate used as his platform information concerning city services that were misleading and not accurate and that was exposed in an ad by CH2.” One major issue was permit fees. After the election the Mayor had a committee formed to study these permit fees. Blackwater Church had an issue with it and didn’t get any satisfaction till it was made public in the CCN. The schools work and Councilman DeJohn got that issue resolved. So was Jr. Shelton that far off base? Now, If I’m right on that then was CH2MHILL even just a little inaccurate or misleading in their ad?

  33. Paul

    August 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    I tend to agree with everyone that there appears to be more of a contract deficiency or failure to adhere to the strictest terms of the contract here than actual misconduct. That’s why I think it’s important to have all the facts before passing judgement. The review of records is not a bad thing if it makes our administration more diligent in ensuring that contract terms are met, but then again that is assuming they haven’t been. I simply have no direct knowledge either way.

    Dave – not sure I can answer your question specifically, but would suggest that the best way to ensure we get everything is to make sure our contract is solid and diligent in addressing what our expectation are. Contractor’s are definetely in the business to make a profit and I have nothing against that. Profits are good. But it is more complex than that. Just because we accept a bid for X dollars and the contractor gets it done for less doesn’t make it right. What if they use substandard materials? Or unlicensed labor? Or intentionally provide false information to the city inflating the true costs of things? Or misstate overruns?

    These things are the cause of many false claims actions and criminal cases against federal contractors and subcontractors. Then again, the federal government has an entire section of laws regulating contracts. Not sure what we have on the local or state side. I would think that before we spend 33 million dollars that we would ensure we have the right to review whatever we need to to address situations like that. A contractor should be held responsible for who he subcontracts to and ensure that his subcontractors are fulfilling the terms of the contract.

    Yes, everyone involved in the execution of the work is doing so to make money. Nothing wrong with that. It’s when rules aren’t followed that it becomes a problem. And the problems are usually found in audits, which need access to any documentation related to the project so evidence can’t be hidden.

    Not sure I answered your question entirely, but its a little more complicated than just saying, what documents should we be allowed to look at. In my world (criminal investigations) the answer is all documents.

    • dave

      August 16, 2010 at 10:36 pm

      Paul, Thanks for the response. Obviously, my question is more to help give perspective to the concept that private businesses are in it to make money. You have done an excellent job in explaining that, and in pointing out pitfalls in that system as well.

      Nathan, and Paul, and many others. I applaud your insight in encouraging us all to get on to the business at hand, which is to take everything this young City has learned and apply it to each new opportunity to make a decision. I would submit, as others have, that we need to cease pummelling the expired equus.

  34. Paul

    August 17, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Dave – I think those who wish to complete their review should do so. Both sides need to settle down. For me, the issue got blown out of proportion when bits and pieces of documents were being released and reported. The prudent thing to do would have been to complete the entire review and then report the comprehensive results. I truly believe Mike Mannino’s intentions are honorable and I chalk that one up to inexperience in these type of processes.

    Then again, appearances are everything. I know a lot of people think Mike is doing this for political reasons. He says he isn’t. The Mayor says he had no knowledge of the ad. I think people on each side needs to give them both the benefit of the doubt unless information is produced to the contrary.

    The timing of the ad is suspicious and if there are those that want to examine that, they should be allowed to. I’m not sure what that will get us, but they still have the right to examine.

    Yes, CH2 is a private for profit company and as a capitalist, I support their right to make a profit. However – all governments have the responsibility to be frugal with OUR tax dollars. And companies that contract with governments know there is a different set of rules and different regulations between that business and private business. Just ask any physician who has a contract with Medicare and Medicaid. Good or bad, they have to act differently when dealing with those programs and can be held criminally and/or civily liable for fraud, waste or abuse. We need to make sure in any contract we sign that we don’t cut our legs out from under us and have the enforcement rights in our clause to make sure we are not being defrauded or vicitimized.

    That’s about all I am going to say on this matter. Yes, we are a young city and have many opportunities ahead of us. I personally have less passion about this issue that most, but bring up the issue of law enforcement in this city and I will never shut up. THAT is an issue we need to be addressing NOW.

  35. Keith Kepper

    August 18, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Donna,
    Sorry for the delay in response, I have been traveling the last couple of days. As I recall the campaign issue, it was SOLELY about residential fees. Jr. Shelton’s ad in the weeks before the election compared residential permit fees in Central and Baton Rouge. But he seems to have conveniently left off the $700+ Traffic Impact Fee paid ONLY in Baton Rouge. For Baton Rouge this is equivalent to what the general public might see as a surcharge. This $700+ fee, which is required in order to receive a permit, essentially accounted for the entire difference between Shelton’s ad and CH2M HILL’s Advocate ad. Therefore, I would say CH2’s ad was not “even just a little inaccurate or misleading”, but Shelton’s was.

    The funny thing to me is that this is not even a Mayoral issue! Surely not a platform for a Mayoral campaign! This is an issue for the City Council and CH2. So in my mind this indicates a lack of issues that could be used to discount the work of the incumbent. What is not funny to me is the destruction that the glorifying in the media of these non-issues is doing to our city and the credibility of some really good people.

  36. mike mannino

    August 18, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Keith,
    A little clarification. Traffic impact fees are paid by the developer here and they are passed on to the buyer in the price of the house.Ask any local developer as I asked 2 to be sure tis was correct.

    Though residental fees were specifically compared, it was implied ALL fees were too high. Since I ran on the same platform, I can tell you I was referring to both and I assume so was Mr Shelton.

    As far as it not being a mayoral issue, I agree to a point. However, I would hope that the Mayor would set expectations as the highest elected offical in Central, and would lay out a vision for the council. This would still separate the Executive and Legislative branches. The governor doesnt get to vote on legislation but he can surely control it, the same applies here. Ultimately, I expect the Mayor to lead the direction of the City and encourage legislation to acheive those goals.

  37. Jimmie Keith Kepper

    August 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Mike,
    Nope, no city assessed fee that I can find for traffic impact. Maybe your contractors were adding this as a cost associated with their development costs but it’s not mandated through nor is it paid to the city.

    I think you were right using this as a platform for city council! But, a little confused, for slower economic growth which was also part of your platform wouldn’t you prefer higher permit fees so as to discourage an influx of future construction?

    I do agree that the Mayor is the one leading the charge and encouraging positive changes where required. However, I’m a strong believer in “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!”

    I still think turning into a Mayoral platform is a stretch. And I’m ok with that because it means there’s not really much at all wrong with our city government or those in charge of it!

  38. Nathan

    August 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    To any concerned citizen

    If someone wants to find out a comparison of fees between EBR and Central got to the Baton Rouge DPW website and find permit application for residential building construction. Click on the links for Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC, and Building. You will see these fees are comparable to what we pay here in central for the same total of permits.

    I was wondering if anyone could provide insight on getting CH2 to provide the same type of online service that EBR currently has? This service seems like it would be a much more efficient way of tracking and doing business. It would certainly make pulling permits much easier.

  39. Paul

    August 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Mr. Kepper – I always found the phrase “if it aint broke don’t fix it” a little confusing. How about “if it ain’t broke don’t break it” but we can still improve it. Just because a process works doesn’t mean it can’t work better. We should always strive to do things in the most logical, ethical and economical way possible.

    Some people might interpret “if it aint broke dont fix it” to mean we don’t need to ever do anything and I don’t believe that to be beneficial for anyone.

  40. Keith Kepper

    August 18, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Good point Paul, but in the context it was written and the thread that I was referring to I wasn’t talking about improvement. I was talking about something that has been referred to as broke but is not broke, therefore not requiring extra attention from the Mayor.

    I wasn’t trying to build a philosophy or religion on it, I was just making a simple statement. Maybe I give people more credit than to assume they might think that I was indicating improvement was not necessary. That certainly was not my intent! Improvement is a constant in all aspects of life!!

  41. Mike Mannino

    August 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Excellent comment Paul. If you believe our permit fees are “just right” then lets look at the actual ad from CH2 on the Friday during the campaign. To get EBR even close to Central, a traffic impact fee was added to the EBR cost. Not apples to apples. If we could get the permit fees in line with EBR, collect the traffic impact fees, which would bring us to about the same total, we could use that money to improve the roads affected by development instead of sending it out of state. Just a thought………..

  42. Tim Lazaroe

    August 18, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Keith made a very good point that unfortunately has not gotten the attention that it very much deserves: Our little city is in really good shape when permit fees are the major campaign platform!

  43. Donna Dufour

    August 19, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Am I remembering correctly. Are we the third largest city in the state?

  44. Paul

    August 19, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Not by far Donna. That would put us larger than Alexandria, Monroe, Lake Charles. I believe we are like 12th or 13th

  45. Donna Dufour

    August 22, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    You’re right Paul, it looks like we are 10th or 11th, but I’ll go with 12 or 13. But that is out of 71,so we are pretty high up on the totem pole. We even have a bigger population than Houma. It really surprised me too see the cities that we are bigger than. Cities that are ages old.If anyone wants to see go to http://www.citytowninfo.com/places/louisiana/

  46. Donna Dufour

    August 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    CORRECTION from above. I meant to type Slidell,they have 25,000+, Houma has 35,000+.

  47. Paul

    August 23, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    And yet, we have no police department. Go figure that we have a rising crime rate.

  48. Bebe

    September 5, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Dave,

    your statement,

    The Parish of EBR has an almost $20 million per year contract with Allied Waste to pick up your garbage and trash. Allied is a private company. This is an example of privatizing a public function. The parish of EBR found it cheaper to contract this work out to Allied. Does that mean Allied has to turn over all their documents to the city? Simple answer: NO.

    ….Dave, this isn’t right, because everyone seems to be forgetting that CH2 is a PUBLIC / PRIVATE company acting as a governmental entity……

    everybody keeps saying they are private….thats not true. They are PUBLIC / Private and the psuedo government….thats a big difference between just a private company. So all these arguments about private companies ya’ll keep making are just invalid.

    • dave

      September 6, 2010 at 4:54 am

      Bebe,

      Let’s start by recognizing that I did not make that statement. A poster named Kyle did. The only reason I poinrt this out is because I have not personally researched the Allied contract, and I try not to speak about things I have not researched.

      Let me offer you my OPINION.

      I hear much said about a “Public/Private” company. First, there is no such legal entity to my knowledge. Please show it to me if there is. There may exist private companies who have entered into an agreement which requires them to open their books to a public entity or to the public, but I am not aware of such a company or contract and I would like to see that arrangement in writing if possible.

      The crux of this matter seems to be that there is an overwhelming desire from all involved in this discussion to privatize the functions now contracted to CH2M Hill. There seems to be a consensus that this is financially the right decision. Problem is, the very concept of “privatizing” is built upon the foundation that “private” companies will do the work. The reason “private” companies can do the work so much more efficiently and still make a profit is that they are not weighed down under the burden of the rules, regulations, overheads and inefficiencies inherent in governmental organizations. This includes things like having to write reports to satisfy every inquiring elected official, attending meetings beyond those actually required to manage and provide the services, and even responding to the request of any one of 30,000 citizens that may decide they want to see any or all of the thousands of pieces of paperwork that have been generated in order to provide the services. If the public wants this type of “transparency”, the public will have to simply hire the employees in a “public works department” and then enjoy all of the rights of inquiry, supervision and transparency that they are rightfully due in their own government. AND, the public will have to pay the high price tag of pension liabilities, insurance exposure, inefficiencies, public records requests, etc, that come with providing these services for themselves as a “Public” entity.

      You can’t have it both ways. The more you choose to “privatize” the more money you save and the more “private” you make the provision of the services to be. You can’t have all the benefits of providing the services “in house” and expect the cost savings of “privatization”. A well written contract which specifically sets forth what services must be provided in exchange for the money paid would be the starting point. The next step would be to have a public bid process comprehensive and competitive enough to ensure the best price from a reputable company. After that, you let the “private” company do the job, hold them accountable for the work, and recognize that you have indeed hired a “private” company when you decided to “privatize” the services. – Just my OPINION. – Dave

  49. Bebe

    September 6, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    There is a legal entity entitled a public / private partnership, and Ch2 itself defines itself as such.

    http://www.omi.ch2mhill.com/communities/aboutppp.html

    Although relatively a new trend in governmental situations here in the US, their popularity has been steadily increasing for the last 30 years here.

    They have a history in Europe with more clearly defined guidelines in a public / private partnership that is acting as a governmental enitity.

    For the definition of a public / private partnership, you can consult with businessdictionary.com which states….

    “Public Private Partnership – Involvement of private enterprise (in the form of management expertise and/or monetary contributions) in the government projects aimed at public benefit.”

    Public private partnerships, abbreviated PPP, are also viewed by some as nothing more than scams.

    According to study done by bankwatch.org, PPP’s (public/private partnerships) have a list of things they find concerning to them which include the following:

    “Infrastructure schemes in CEE – whether they involve the PPP approach or not – often suffer from governance problems. Some consist of resurrected plans from several decades ago when neither value for money nor nature protection was an issue. While there are some improvements, even new projects are often not the result of thorough and systematic analysis but a combination of clumsy and unimaginative planning, lobbying, and personal interests.

    Corruption remains a problem in the region, and tender processes are not always satisfactory.

    Too often public officials lack experience with balancing the wishes of the private sector with the best interests of taxpayers, and the costs of projects often rise. Many officials are insufficiently committed to wide consultation and consideration of all alternatives. Consultation processes are too often carried out as a formality, at a late stage, and with no real intention of taking public opinions into account. ****isn’t this comment interesting, I do hope the mayors intent on seeking cost of alternatives, both monetary and non-monetary considerations is not mere formality****

    Public access to information on such projects is often poor. While occasional scandals emerge about very high profits for the private sector from PPP deals, in general this information is considered commercially confidential. The public is not able to see how much the same project would have cost if it was publicly procured, nor usually how much a PPP programme will cost over its contracted lifetime, i.e. the next thirty or so years.

    Due to the possibility of hiding behind ‘commercial confidentiality’ as an excuse for failing to provide public information, there is very little space for public scrutiny during the preparation of the projects. Where there have been successes in stopping poor deals, such as the Trakia Highway in Bulgaria and the Horgos-Pozega motorway in Serbia, these have mostly taken place after the contracts have been signed, representing a waste of time and money for everyone.”

    Another perspective from “Citizen Tom” can be heard here:

    http://citizentom.com/2009/04/15/the-public-private-partnership-scam/

    …”The problem involves an inherent conflict of interest. Whenever the government’s ties become too strong to a particular company and its ventures, how can we expect government officials to regulate that company with any objectivity?…”

    also quoted by Citizen Tom I found of interest was the following: “Have you considered the political advantage of a government-funded “private charity” to a politician. When a politician gives money to a “private charity,” he is funding his reelection. The “private charity” funds advertisements (effectively using tax dollars) explaining how wonderful it is and of the need to give it still more money. The politician claims credit for funding this wonder, and the citizens receiving the charity — well, having been given a handout, they have a reason to vote for that politician.

    What of the efficiency and efficacy of the charity? If we are lucky, someone might investigate.”

    Also, what the Citizen Tom blog states that many times elected officials use the platform as a way to get re-elected. Interestingly enough, according to an article done by UWL – Journal of undergraduate research, they state the following in regards to how private companies interact with public officials, and I quote,

    “The public sector relies on the promises of the private sector to maintain their social capital. Social capital refers the people and the bureaucracy’s support for and cooperation with political officials. Without social capital they can’t run an effective government and or get reelected.”…As public officials come and go with elections this track record avoids having to start from scratch each time a new official takes office….” page 2 http://www.uwlax.edu/urc/JUR-online/PDF/2006/kau.pdf

    Isn’t that quite interesting?? Ch2 or public/private partnerships has an investment in their mind in keeping the same elected official it seems. And as it is a cooperative arrangement, the elected official in turn sings their praises to create social capital. At least that is what I’m getting out of this read, and thats what I’ve been seeing going on in this town by simple observation.

    I’ve got alot more, if you need more!!

    • dave

      September 6, 2010 at 10:35 pm

      Bebe,

      The “ppp” you refer to is NOT a legal entity, it is an arrangement BETWEEN a private company and a public entity in which the private company operates the assets of the public partner, see below for the text from the link you referenced. Not only is this defined as a completely separate concept from true privatization, but it is specifically applied ONLY in the situation where a private company operates the assets owned by a public entity. This is NOT the situation we have in Central. Central does NOT own assets which are then operated by CH2. The arrangement in Central involves no publicly owned assets and is therefore true privatization.

      Following is the text from the link you referenced, which only supports the fact that Central’s contract with CH2 is true privatization. I hope that clears up any confusion over the concept.

      “What CH2M HILL OMI calls a public-private partnership, some people call “privatization.” “Privatization” is a misnomer when applied to the types of operations and maintenance (O&M) agreements under which CH2M HILL OMI commonly provides water and wastewater treatment services to local governments. Privatization implies that ownership of the physical assets (for example, a treatment facility and its associated buildings and equipment) will be transferred to a private operator. In most cases, CH2M HILL OMI enters into a partnership with its customers to provide some combination of design, financing, construction or O&M services. The ownership of the facility remains with our contract partner.”

  50. Bebe

    September 7, 2010 at 8:46 am

    CH2M HILL Companies, Ltd.

    (Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

    Oregon
    (State or other jurisdiction of
    incorporation or organization)

    In the state of Oregon, or Ch2’s state of organization, For private corporations it shall contain one or more of the words “corporation,” “incorporated,” “company” or “limited” or an abbreviation of one or more of those words; shall not contain the word “cooperative.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_business_entity#United_States

    Ch2mHill Ltd. is a Limited Corportation. That is their business structure.

    They serve the private sector and the public sector. Government would be considered the public sector, therefore they are in a PUBLIC / PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP in that relationship. Do we agree this far??

    CH2M HILL Companies, Ltd. and subsidiaries (CH2M HILL) is a project delivery firm founded in 1946. CH2M HILL provides engineering, consulting, design, construction, procurement, operations and maintenance, and program management services to federal, state, municipal and local government entities and U.S. federal government agencies, as well as private industry, in the U.S. and internationally. CH2M HILL is an employee-owned Oregon corporation. A substantial portion of CH2M HILL’s professional fees are derived from projects that are funded directly or indirectly by government entities.

    Read more: http://www.faqs.org/sec-filings/100225/CH2M-HILL-COMPANIES-LTD_10-K/#ixzz0yqcFHajr …this link here is for ch2m hill’s security filing for the year 2009, I am also providing the link to the amendment filed for the year 2009 by Ch2m Hill here: http://www.faqs.org/sec-filings/100630/CH2M-HILL-COMPANIES-LTD_10-K.A/ . Just for whoever wants to know.

    Entity, for mutual understanding of the word meaning, I have included the definition so we understand equally what the word means.

    World English Dictionary
    entity (ˈɛntɪtɪ)

    — n , pl -ties
    1. something having real or distinct existence; a thing, esp when considered as independent of other things
    2. existence or being
    3. the essence or real nature

    I argue that Ch2 is in the legal entity or in the essence, existence or real nature being that of a partnership which is private (being ch2) and both public (the city government) in our situation. The word privatization as Ch2 points out is a misnomer, and so there is no misunderstanding here, I again provide the definition for misnomer.

    World English Dictionary
    misnomer (ˌmɪsˈnəʊmə)

    — n
    1. an incorrect or unsuitable name or term for a person or thing
    2. the act of referring to a person by the wrong name

    From the legal dictionary, it defines the word misnomer as the following:

    Legal Dictionary

    Main Entry: mis·no·mer

    : the misnaming of a person in a legal document or proceeding (as in a complaint or indictment); specifically : the institution of proceedings against and service of process on the correct party using the incorrect name —compare IDEM SONANS
    NOTE: Amendment of the pleadings is generally allowed in cases of misnomer. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc

    My logic says that the frequent use of the word ‘private’ and ‘privatization is in fact a misnomer, as even proclaimed by Ch2m Hill. It is not a true definition here in our situation, we are in fact, in a public / private relationship….not strictly a ‘private’ one.

    As Ch2m HIll points out ‘privatization’ is a misnomer for their true function. Whenever a company operating as a private company interacting with a public company it would be a public / private partnership. A public / private relationship or business / contractural design between the two parties does not have to necessarily mean they, ch2, owns the assets as you proclaim. Those details are created within a contract.

    The link I provided you in the previous article and post, I was just showing you that they define themselves as such in certain situations, as a private/public partnership. In the case of a private company acting or serving a public or governmental function, they are considered to be operating in a public / private legally binding contract. Because it is a government there are rules that are mandated by a governmental system that would supercede their private interests.

    I am not an attorney, nor do I pretend to be, but this is how I am seeing it and understanding it. Better, smarter and wiser people than me are also seeing major problems and conflicts with this setup. Perhaps it is because it is a relatively new set up, the problems will surface as we go along and hopefully will get rectifed by the courts in a manner that is favorable to the people or government they profess to serve. It seems that Ch2 prefers it a certain way, while the people in the public government in which they are serving may see it or preceive its correct funtioning in various situations another way.

    and how did you like that other research I found. I see much of the same behavior here in our own city as to the methods that public / private partnerships employ. Very interesting stuff huh? It does possibly explain alot of the occurrences and have many similarities for around here, don’t cha think?

    • dave

      September 7, 2010 at 9:19 am

      1) I believe your comments are automatically going into “pending status” because they contain web links. I am assuming this is a protection built in to the software to avoid inappropriate links getting posted to the site. I will approve as soon as I am aware they are there.

      2) There is still no such legal entity as a Public/Private Partnership. I understand that creating this legal status makes it easier to defend the argument that CH2 is not a private entity afforded the same privacy protection as any of the rest of us, but it simply ain’t so in the United States.

      3) If you are going to use CH2’s own information to make the case, then please let their words speak for themselves. See below. These partnerships (which is simply a common language use of the word to indicate that two parties are doing business together) are unique to situations where “The ownership of the facility remains with our contract partner” and the private company operates and maintains the public entity’s assets.

      “What CH2M HILL OMI calls a public-private partnership, some people call “privatization.” “Privatization” is a misnomer when applied to the types of operations and maintenance (O&M) agreements under which CH2M HILL OMI commonly provides water and wastewater treatment services to local governments. Privatization implies that ownership of the physical assets (for example, a treatment facility and its associated buildings and equipment) will be transferred to a private operator. In most cases, CH2M HILL OMI enters into a partnership with its customers to provide some combination of design, financing, construction or O&M services. The ownership of the facility remains with our contract partner.”

      4) I have made my case, you have made yours, let the reader of the posts decide what is reasonable and intended in these relationships. I respect that we have differing opinions on the issue.

  51. Bebe

    September 7, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Okay, well lets use Ch2m hills own words. Since you seem to believe that only when wasterwater is involved, it is the only situation that procures a public/private partnership, lets look at Ch2’s words in regards to a city government.

    …..”CH2M HILL OMI is the only company in our industry with a practice dedicated to managing entire cities or communities. Planning and zoning, permitting and public works are among the many hands-on municipal services we offer.

    When Georgia voters approved a referendum to grant Sandy Springs cityhood, city founders decided that the best way to run their city like a business was to retain a business to run the city. CH2M HILL OMI provides the new city with community development, public works and administrative services – everything but police, fire and emergency services. The partnership has been recognized for innovation by the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships….”

    http://www.omi.ch2mhill.com/communities/muni.html

    Lookie there!! They even are in the National Council for Public Private Partnerships in such cases as in the running of a cities government.

    And again,
    For the definition of a public / private partnership, you can consult with businessdictionary.com which states….

    “Public Private Partnership – Involvement of private enterprise (in the form of management expertise and/or monetary contributions) in the government projects aimed at public benefit.”

    Does our relationship with Ch2m hill fit this description?? I say it absolutely does!

    According to the dictionary of law a partnership is defined as the following:

    http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1460

    partnership
    n. a business enterprise entered into for profit which is owned by more than one person, each of whom is a “partner.” A partnership may be created by a formal written agreement, but may be based on an oral agreement or just a handshake. Each partner invests a certain amount (money, assets and/or effort) which establishes an agreed-upon percentage of ownership, is responsible for all the debts and contracts of the partnership even though another partner created the debt or entered into the contract, has a share in management decisions, and shares in profits and losses according to the percentage of the total investment. Often a partnership agreement may provide for certain division of management, shares of investment, profit and/or rights to buy out a partner upon leaving the partnership or death. Each partner owes the other partners a duty of full disclosure of information which affects the business and cannot commandeer for himself/herself business opportunities which rightfully belong to the partnership. A partnership which does business under a trade name must file with the county or state a certificate of “doing business under a fictitious name,” which gives notice to the public of the names of partners and the business address. A “limited partnership” limits the responsibility for debts beyond the investment to the managing “general partners.” The investing “limited partners” cannot participate in management and are limited to specific percentages of profit. A partnership differs from a “joint venture,” which involves more than one investor for only a specific short-term project and prompt division of profits. Partnerships are traditionally the most fragile of business arrangements and are often dissolved and subject to disputes. But several million exist in the United States and, ironically, they are the favorite business entity for law firms.

    See also: general partner limited partnership partner silent partner

    Public as defined by law:

    public
    1) n. the people of the nation, state, county, district or municipality which the government serves. 2) adj. referring to any agency, interest, property, or activity which is under the authority of the government or which belongs to the people. This distinguishes public from private interests as with public and private schools, public and private utilities, public and private hospitals, public and private lands and public and private roads.

    http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1672

    I just provided these two legal definitions for what is a legal partnership and what is considered public by legal definition. Just for agreement on terms here.

  52. Michaelmitte

    July 3, 2020 at 1:33 pm

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