Gov't

From the Mayor’s Desk- August 18, 2010

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FROM THE MAYOR’S DESK

AUGUST 18, 2010

City Services:

On March 27th the people of Central allowed me the privilege of serving as Mayor for another four years.  Between March 27th and today much has happened in Central.  It has been a difficult time and a learning experience for all of us.  I do not believe there is anyone who loves this City who does not wish these past few months could have been different in some way.  Opinions have been stated, arguments have been had, and sides have been taken.  No one can emerge from this process as the "winner" unless we all agree to set aside our differences, agree to disagree at times, and get to work solving the core issues that have divided us.  I would like to start this process by beginning the dialogue on how the City of Central should approach our City Services contract which comes up for renewal on July 1, 2011, a little more than ten months from now.  While our current contract with CH2M Hill provides the option for two, 2-year renewals, I intend to analyze and re-bid Central's City Services contract, soliciting bids nation-wide as we did in 2007.  This process is not to be misconstrued as a reaction to any unsatisfactory performance or contractual failure on the part of CH2M Hill or its employees.  Rather, it is a prudent approach to the proper administration of this city.

There are many possible solutions to providing quality City Services, and we need to look at them all.  The answers range from the level of privatization we currently have, to creating a full service Department within our own City Government.  The one thing every potential solution has in common is the need for accurate data.  Our existing contract was negotiated based on the services and costs found in our intergovernmental agreement with Baton Rouge and on the contract offer by the only company willing and able to bid the contract at the time.  While the financial health of Central is beyond question, with approximately a $1 million dollar budget surplus each year, this City's government owes it to the taxpayers to spend your tax dollars wisely.

The process of gathering the necessary data to determine how our City Services should be provided next July will be a large job if it is done correctly.  As your Mayor and Central's Chief Executive Officer, the responsibility for overseeing the operation of City government falls to my office.  Over the course of the next few weeks I will be appointing a committee of fifteen, which I will chair, to study this issue.  The input of engineers and accountants as well as the assistance of legal counsel will be an important part of this effort.  Our task will be to determine the costs and benefits of all potential levels of privatization, to develop a comprehensive approach and bid package for any services to be contracted, and to present this package to the Central City Council for approval and funding.  Central's City Council has the sole authority to approve the 2011/2012 budget and will, in essence, have the final authority to accept or reject the work of this committee.

While this process is the responsibility of the Mayor's Office, I recognize that our Council Members are each involved closely with varying groups of constituents throughout Central.  As such, I intend to take three recommendations from each Council Member as to who they feel would be assets in this process.  From some of those names, as well as other citizens I will be considering, I will put together a committee whose varying skills and knowledge will give Central the best opportunity for long-term success in this decision.  For anyone contemplating service on this committee, please understand that this will involve a large commitment of time and energy.  This will be a working committee and each member can expect to be given tasks to accomplish and research to do.  If anyone has ideas they feel would benefit this process please contact me.  While I am willingly taking on this challenge, I do not pretend to have all of the best answers.  I look forward to leading this committee through this process and producing an approach to City Services that provides quality services at a fair cost. 

Special Tributes:

Aaron Moak, our Council Member and the owner of Computer Evolutions, is to be commended for donating a laptop computer to the Central High School baseball team to replace one destroyed by vandals.

The 9th Grade Football Team and coach Mike Gardner for their community service to CHS.  Their "Men for Others" program gave a face-lift to the CHS courtyard.  GO WILDCATS!

Special Project:

 An American Flag at Every Residence – I encourage everyone in Central to display the American Flag at their home.  Consider flying America's colors on a flagpole, on the eave of the house, or by placing a small flag on the mailbox post.  If you need assistance installing a flag holder call Ms. Charlotte at City Hall (261-5988) and she will send out some of the young adults from S.W.A.T., the Servant Warrior Action Team dedicated to serving wherever they are needed in Central.

I will update “From the Mayor’s Desk” every two weeks.  I make this article available 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.

6 Comments

  1. mike mannino

    August 19, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Thank you Mr. Mayor. This is the solution to some of the discourse we have in our City and I will be the first to commend you for taking this step. The only winner here is the City of Central, not one group or another. Thank You Sir.

  2. Keith Kepper

    August 19, 2010 at 10:32 am

    My sentiments exactly!!!

  3. Kyle

    August 19, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Wow. It’s nice to see everyone agreeing. Let’s keep this up! Good Job!

  4. Nathan

    August 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    This is definitely a huge step in the right direction towards getting things accomplished. I do like the idea of doing extensive research being done before these types of large contracts are awarded. I think the Mayor recognizes the struggles in making everyone happy and is trying to move this community forward.

    In my opinion only, I would have hired and outside firm to prepare this research and present the recommendations to the city. This would have prevented any partiality towards any particular group.

    Although getting a large number of individuals involved in this process is great for community involvement and not to mention much cheaper. GOOD JOB!!!!

  5. Donna Dufour

    August 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    It’s a good start.

  6. Bebe

    August 20, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Dear Mayor Watts,

    I have observed you since before the election as I have only been here two years come November. And in all honesty, I am not nor have I been your biggest supporter. But I would like to say, that this ‘Mayors Note’ is probably the most mature, intelligent, reasonable and responsible request for information I have heard you voice. I also very much appreciate your professionalism here in your approach.

    With me, it is nothing personal, as I do not personally know you. I simply give credit where credit is due, and I state that which I disagree with without regard of ‘who is who’.

    I am very much aware of the influence your position holds and its ability to bring to this community at large contentment or discontentment. Your statement of action professed here, I percieve as a very good step in the right direction and one that will help facilitate more contentment here with all people, and it is a step I will fully support.

    I applaud your willingness to look at and fully research all possible options for running the city services here that is in our own best interest as a whole.

    If I can be of any service to you in this process of information gathering to create a more unified and prosperous City of Central, I would be more than happy to volunteer my services in this endeavor as my availability permits.

    Thank you again.

    Belinda

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