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Brookhaven Commission Nearly Finished with RFPs

The commission is almost ready to send out its requests for proposals, which will allow vendors to submit bids.

The 10 comitttees of the Governor's Commission on Brookhaven are nearly finished with their requests for proposals, which will be a way to have vendors submit bids that the seated city council can review.

At Thursday's commission meeting, the commission members voted on three main recommendations, from the Contracts & Proposals committee:

a) Firewall finance and information technology functions. This means that no vendor that proposes a finance or IT package can submit a bid proposal for any other "package" of services the city will need.

b) No omnibus proposals will be accepted. No one vendor can submit one large proposal for all of the functional areas. A vendor may, however, submit several proposals for various service packages, but not one that covers them all or most of them.

c) The call center function, which is actually a help desk, will remain under the IT department. However, the public works department would have an emergency call function, which would allow citizens to call at any time to report emergencies or public works issues, like fallen trees or potholes.

The commission decided not to consider the committee's recommendation which would not require disclosures of any financial contributions to political campaigns from vendors who submit proposals.

Bill Riley, who provides pro bono legal counsel to the commission and its committees, said the recommendation was "premature."

All vendors which submit proposals must include its pricing structure over a five-year period. This helps those reviewing the proposals and bids to estimate expenditures during the five-year period, which is beneficial as the city creates and approves its annual budgets.

Jill Rogers October 19, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Audited Financial statements should be required of all vendors submitting proposals. A five year pricing structure plan is useful, but meaningless if the vendor goes out of business before the five years are up. Jill Rogers
Albie Alright October 19, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Shouldn't it also be included in the RFP process that NO VENDOR shall be allowed to contribute monetarily to any sitting or prospective city official? And by doing so they nullify any consideration for their services?
Greg Trinkle October 19, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Great idea, but funny. I think this would defy the vision our founding fathers had for our city.
Kim Gokce October 19, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Hi Kiri & Jill - I have a clarification for this item. I think there is a simple mis-communication about this finance question. The Commission's Contracting and Proposals Committee has been asked by some to get involved in campaign finance disclosures as a condition of bidding and the Commission has directed that the Committee will not. The comment from last night was in context of vendor contributions to candidates and whether the Commission would require bidding vendors to disclose any campaign contributions as a condition of bidding. The Commission is not involved in regulating elections and therefore does not have any position or requirement about vendor contributions to candidates. It is valid topic of public discourse but has nothing to do with the City Charter's mandates for the Commission. For the RFP and bidding process, financial stability and reports from bidding vendors will be required. The vendors will need to show that they are stable enough to provide services and operate as a going concern throughout the contract periods in question for the City of Brookhaven. I apologize for any confusion the discussions at last night's meeting may have caused. The Commission is clear and unanimous in its thinking on the question of vendor financial stability requirements and equally clear that we will not turn the selection of the best qualified vendor into a political question.
Kiri Walton (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Thank you, Kim. Although the discussion at the commission meeting didn't specifically say politcal or campaign financial disclosures, I did verify that that was what was meant after following up after the meeting. I'll make sure to update this sentence in the story above so that is explicitly stated.
TomMiller October 19, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Kim wrote: The Commission is clear and unanimous in its thinking on the question of vendor financial stability requirements and equally clear that we will not turn the selection of the best qualified vendor into a political question. Kim I'm old school so I always expect that when someone says something like this I will hold them to it. That being said -- I hope that the folks who get elected will likewise follow this. I'm afraid though that already guys like Max Davis will indeed make it a political question - taking $$ from vendors, not being upfront about it, waiting until the deadline to disclose contributors arrives. I understand that a political question may not be related to an ethics or legal one.Will the decisions pass the smell test? We will see - picking the right vendor who then goes south work wise - does not mean the choice was not a good one.
Kim Gokce October 19, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Thank you, Kiri! The engagement here at Patch is invaluable to the civic and municipal process and I appreciate the platform for the community.
Kiri Walton (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Some outlets may be reporting that the commission agreed that they would not have vendors disclose their campaign financial contributions. This is not correct. The commission did not consider this recommendation in its motion. It considered the three recommendations outlined above.
Blake Sims October 19, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Pulling a Dunn and Bradstreet report will give a good indication of a vendor's operational health. If any warning flags pop from that then I would request the financial audit as a condition of accepting their proposal..
Albie Alright October 19, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Kim, Thank you. Cross Keys thanks you. Brookhaven thanks you.
Brookhaven Quid Pro Quo October 20, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Hi. I'm disgusted that per the city charter a lobbyist can give the city admin $100.00 per day as a gift. That's $36,500 per year. Corruption us job one in Brookhaven. Thanks Mike and J Max.
Jill Rogers October 20, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Thanks for the clarification, Kim
Chris October 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM
You misread the charter; there's no such provision.
Chris October 21, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Jill, that sounds good, but the overwhelming majority of companies in this country do not have financial audits completed. Furthermore, it's not something you can just call up and order like a pizza. Only publicly traded companies are required to have audits, with a few exceptions. Seems silly to limit our city's search to just that handful of companies when so many other great ones could do a better job.
Kevin Fitzpatrick October 22, 2012 at 12:11 AM
The explanation that "the Commission is not involved in regulating elections and therefore does not have any position or requirement about vendor contributions to candidates" is a stunning example of a logical fallacy. Governmental transparency and the avoidance of conflicts of interest are the pillars upon which all ethical governments exist. Brookhaven's citizens have an obvious need to know whether the vendors who are hired made financial contributions to the campaigns of the decision makers. To say otherwise is to endorse pay-to-play good old boy politics. The Commission has done some very good work so far. The decision to not require financial disclosure by vendors, however, is profoundly wrong. At best, it breeds cynicism. At worst, it accommodates corruption.
Thom Shepard October 23, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Kevin Fitzpatrick, I really do not understand your attack on the Governors Commission on this issue. What you seem to not understand is that the Governors Commission has to work within their directive and under the legal advise of their attorney. They can not overstep the bounds of what they were set up to do. With respect to campaign contributions of vendors, it is very clear that this this is already required by the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, often referred to as the Georgia Ethics Commission. There is thus no reason for them to specifically require something that is already required by the state. As far as financial disclosure it has been made very clear that this is normal procedure in bidding government contracts. I missed this discussion last week and thus my answer in the debate tonight was not as clear as it should have been. I must have misunderstood your question to imply that the Governors Commission had stated they would not require financial disclosure, which is not correct. So had I been aware of the details that I am now aware of, and the opinion of our pro bono attorney, I would have answered simply that Brookhaven will require financial disclosure of vendors, as that is standard procedure for such government contracts. <<<continued>>>
Thom Shepard October 23, 2012 at 03:46 AM
<<<continued>>> As far as vendor contributions you can look them up on the GA Ethics site: For example: These are the original vendors contracted by the City of Dunwoody: From John Heneghan's blog: Nov 25, 2008 http://dunwoodynorth.blogspot.com/2008/11/councilman-robert-wittenstein-provides.html "We are finalizing contracts with Clark, Patterson & Lee to provide our Community Development function (zoning, permits, etc.), with Lowe Engineers to provide our Public Works function (roads, parks, etc.) and with Calvin Giordano and Associates and JAT Consulting (Jo Ann Tuttle) of Kennesaw, GA to provide our Finance & Administration functions." So then you can just put these contractors into the ethics site: Just enter the name in the contributor field: http://tinyurl.com/GA-Ethics-contributor http://tinyurl.com/clark-patterson-lee-ethics http://tinyurl.com/GA-Ethics-cal-gio http://tinyurl.com/GA-Ethics-Lowe http://tinyurl.com/GA-Ethics-JAT Just a sampling: Clark Patterson Lee $1000 to Peachtree Corners Yes! Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc $10,000 Brookhaven Yes Inc. JAT Consulting $500 Neighbors for J Max Davis JAT Consulting $500 Brookhaven Yes Inc. Lowe Engineers, LLC $2250 Brookhaven Yes Inc. So now what do you think of my criticism of Mike Jacobs, Tommy Taylor and J Max Davis for creating such a preferential meeting for the Dunwoody Contractors.
Thom Shepard October 23, 2012 at 04:40 AM
For the record, I believe Brookhaven will be a great city despite the poor leadership of those who took charge of the organizing effort. They may win a few offices simply due to their financial power, political connections and backing but I am confident in the long run the people of Brookhaven will see thru this and a healthy democracy will prevail. As far as the ardent NO-city candidates who want to use this as a reason to vote for them, I think instead we need to look at the candidates who have been sensibly on middle ground, working towards positive and constructive city building efforts. I have met a lot of really wonderful people who were part of Pro City Brookhaven efforts, who believe in cityhood for all the right reasons, who I think had no idea what J Max Davis and Co were quietly doing. So please do not let the leadership of Brookhaven Yes Inc. taint your opinion of the many people working towards a positive new city. As I am ardently for the cityhood movement, to take power away from an unethical, sprawling and unsustainable DeKalb County, it pains me to have to make all of this public which could thus hurt the positive aspects of cityhood movement. But I am not the one who made these bad decisions, so the fault is with them.
BrookhavenGA USA October 23, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I find it absurd that a candidate for City Council, Mr. Fitzpatrick, can stoop so low to call a decision made by the Governor's Commission on the City of Brookhaven a "logical fallacy". Has Mr. Fitzpatrick attended any of the Contracts & Proposals committee meetings which are open to the public where he could add his 2 cents? Does he realize how easy it is to find contributions via the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission's website. Does he have any understanding of the hours of volunteer time the members of the Commission have spent away from their families and regular jobs? I would hope that someone who is asking for our votes to represent us would think harder before accusing our neighbors and friends who are volunteering their time to transition Brookhaven into our City of breeding cynacism and accommodating corruption. It is apparent he has not read the Charter outlining the roles and responsiblities of the Commission. Makes me wonder if he understands what his roles and responsibilities would be if elected.
Prissy Mae Millendorf, Brookhaven Socialite October 23, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Stir that pot baby!!!
Thom Shepard October 24, 2012 at 04:13 AM
While Mr Fitzpatrick seems to be a rather intelligent man I am now not sure about his judgement. I have to agree with BUSAGA in that to insult the volunteers of the Governors Commission where it does not seem like he has his facts right is simply not the kind of leadership we need right now. Even where I might disagree with certain governors commission members I think they have been striving collectively to the highest possible standards. I have probably been to more Brookhaven Governors Commission Committee meetings than all but one of the Commission Members, and one of our pro bono attorneys, and I have gone to quite a few that neither of them have attended. I have yet to see Mr. Fitzpatrick at any of those I have attended and his comments make me doubt he has been attending many if any. Further when he came to our neighborhood, Westover Woods, to talk at our cookout and candidate forum, he said the thing he was most proud of was when he almost put Delta out of business by winning such a good deal for the union he represented. It is the way that he said it, that winning seemed to be everything, even if in winning he almost cost them all their jobs because to his own admission the contract helped burden Delta so heavily. I have made my decision as a voter in District 1 in his case. I will NOT be voting for him.
Kevin Fitzpatrick November 29, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Thom, There are two problems with the current system. First, it creates an unnecessary step to take in order to receive relevant information. Second, a clever contributor can use a different corporate name on the website than the name it uses in its contract proposal. Finally, I don't understand the objection. Why not require disclosure of campaign contributions at the time of a contract proposal. What is your objection to that?

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