Letter to the Editor

City consultant, other issues still need resolved

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Dear Editor,

THE NEXT CITY COUNCIL MEETING IS OCTOBER 7 AT 7 P.M.!!

I represent the AFGE in federal arbitrations and I will be in Seattle on Monday for one causing me to miss this next city council meeting.

PLEASE ATTEND TO SAVE OUR CITY!!!

SEVENTEEN MILLIONS DOLLARS is the cost to us for a new city hall and police station, the TAXPAYERíS COST!! The City Council has agreed to place city hall downtown, again, but they should have done this in the beginning! Since when do you find out the maximum money you can raise out of taxes and then design the project? Why not design the project first, then figure out the lowest cost for the taxpayers. Why canít the City Council be fiscally responsible with our money?

They havenít even canceled the consultant who will charge anywhere from $600,000 to $800,000 for doing the work that the Dille and Traxel Architect Firm will do under their City contract.

Dille and Traxel already have a contract with the City to design a city hall and police station, why not use the local firm? The City wants to pay twice as much for the same work which our local architect will do because the consultant is going to hire another architect! The consultant wasnít authorized to give estimates like he did, because he is not an architect! The City should issue an immediate STOP WORK NOTICE to the consultant and give him the Sixty-Day notice of termination pursuant to the agreement. Letís save hundreds of thousand of dollars or MILLIONS of dollars by the time the current unneeded consultant is finished!! Letís have a public forum and see what plans that Dille and Traxel can develop for a reasonable cost and then make an educated decision!

BUT THEN:

Why hasnít the City Council already canceled the Consulting Contract?

Why didnít the City have an architect draw plans first and then get a bid?

Why didnít the City have a public forum to discuss the plans for City Hall and the Police Station?

Why does the Police Station have to be on the most expensive property in the area?

Why does the Police Station have to be 27,000 square feet, so much larger than needed?

Why does the City Council plan to cut their employees benefits and then plan to increase City expenses?

Why not use some of those funds to develop a comprehensive plan and begin to rehab Main Street for more tax revenue like the City did for Eight Points?

Why not ask Dylan Acevedo, the developer for Vine Street, to develop a Main Street project with a commercial contractor and do all of Main Street for more tax revenue?

Why not develop a plan, for once, and not fly by the seat of our pants just to spend millions needlessly for someone else to gain, not the taxpayers?

We all support the police and I know, as a former Circuit Court Judge, how important that is! But why cut police officerís benefits to build a building too big for them to use. Let that property on Shelby Road be used to generate taxes to pay their benefits, donít we care about their morale? Ask a police officer what they would rather have a big police station or better health insurance. This cut in benefits is only for new hires, but it is unfair for our new officers and City employees not to have full benefits. Maybe it isnít about supporting the police at all, but for someone else to benefit? Beware of those who hide behind supporting the police for their own advantage and gain.

Letís see what they do, whatís best for them or what is best for us and for THE POLICE!!!

Tell Steve Davis 573-718-2993, Ron Black 573-718-7081, Shane Corman 573-718-3095 and Lisa Parson 573-712-8198, they should do whatís best for the City not their interests. Curious, isnít it? Well, thatís how it goes when they are spending someone elseís money, the taxpayersí money, and just when we thought they had to come to their senses. They are still determined to go ahead and find a way to bankrupt the city and why not, it isnít their money, itís ours.

Attorney Robert Smith

(Editorís note: The author of this letter is not Mayor Robert L. Smith.)