Commentary: Parks Consultant Proposal Approved

The parliamentary maneuvering on the park’s consultant request for proposal are almost as interesting as the actually item. However, the item itself deserves some scrutiny.

A request for proposal (RFP) is basically a call to take bids on a given project. Generally if a bidder comes in that is acceptable and within the estimate, an approval for an RFP is tantamount toward approving such an item. The city staff estimates the cost for this consultant on parks will be approximately $50,000 to $75,000 and the stipulation is that the project will not exceed the $75,000 (unless the council approves such a bid).

Everyone loves parks, so this is not a knock on parks, this is an argument about the allocation of very scarce city resources.

The main argument for this project is that the parks’ master plan is well out of date. I do not disagree with that. Nor do I disagree that it needs updating. However, Mayor Sue Greenwald made a very important argument that we are in the process (and just beginning that process) of updating the General Plan. The General Plan update will take a considerable amount of time. Once the new general plan is approved, we will have a good idea about where the new growth will occur and the new developments that will take place.

So why would you expend money on a parks’ master plan when we do not know where the new growth will be and what the future usage will require?

Secondly, if we look at the list of the items that this will include–there will be data collection. What will be included in that collection? Site maps of all parks. Park and facilities inventories. For these types of things, we need an outside consultant? A major part of this expenditure will be a community survey.

I understand that the master plan needs updating. But I think we need to prioritize the expenditure of scarce resources.

Let me put it to people this way: would you rather the city staff and city council pay $25,000 for a community survey or use that money to fix existing problems and upgrade or repair existing infrastructure?

City staff and the majority of the city council want to spend money on demographic trends and analysis before they update their master plan.

On page three of the city staff report they list a number of either unbuilt amenities. City staff makes the argument that the consultant will need to include analysis of unbuilt or unfinished facilities to determine if they are still needed. Again, this begs the question–do we need a consultant to figure that out and can we not put some of this money toward just building the facilities rather than toward a consultant to make a determination as to whether to build the facilities?

The city has scarce financial resources and we need to really scrutinize some of these expenditures that seem to pile up piece mail.

We all favor parks, the question is what is best for the parks–consultants or construction. Let us do the new general plan and in the meantime complete the unfinished projects that are determined by staff to be needed.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Land Use/Open Space

44 comments

  1. City staff wants a new master parks plan, yet doesn’t seem to be able to implement the current plan. What happened to the previous master plan that called for building the amenities that remain unbuilt or unfinished? With the brain power employed at the departments of Parks & Community Services, Public Works and Finance as well as in Planning there seems to be plenty of skilled workers to re-evaluate both the existing plan as well as our current needs. Bottom line: this 50K to 75K consultancy contract is a waste of money both from an in-house capability and timing standpoint.

  2. City staff wants a new master parks plan, yet doesn’t seem to be able to implement the current plan. What happened to the previous master plan that called for building the amenities that remain unbuilt or unfinished? With the brain power employed at the departments of Parks & Community Services, Public Works and Finance as well as in Planning there seems to be plenty of skilled workers to re-evaluate both the existing plan as well as our current needs. Bottom line: this 50K to 75K consultancy contract is a waste of money both from an in-house capability and timing standpoint.

  3. City staff wants a new master parks plan, yet doesn’t seem to be able to implement the current plan. What happened to the previous master plan that called for building the amenities that remain unbuilt or unfinished? With the brain power employed at the departments of Parks & Community Services, Public Works and Finance as well as in Planning there seems to be plenty of skilled workers to re-evaluate both the existing plan as well as our current needs. Bottom line: this 50K to 75K consultancy contract is a waste of money both from an in-house capability and timing standpoint.

  4. City staff wants a new master parks plan, yet doesn’t seem to be able to implement the current plan. What happened to the previous master plan that called for building the amenities that remain unbuilt or unfinished? With the brain power employed at the departments of Parks & Community Services, Public Works and Finance as well as in Planning there seems to be plenty of skilled workers to re-evaluate both the existing plan as well as our current needs. Bottom line: this 50K to 75K consultancy contract is a waste of money both from an in-house capability and timing standpoint.

  5. Saylor and Souza are looking to 2008.
    Souza is “chomping at the bit” to run for Supervisor and Saylor would love to run for the Assembly. Their political positions in this town are negative and they are desperately attempting to get through the next year without having to reveal the political fact that their agendas abandon their Davis constituents for other interests that will bring them the larger “prize”. Hence, the “surrogate” steering committee to insulate them from close scrutiny about their housing element agenda and this consultant proposal which they hope will give them the political cover they need when this council majority decides to break past council amenities promises …
    Asmundson seems to go along with their agenda… her reasoning increasingly difficult to fathom.

  6. Saylor and Souza are looking to 2008.
    Souza is “chomping at the bit” to run for Supervisor and Saylor would love to run for the Assembly. Their political positions in this town are negative and they are desperately attempting to get through the next year without having to reveal the political fact that their agendas abandon their Davis constituents for other interests that will bring them the larger “prize”. Hence, the “surrogate” steering committee to insulate them from close scrutiny about their housing element agenda and this consultant proposal which they hope will give them the political cover they need when this council majority decides to break past council amenities promises …
    Asmundson seems to go along with their agenda… her reasoning increasingly difficult to fathom.

  7. Saylor and Souza are looking to 2008.
    Souza is “chomping at the bit” to run for Supervisor and Saylor would love to run for the Assembly. Their political positions in this town are negative and they are desperately attempting to get through the next year without having to reveal the political fact that their agendas abandon their Davis constituents for other interests that will bring them the larger “prize”. Hence, the “surrogate” steering committee to insulate them from close scrutiny about their housing element agenda and this consultant proposal which they hope will give them the political cover they need when this council majority decides to break past council amenities promises …
    Asmundson seems to go along with their agenda… her reasoning increasingly difficult to fathom.

  8. Saylor and Souza are looking to 2008.
    Souza is “chomping at the bit” to run for Supervisor and Saylor would love to run for the Assembly. Their political positions in this town are negative and they are desperately attempting to get through the next year without having to reveal the political fact that their agendas abandon their Davis constituents for other interests that will bring them the larger “prize”. Hence, the “surrogate” steering committee to insulate them from close scrutiny about their housing element agenda and this consultant proposal which they hope will give them the political cover they need when this council majority decides to break past council amenities promises …
    Asmundson seems to go along with their agenda… her reasoning increasingly difficult to fathom.

  9. What evidence is there that Souza is planning a run for supervisor? Has he mentioned this to anyone or started raising campaign money? Same questions for Saylor. Has Saylor ever said he is going to run for the state assembly?

  10. What evidence is there that Souza is planning a run for supervisor? Has he mentioned this to anyone or started raising campaign money? Same questions for Saylor. Has Saylor ever said he is going to run for the state assembly?

  11. What evidence is there that Souza is planning a run for supervisor? Has he mentioned this to anyone or started raising campaign money? Same questions for Saylor. Has Saylor ever said he is going to run for the state assembly?

  12. What evidence is there that Souza is planning a run for supervisor? Has he mentioned this to anyone or started raising campaign money? Same questions for Saylor. Has Saylor ever said he is going to run for the state assembly?

  13. Saylor went around telling everyone he was thinking of running, but it does not look like he will. Souza may run for Supervisor IF Yamada runs for Assembly. He’s in her district, but the thinking is that he would not challenge her. Those are the rumors, although the Saylor thing is pretty much confirmed.

  14. Saylor went around telling everyone he was thinking of running, but it does not look like he will. Souza may run for Supervisor IF Yamada runs for Assembly. He’s in her district, but the thinking is that he would not challenge her. Those are the rumors, although the Saylor thing is pretty much confirmed.

  15. Saylor went around telling everyone he was thinking of running, but it does not look like he will. Souza may run for Supervisor IF Yamada runs for Assembly. He’s in her district, but the thinking is that he would not challenge her. Those are the rumors, although the Saylor thing is pretty much confirmed.

  16. Saylor went around telling everyone he was thinking of running, but it does not look like he will. Souza may run for Supervisor IF Yamada runs for Assembly. He’s in her district, but the thinking is that he would not challenge her. Those are the rumors, although the Saylor thing is pretty much confirmed.

  17. “….. or started raising campaign money?”

    I seem to remember that there was a piece in the Enterprise about a month ago announcing a Saylor SOUP AND event. I have no further information on this but assume that it was a fundraiser.

  18. “….. or started raising campaign money?”

    I seem to remember that there was a piece in the Enterprise about a month ago announcing a Saylor SOUP AND event. I have no further information on this but assume that it was a fundraiser.

  19. “….. or started raising campaign money?”

    I seem to remember that there was a piece in the Enterprise about a month ago announcing a Saylor SOUP AND event. I have no further information on this but assume that it was a fundraiser.

  20. “….. or started raising campaign money?”

    I seem to remember that there was a piece in the Enterprise about a month ago announcing a Saylor SOUP AND event. I have no further information on this but assume that it was a fundraiser.

  21. The Sunday Enterprise has a front-page story about candidates for the Assemby seat in 2008. The article says Saylor specifically asked to be included in the list. Sounds like he’s floating a trial baloon.

  22. The Sunday Enterprise has a front-page story about candidates for the Assemby seat in 2008. The article says Saylor specifically asked to be included in the list. Sounds like he’s floating a trial baloon.

  23. The Sunday Enterprise has a front-page story about candidates for the Assemby seat in 2008. The article says Saylor specifically asked to be included in the list. Sounds like he’s floating a trial baloon.

  24. The Sunday Enterprise has a front-page story about candidates for the Assemby seat in 2008. The article says Saylor specifically asked to be included in the list. Sounds like he’s floating a trial baloon.

  25. I saw that as well, it kind of surprised me and I’ll tell you why.

    Last week there was a big and heated 8th AD organizational meeting that included heavy machinations about who would control the delegation to the State Convention. The other four on that list were heavily involved in that, Saylor came, but did not play a large role and left early. That tells me he will likely not be a serious candidate.

  26. I saw that as well, it kind of surprised me and I’ll tell you why.

    Last week there was a big and heated 8th AD organizational meeting that included heavy machinations about who would control the delegation to the State Convention. The other four on that list were heavily involved in that, Saylor came, but did not play a large role and left early. That tells me he will likely not be a serious candidate.

  27. I saw that as well, it kind of surprised me and I’ll tell you why.

    Last week there was a big and heated 8th AD organizational meeting that included heavy machinations about who would control the delegation to the State Convention. The other four on that list were heavily involved in that, Saylor came, but did not play a large role and left early. That tells me he will likely not be a serious candidate.

  28. I saw that as well, it kind of surprised me and I’ll tell you why.

    Last week there was a big and heated 8th AD organizational meeting that included heavy machinations about who would control the delegation to the State Convention. The other four on that list were heavily involved in that, Saylor came, but did not play a large role and left early. That tells me he will likely not be a serious candidate.

  29. The “political cover” strategy that I proposed concerning Saylor and Souza as they focus on the larger political “prize” is equally applicable if they decide to run for reelection to our city council..At the last council meeting,it was interesting to witness Saylor’s testiness as Heystek publicly considered the policy implications of cancelling a local business’ service of 23 years in favor of an outside national corporation(Saylor, Souza and Asmundson voted in favor of this move).

  30. The “political cover” strategy that I proposed concerning Saylor and Souza as they focus on the larger political “prize” is equally applicable if they decide to run for reelection to our city council..At the last council meeting,it was interesting to witness Saylor’s testiness as Heystek publicly considered the policy implications of cancelling a local business’ service of 23 years in favor of an outside national corporation(Saylor, Souza and Asmundson voted in favor of this move).

  31. The “political cover” strategy that I proposed concerning Saylor and Souza as they focus on the larger political “prize” is equally applicable if they decide to run for reelection to our city council..At the last council meeting,it was interesting to witness Saylor’s testiness as Heystek publicly considered the policy implications of cancelling a local business’ service of 23 years in favor of an outside national corporation(Saylor, Souza and Asmundson voted in favor of this move).

  32. The “political cover” strategy that I proposed concerning Saylor and Souza as they focus on the larger political “prize” is equally applicable if they decide to run for reelection to our city council..At the last council meeting,it was interesting to witness Saylor’s testiness as Heystek publicly considered the policy implications of cancelling a local business’ service of 23 years in favor of an outside national corporation(Saylor, Souza and Asmundson voted in favor of this move).

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