• RFP Will Go Out: City Council

    by Marge Ann Jameson

    photo-1The City Manager’s suggestion that the Council issue a Request For Proposals for a number of jobs to be outsourced was aimed at more than one department and certainly more than one classification of job. A number of people spoke at the meeting and the bulk of individuals who addressed the Council were against any sort of outsourcing, but alternate suggestions were not forthcoming.

    The outsourcing suggestion was aimed at some Public Works positions as well, but at the City Council meeting on Nov. 6, for the public, it was all about the golf course.

    The City’s cash cow is on its way to the first major deficit year, probably since its establishment in 1932. A $160,000 water bill last month bespeaks rising expenses. The vacancy at the Grill (now filled by Aquaterra, Inc.) cost the City $413,000. Rounds of golf played have dipped to an abysmal 54,309 in 2012-13 compared with 77,242 just a few years ago. As Bruce Obbink, chair of the Golf Links Advisory Commission pointed out, local players have abandoned the course in droves and there is no marketing plan in place to entice them back.

    The City’s consultant, Ken Keegan of Golf Convergence, recommended some steps be taken after he addressed the City Council in 2011, but many of those suggestions were ignored or implementation postponed perhaps until it could be too late.

    An RFP for a bona fide manager of the golf course was paramount on Keegan’s list, and a pro shop manager was suggested as well. Neither has happened. Better maintenance of the course was on his list, but the cost of water coupled with a dry season has meant that the course has not been watered well. There were some suggestions made that will likely not be followed – such as removing some trees for better play – but the City has been slow to follow other, doable suggestions. For example, Keegan suggested that a point-of-sale computer system be purchased which would harvest customer information for future marketing. City Manager Frutchey last week said it has been purchased, but he did not point out that it has only recently been installed at the pro shop.

    A spokesperson for city employees who wished not to be named said in a private interview last week that the point-of-sale system has only been used once for marketing, when the pro shop “had a sale on socks.”

    The City Council heard the call for the RFP and voted to put it out, not only for the Golf Links but for other positions too, such as street striping; sanitary sewer cleaning, maintaining, and repairing; trimming, maintenance, and removal of City-owned trees; mowing and edging of turf in parks and ball fields; custodial and janitorial services at the Museum and the Library.

    City Manager Frutchey suggested that current employees get together and offer a proposal, even suggesting that the City would help with  organizing and submitting the proposal in proper format.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on November 7, 2013

    Topics: Front PG News


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