Monday, November 5, 2007

$3.9 million in architect fees!

Hastily called meeting just prior to new council members taking office
A special meeting called by City Council on October 22, only 3 weeks before the inauguration of the new City Council members, to approve another $3.9 million in architect fees received 2 hours prior to the meeting. Click here for the architect's proposal. (The document is 35 MB so will take a couple of minutes to download).

Watch the video of Higgins trying to slip the special meeting of council under the public radar. The request for the meeting was not attached to the council agenda. She did not mention that the special meeting was a city council meeting and did not mention that it would be held Monday, Oct 22 at 7:00 PM even though the city charter requires that time and place be included in the request for the meeting. Subsequent to her announcement, there were several press releases posted to the city website's homepage but none on this meeting. The actual resolutions are not linked to the agenda and as of Saturday morning, city council members did not have the resolutions so we don't know how the architect's contract will be amended and whether additional money will be authorized.


Gordon said...

this is $3.9 million MORE, right?

zet said...

$3.9 million MORE in architects fees, right?

we're being robbed.

Citizens' News Service said...

A Freedom of Information request was filed for the Quinn Evans contracts and all of the invoices and backup documentation. The latest contract amendment increases the amount to $4,862,600. There was some question of whether the total contract price was the $3.9 million approved by council at the 10/22/07 special session or whether the $3.9 million amount was added to the earlier contract amount of $962,600. It is clear the $3.9 million is in addition to the original amount.

The invoices show that the city had been billed 800,563 for professional services performed from May through September 2007. In addition to the professional fees the city paid over $20,000 in reimbursable expenses under the design contract. Quinn Evans also submitted invoices to Roger Fraser for security task force consulting. Those invoices total about $65,000. About $30,000 of the invoices were for work performed after the task force had submitted its report. Contracts that exceed $25,000 need council approval. I have been unable to find a council resolution authorizing this work. The supporting documentation for the first invoice indicates the purchase order requirements were waived.

The latest contract amendment (number 2) contains the following language:

The City retains the right to make changes to the quantities of service within the general scope of the Agreement at any time by a written order. If the changes add to or deduct from the extent of the services, the contract sum shall be adjusted accordingly. All such changes shall be executed under the conditions of the original Agreement.