OC Fair Board Does Not See or Acknowledge Problems with Contract to Write New Board Policy Manual
A special Fair Board meeting was held on July 27, 2019. The only item on the agenda was a vote to approve the selection of contractor MossAdams to consult on updating and revising the Board Policy manual.
Prior to the meeting, a letter had been sent to the Board members recommending that they not approve the contract because of MossAdams stated preference for a particular policy approach known as the Carver Model, which is used in the Board's current policies and has been severely problematic, and is, in many cases, the root cause of the Board dysfunction and the out-of-control management at the Fairgrounds.
Read the MossAdams proposal Download MossAdams Proposal
Read the letter sent to the Board Download 2019-07-25_Ltr_to_Board
Unfortunately, it appears that the attempt to hire a contractor to assist is leading to more problems due to a failure of the Board to recognize important differences between the process that was described to them by Director Andreas Meyer and that for which they will be contracting.
Director Meyer’s Description of Policy Development Process
During the meeting, Director Meyer, who chairs the ad-hoc committee on Board Governance Policies, defended the recommendation of MossAdams by stating that, despite their stated preference for it, MossAdams will not be using the Carver Model or even directly writing the policies. Instead, the policies will be developed by the Board and the public in sections, through a series of public workshops and based on best practices and examples from other organizations and cities. Policies from each segment will be developed prior to starting on the next segment.
Unfortunately, this is not what the contract being recommended by Director Meyer actually includes.
Actual MossAdams Proposal
MossAdams, in their bid in response to the Fair Board's Request for Proposal proposed one round of drafting of new policies by MossAdams with input from the staff, Board, and stakeholders. The draft would be presented and revised to make the final version of the Board policies. MossAdams does not mention workshops with the owners of the property (i.e., the public), a Board centric process, or the development of the policies in a segmented, iterative fashion. MossAdams proposes a process that will only cost $45,000 (the equivalent of 150 work-hours) over 16 months, or just 9 hours of work per month. It is inconceivable that the intensive iterative process that Director Meyer has described can be performed for that amount of effort.
Per state contracting laws, the contract issued by the Fairground must reflect the bid proposal from MossAdams.
Failure to Recognize Discrepancy
During the meeting, it was not clear that the Board recognized the gap between the MossAdams proposal and Director Meyer's description of what would be done. Consequently, it was not clear whether Board Members were voting to approve a contract to cover what Director Meyer was describing or the contract proposed by MossAdams. When the public tried to have the Board address the gap, Chair Robert Ruiz shut down the public and discussion of the gap and approved the contract.
Letter Was Sent to Board Addressing the Gap Between Reality and Expectations
Following the meeting, a letter was sent to the Board addressing the gap between the MossAdams Proposal and Director Meyer's description of the process. If the Board responds to the letter, we will share the response with you.
Read the letter sent to the Board Download 2019-07-27_Ltr_to_Board
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