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01 16 12 - To Mayor Janice Danies - Response to Your January 7 2012 Position Paper

01 16 12 - To Mayor Janice Danies - Response to Your January 7 2012 Position Paper

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Published by Dave Phillips
Troy City Manager John Szerlag's response to a letter from Janice Daniels, in which she expresses no confidence in Szerlag's ability to perform his job duties.
Troy City Manager John Szerlag's response to a letter from Janice Daniels, in which she expresses no confidence in Szerlag's ability to perform his job duties.

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Published by: Dave Phillips on Jan 23, 2012
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01/23/2012

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ROM THE
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FFICE OF THE
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ANAGER
 
January 16, 2012To: Janice Daniels, MayorFrom: John Szerlag, City ManagerSubject: Response to your January 7, 2012 Position Paper Entitled “Troy Multi-Modal TransitCenter”Your above reference position paper, which contains many more topics than the transit center, isfilled with inaccuracies and has damaged my reputation. As such, I am compelled to respond.In paragraph two of your paper you indicate that Troy City Management has been politically one-sided in support of the transit project. This statement is false. As City Manager, I do not work foryou. As point in fact, I do not work for any individual council member. I work for a governing body;and the only time a governing body can speak is through its resolutions at a City Council meeting.City Management then carries out policy directives in accordance with council resolutions andordinances, something we have done for the past ten years with regard to the transit center. And ifany individual Council member disagrees with what the majority of City Council desires, it must betaken up with them at a Council meeting, and not with me.Paragraphs three though six pertain primarily to your opinions on transit from a State/Nationalperspective and do not mention the City of Troy, City Management, nor myself. I will therefore notaddress them.Statements in paragraph seven are false, misleading, and/or show a lack of knowledge regarding thebudgeting process. When a municipality, Troy included, budgets for capital projects, the capitalamount includes other revenue sources aside from property taxes. In the case of the transit center,these sources included funding from the Federal Government. Note as City Manager I do not budgetmoney, the City Council budgets money
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In 2011, the City Capital Projects Fund budgeted $9.7 million for Buildings and Improvements for theCity as a whole, not specifically the transit center. Revenues budgeted from State Grant sources,were $9.4 million and the corresponding $9.4 million of expenditures was appropriated for the transitcenter. Net budgeted cost to City taxpayers was zero. Actual results for 2011 were zero revenuesrecognized and $101,434 expenditures incurred in the Capital Projects Fund.In 2010, the Capital Projects Fund budgeted $1.3 million as a “Reserve” in anticipation of possiblematching requirements related to the Federal Funding of the transit center. By definition “Reserve” ismoney that is not spent, but rather an assigning of Fund Balance as to be appropriated in future yearsfor a specific project. All appropriations lapse at year end. Actual revenue recognized was $79,897,actual expenditures were $380,601 (net $300,704).Again, in 2010, $1.3 million was budgeted as a reserve, no money was spent and the reserve lapsedthe beginning of 2011 when the City budgeted the Revenues of $9.4 million and expenditures of $9.4million. The $1.3 million is still in the Capital Project Fund as part of Fund Balance. Much like when afamily is saving for vacation, they still have the money until they actually book the trip.2010 – Revenue $79,897, Expenditures $380,6012011 – Revenue $0, Expenditures $101,434Net City cost of transit center: $402,138City Management has indicated cost for the transit center in terms of Capital cost. This grant is oneof the few that does not require a match from the City. And, estimated Operation and Maintenance(O/M) costs were supplied to City Council in the summer of 2011. Further note that the City does notemploy full-time janitorial staff, all janitorial services for the City of Troy have been outsourced to aprivate contractor.In paragraph eight your quote from management’s November 22, 2011 memo indicates “not much ofthe design work for the bridge has been done and so 36.8 percent of the total budget is anticipated tobe most subject to change.” Know that this is not what was written; in fact, your comments falsely
 
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attribute the 36.8 percent number. The 36.8 percent figure is not found anywhere in the report. Theaccurate estimated bridge cost at that time as a percentage of the total budget was $1,094,000 of$8,485,221 or 12.9 percent.Also know that there is a difference between a report from the City Manager and a staff report ofwhich I am one of several signatories. A staff report with my signature carries my endorsement; areport to council from me is solely mine.Your comments contained in paragraph nine are not true. This is because ADA regulations that weare required to comply with are not related or tied in any way to “mandated and expensive greendesigns elements that we will be forced to comply with…”(this is your quote). The so called “greenelements” and Leadership and Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is voluntary,not a requirement of the federal grant.In paragraph ten the statement that there is a conflict between the construction manager at risk(CMR) being responsible for any cost overruns not attributable to scope changes, and theenvironmental assessment that says the City is responsible for overruns is inaccurate. Bothstatements apply to the project but under different circumstances. The CMR contract protects theCity from cost overages in excess of the CMR’s guaranteed maximum price, excluding overrunsattributable to scope changes, because the CMR must absorb these overruns. If the City makesscope changes via Council resolution which causes an increase in the federal grant amount, then thecity will be responsible for costs that exceed the grant amount.As a point of reference, Grand Sakwa Development Company constructed Midtown Square andassociated condominiums on property zoned industrial. This was permitted because of a consent judgement. One result of the consent judgment was to have Grand Sakwa dedicate 2.4 acres of landexclusively for a Troy Multi-Modal Transit Center. This development company is now suing the Cityin order to obtain the Transit Center property.

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