Stop Tiptoeing Around the Problem.

Wondering when the NSP Grant Program Manager is ever going to stand up and accept responsibility for anything. Every time this issue comes before the council there is always a way to put all the blame on McKenna. Sara from McKenna made it abundantly clear at the last (CCM) that they do not build, they do not inspect, only hired to help administer the grant. By the rules of the Grant, they can do no more than that. If the administration wants to keep putting this company in the position of managing the grant. The administration risk breaking the rules of the grant and putting the city in violation. McKenna does not have an office at City Hall. The NSP program manager office is down the hall from the building department. The fact is McKenna is the hired help “not the BOSS”. The Boss is the assistant Mayor the Boss is in charge of everything on the program.

So how does this work, well McKenna hired by the city to “Help” put the specs together for each home. These specs were  used to create a bid package. The bid packet is then put out for companies to bid on each of the homes.  The bid is then awarded and work on the home starts. Now when a portion of the work done like the electrical, the building department should be called to inspect the work and sign off on it. Then they can move on to the next item in the bid. Instead, what happened was the (construction manager) who is not licensed with the state since 2003. Inspected the project and passed it. That is why the contractors submitted their invoices for progress payments. The construction manager passed these jobs according to the specs that McKenna put together.  At no time was the Building Department involved, why not? The program manager and the Building Director are in the same building. Not a phone call, or an email from the Manager of the program saying  we want an inspection done on the electrical  at xyz house.  Is the program manager even in contact with the “construction manager” did the construction manager from McKenna call or email the program manager to inform them of progress? Going back to the last city council meeting for 2010. The Building Director said then that he had nothing to do with the homes he did not inspect anything. The program manager and Sara from McKenna tried than to say yes he did. He repeated over and over that he never entered the homes or put did the specs for the jobs.

Now they come before the council for progress payments for work completed and not inspected by the building department. Work that has not been signed off for by the building department. The building director said he is not going to take responsibility ,for this and cannot. He did not see the project, did not inspect the work and does not know if it is up to code. Short of them going in and ripping down a wall and looking at the electrical work, or the plumbing, he will not be able to sign off on any of these homes. No final inspection, No final payment no certificate of occupancy. How can he when he has clearly stated for the record that he did not inspect or sign off on any of the work done.

Yet the council passed the progress payments to pay the contractors. Not one question to the program manager as to why she did not inform the building department. It was not made clear at all who is suppose to call the building department. The person in charge that is who, stop passing the buck.  Not one person on the council asked that question. Not one question as to why there is such a break down in communication. No one asked the question was the program manager called or emailed. No one ever seems to get to the heart of the matter. Everyone is so busy  tiptoeing around the problem instead of getting some concrete answers to questions. Just take McKenna off the table, put them to the side, who do you look at then for answers and management? That would be  the person in charge, the person with their name on this program, the person  back in March of 2009 this program was given to. Stop using McKenna as a scape goat. If this was any other department, the person in charge of  the department is responsible for the people that work in it. The head of a department is responsible for any mistakes, communication break down or work not  done. McKenna works for the city, McKenna works for the NSP Program Manager, they take their marching orders from that person. Last time I looked McKenna was not paying the Program Managers salary, the city pays McKenna. When is everyone going to put the blame in the right place? When if ever will there be responsibility taken.

Who put this person in charge of the NSP Grant, well that would be the Mayor. Back in March of 2009 the NSP Grant was taken out of the Community and Economic Development Department. From that time, the NSP is run out of the Mayors office with the assistant mayor in charge of it. A program taken out of a department that had the experience and a system in place to deal with grant money. This department is in charge of the CDBG Grant the NSP Grant is remarkably similar to the way it works. Many of the same guide lines, and rules for the CDBG Grant are in the NSP Grant. Some time ago the Mayor made the statement that he was getting a new team, and new management team to work on the NSP Grant. Ah what team? There has not been any new people put in charge of this program. A new team would suggest that this program was taken out of the hands of the existing program manager and McKenna. I do not see the Community and Economic Development Director back in control of this program. The building department has never been included in any aspect of this program. There is a wealth of experienced and talented people working in the city. Why have they been excluded from this program?  All indications are that any department that may have some kind of knowledge about this grant has been kept at arms length.

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