The Sandy Springs City Council will likely delay its consideration of a contract increase for the Collaborative, the company that holds the city’s communication contract.
The council was expected to consider at its Aug. 2 meeting a $189,515 increase to its $594,413 contract with the company for a video communications project called “Windows into Sandy Springs.” Ed Shoucair, a partner with the Collaborative, presented the plan at the council’s July 12 work session.
But there are plans to delay that vote, council members said. Mayor Eva Galambos said the project needs more consideration.
“This is something we’re going to continue to deliberate on and I think we’re going to wait until we get a communications director and he’s not on board yet,” Galambos said.
City Councilmen Chip Collins and Gabriel Sterling questioned the need to add money to the contract.
Shoucair said the city’s position is “completely understandable.” He said the company is currently interviewing people for the communications director’s position.
Collins said his constituents unanimously stood by his opposition to a contract increase at this time.
Sterling said the city shouldn’t spend money to buy video equipment that would be obsolete in a few years. Sterling said on his personal website that people misunderstood what had happened with the contract. He said the Collaborative did not spontaneously decide to ask the City Council for more money.
“During the transition, which began in June, council members and staff were interviewed by the Collaborative. One of the things that the new communications group kept hearing was ‘What can we, as a city, do new, different and better?’” Sterling wrote. “It was through these requests for what can be done, beyond what we have been doing, that got the ball rolling on this discussion.”
Sterling also wrote that since the Collaborative recently received the contract, he has not had an opportunity to witness the quality of the company’s work. He also said he is against adding another full-time employee to carry out the work.
City Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny said she supports the proposal but also thinks it’s a good idea for the city to wait until a new communications director is in place.
“I’m in support of it because it’s actually replacing the number of full time equivalents back to the original five staff people we’ve had in that department,” she said.