The Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven outlined the final details of the future city’s needs Oct. 18 as it prepared to release formal requests for bids on city services.
Like other new cities in the metro Atlanta area, Brookhaven is looking to hold a competitive bidding process for private sector vendors to bid on providing city services such as public works and parks and recreation.
The committees appointed to research various aspects of municipal structure have been hard at work to try to meet a self-imposed Oct. 19 deadline to complete requests for proposals, known as RFPs. Though most of the 10 committees appointed by the commission have completed scopes of work, there are a few that need additional time. So it will likely be early next week when the RFPs are posted.
Eden Freeman, the assistant city manager for Sandy Springs, is a Brookhaven resident who is volunteering as an expert for the contracts and proposals committee. She is collecting the work from the committees and will compile the RFPs.
At the commission’s meeting, Freeman briefly went over the scope of work descriptions submitted by the various committees and discussed several recommendations to include in the RFPs.
The first is to isolate the city’s finance and IT functions, meaning that any vendor who bids to provide either of those services cannot bid on anything else. This will help keep checks and balances to ensure, for example, that the company providing public works services is not signing off on its own invoices.
The second recommendation is for the city not to accept omnibus proposals, meaning one vendor submitting one large bid to provide all of the city’s services.
The commission also agreed that it is important to include in the RFP for public works that the city will expect someone to be on call 24 hours a day, in case of an emergency, such as a tree falling across a street in the middle of the night.
Finally, they agreed that they would not require vendors to include financial disclosures in their bids.
The commission also heard updates on the progress of its various committees.
Jed Beardsley, co-chair of the offices and facilities committee, said his group narrowed a search down to three or four sites to house Brookhaven’s police force. He said the committee is waiting until they negotiate a price before announcing those locations.
“We want the landlords to give us their best price before it becomes public,” Beardlsey said.
He said the committee is looking at temporary office space for the city’s administrative staff that will likely be used for only six months to a year. The temporary spaces they are considering are built-out, furnished offices in the Perimeter Center area.
For long-term use, the committee is looking at office space that will be built to its specifications. Beardsley asked the other commissioners how they would feel about considering a site that is under construction. He said he has spoken to a developer who is building in the central part of what will be the city of Brookhaven. Construction is expected to take about a year, he said.
“He has a design, he has a location, he hasn’t pulled permits or anything like that, but he’s looking for a tenant,” Beardsley said.
He said this option would allow for a city hall to be centrally located.
“We really have not been able to find any office space in the center of the city that’s suitable,” Beardsley said.
The other commissioners encouraged him to pursue the option.
J.D. Clockadale, co-chair of the police committee, said his group is working with a statistician to compile a report about crime statistics to provide the city’s future police chief.
Clockadale said Sandy Springs Police Chief Terry Sult, who volunteers as an expert on the committee, said that data will be very helpful for the new chief and the city council to make decisions the number of officers and equipment that will be needed for the city of Brookhaven.
Sult and Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan are also working on a list of recommendations for the future city council to help them in the process of hiring a police chief, Clockadale said.