With $15,000 already spent with the Gainesville analytics, strategy, performance and facilitation consultant, Herbert A. Marlowe, Jr., Ph.D., whose work thus far has been what the St Augustine director of public affairs has called “an icebreaker”, the fifteen-member steering committee, calling themselves “Visioning 2014 and Beyond”, says they wish to continue the process, with the services of Analytica, and to pay an additional $59,500 fee.
This is the second of three steps in what has been compared to highway robbery; with Herb Marlowe holding the smoking gun and committee chairman Roxanne Horvath supplying him with ammunition.
At the last commission meeting, several public speakers addressed the board, on which Horvath also serves, to share their un-favorable impressions of working with Marlowe — citing poor communications skills, unwillingness of the proposed professional facilitator to apply the committee member’s suggestions to the vision plan, instead favoring a canned template already used by his firm for another city.
Once again we see a non-responsive panel of commissioners who ignore concerns and complaints by residents in favor of protecting their own pet projects — but, at the next City Commission meeting, taxpayers will get one, final opportunity to stop this absurdity from causing any more harm or wasting any more tax money, desperately needed for legitimate government expenses.
Commissioner Horvath will deliver a report supposedly from the committee meeting held Tuesday, June 17th. Williamson says the meeting, “resulted in a consensus of support for the proposal and the accompanying fee schedule.” According to my dictionary, consensus is a group decision-making process that seeks the consent of all participants.
If that happens at the Monday, June 23rd, city commission meeting, we believe it does not accurately reflect the view or consent of all committee participants. We investigated and found that there are members of the blue ribbon committee who think to spend more money on this unnecessary plan is a mistake — some threatening to quit the volunteer committee if their objections are not accurately represented to the public.