ad hoc City Hall Advisory Committee
July 5, 2017
Methodist Church, 175 North Main 1:30 p.m.
Committee Members: Boldt, Dichiro, Finklea, Kenefick, Kramer, Miller, Pearce, Shaw, Thalden
Staff: Fleury, Kathol, Morrison, Seltzer
Absent: Nickels, Richards
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS: Dichiro called the meeting to order.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Pearce asked that the Draft June 21 meeting Minutes be changed to reflect:
• Page 2 – “If not renewed, that open enrollment window will sunset in 2019 and the school district would move into a declining enrollment situation. If renewed, current enrollment will remain stable.”
• Page 2 - “DSC says their market analysis costs have increased 60-100% from 2006-2017 and the cost was $9-10 million dollars for the school district to invest to make Briscoe an educational facility.”
• Seltzer to verify whether the cost of demolishing and rebuilding Briscoe at $200-$225 per square feet was for demolishing and rebuilding or for the seismic retrofit.
MOTION by Kenefick, second by Finklea to approve the Minutes of the June 21, 2017 ad hoc City Hall Advisory Committee meeting. Carried unanimously by a quorum of the committee.
REPORT BY DANA CRAWFORD OF ORW: Crawford said that in the report from ORW, they had looked at both consolidating and improving City Hall and ComDev, as well as not consolidating City Hall and ComDev and improving the City Hall space. ORW had multiple rounds of interviews – with Kathol present at most meetings – with division heads and 2-3 staff members from each division. The initial set of meetings explored: what works for you now and what does not, what are vacancies in the current department, touring departments and getting a sense of what the future would hold for department needs. Crawford said that the information collected was filtered and ORW developed their recommendations that were qualitative and quantitative. She added that there was good discussion to understand the 2021 planning horizon.
Even if the city started the process right away, it would take that long to go through the process of getting public approval, funding and so five years out was a baseline.
Crawford said that ORW then looked at the 2031 future plan to estimate future staff needs. Crawford said that projecting further than 15 years out starts to be guess work. ORW then used those two plan horizons, shared information at a second round of interviews and then continued to fine- tune and tailor their recommendations. Crawford said that ORW does this relatively frequently and has a library of spaces to pull from and they also generated new ones for the city. ORW looked at standard current information on work station needs and open-office situations. There are several City positions that deal with confidential and sensitive information that need an enclosed office. They also assumed that technology would be different. They then gathered quantitative information and made diagrams of what work stations looked like and created specific diagrams specific to each division. Two processes were used to create the quantitative information: sets of interviews and creating space standards by division. A bubble diagram was created to summarize and show what is needed for 2021 and for 2031.
ORW’s report looked at comments made per division, such as adding FTE equivalencies and a legacy of adding responsibilities without adding staff. Overall, there seemed to be a need to add staff. Crawford added that it was not always black and white. She said it was essential to understand the organization and to have flexibility to accommodate needs. She felt that the space needs allocated and proposed are reasonable and allow flexibility and growth.
DISCUSSION: Shaw said that the committee had wanted clarification on why the City needed to add 8 additional people – fifteen additional if it represents consolidating City Hall and ComDev. Crawford said page seven of the ORW report was a summary for the administration division, which had two additional positions proposed. Dichiro added that the total staff projections needed were on page five of the ORW report. Kramer said he recalled the growth factor in City Hall alone was 8 people and that brought with it all the additional space and cost. Kramer had two concerns – are those 8 people real and do they all have to be in City Hall? It was an underlying assumption. There is a Parking Coordinator position and an Assistant City Administrator and some part-time Analysts and Kramer understood that was derived from someone saying that they needed more staff. He added that ORW accessed that and put together a decision to arrive at 8 people. Kramer said there is no doubt City Hall is inefficient and wondered how many could be accommodated by improving the efficiency within the building? Seltzer said that Crawford was trying to assess what those needs are. She said that when the ORW report was completed, the City did not have a Climate Action Plan and that the City Council just approved a full-time position in City Hall to address that, which is not accounted for in the screening. That brings the number to 9 people. Kramer said that it is less about the 8 people and who they are and more about that we do not understand what is coming in the future. Kramer said that he was reacting to accepting the assumption of 8 people, adding that to the footprint and coming up with the assumption that is what the City needs. If we are going to justify 8 people, we need to consider shared space as being more efficient and he wants to make sure the 8 to 9 people are necessary before the committee has to sell it to the public. Shaw said that in her last term of office as Mayor, the Central library was being considered and the public wanted it to include RCC, but once built, the County took heat over the size of the downtown library. She added that how many more people you add has to be justified. If you build something large, people tend to get upset with it and the committee has to understand what is going on or the City will suffer for it the way the library did.
Current staff is approximately 27 in City Hall. The ORW report projects a total of 33 staff spaces needed in City Hall in 2021 and 39 staff spaces needed in 2031. Current staff in Community Development is approximately 28.5. The ORW report projects a total of 38 staff spaces needed in Community Development in 2021 and a total of 41 staff spaces needed in 2031. It is important to note that “staff spaces” (the term used in the ORW report) does not necessarily equate to FTEs as some spaces are shared by staff working in multiple departments and facilities and some spaces are allocated for positions that may or may not be filled depending on budget projections.
Kenefick stated that the committee’s purpose is to do something thru 2031. If we build a new City Hall only for today’s needs, in 2031 we would risk having to tear it down. He felt that Crawford was looking at everything as it is today and not forecasting what it needs to be in the future. Kenefick said that he had recently talked to 3 top notch computer experts and they said that everyone in the future will be working half-time at home and half-time in the office. There is no need for parking because no one in 20 years will own a car – you will dial up and call someone to take you to work. Organizations will be staffed 24/7 and staff will share space. It seemed to him that too much was about how we do it today and we need to look at building a building for the next 100 years. Kenefick said the one word to take away was flexibility. We should not do anything that is solidified or cast in concrete and we need to look at how we forecast a building that will be around for 100 or more years. The committee has to show the public that they thought about the future, and 20 hour work weeks and 24/7 staffing and no need for parking - because flexibility is needed and it is missing.
Crawford agreed that flexibility is essential. In an organization’s evolution and growth and as it continues to expand, right-sizing provides people with spaces that are functional and useful and optimizes what they do.
She added that right-sizing is included in the 2021 numbers. Dichiro said she heard the concerns that we have to think of the future and things change so rapidly that they could be altered. She added that the committee has not established their criteria, what we know and do not know for the future and that the bottom line was flexibility. Pearce said that labor intensive jobs migrate to the public sector and that the public sector does not respond as well as the private sector. We have to be careful about comparing what happens in a private sector building to a public sector building. It is difficult to say what will happen in the
future. Kramer said that whatever happens in City Hall, we are talking about 2-3 levels on that site that can be structured and designed in a way that can be flexible. Ultimately, the committee is tasked with assumptions that staff will grow and we need to accommodate that, and determine where and in what building. How staff grows is key and it comes down to space and it will be difficult to accommodate the City space needs on the existing City Hall site. Space needs drives the decision on how to accommodate the needs. Pearce said it is important that the committee know specific needs for the departments. Shaw asked what is innovative that can be better utilized? Is there another approach successfully implemented elsewhere that looks at space and parking needs in a different way? Crawford responded that you need to quantify how much space is needed for the future and analyze it. She thought the committee is looking at the next step. Finklea added that the committee agreed the current building does not provide what is needed and that space utilization is poor. Dichiro added that anytime you ask people to invest in a building then flexibility is essential.
Boldt said that he had looked at numbers and square footage but had nothing concrete to report at this time. Kathol said that during the ORW interviews a lot of notes were taken which might give some insight. Crawford said she would appreciate having a memo that gives more information on what the City needs to defend or explain. Kenefick did not think that would be a good use of her time now until the committee has a final proposal – then it can say based on what we have chosen to do, here are more items. Kramer agreed.
Dichiro said the committee should look at next steps. All of the sites have been visited and there may be some options people think are off of the table. The committee needs to establish criteria it can uniformly apply across the options so all options are given the same consideration. Seltzer said that a starting point for developing criteria might be using Kathol’s initial presentation reflecting all of the various options. The list of options will be updated to include Briscoe. Seltzer noted the first bullet point for the purpose of the committee is to identify the best option for improving/replacing City Hall that meets the work space needs
through 2031 and provides a reasonable degree of seismic safety for employees. The committee was tasked with identifying the best option for meeting the space needs through 2031.
Dichiro said the next meeting’s primary agenda is developing the criteria. Kenefick said committee members should be as specific as they can about criteria recommendations and that we needed white boards
and flip charts at the next meeting. Thalden added to bring multi-colored sticky dots. Kramer said the committee should focus on developing criteria which would be evaluated at a future meeting.
PUBLIC INPUT: Gil Livni said that he does not want to see the City spend a lot of money on a building but agrees it is needed. Livni is building a building on Water and Van Ness with 9000 square feet, close to the Plaza and it could be an option for temporary or for long term use by the City. He showed architectural renderings of the building and said the City could rent space and that the interest on a loan would pay for the rent. He said the second floor had condos and the first floor is open on both sides with parking underneath the building. Livni said the building would be finished in 18 months – 2 years from now. Seltzer said that she had Livni’s contact information.
Dichiro adjourned the meeting at 2:45. The next meeting is July 19 at the Methodist Church.
Shelly D. Hensarling