August 30, 2018, City Council Workshop

Savannah City Government



August 30, 2018 – 10:00 a.m.

Present: Mayor Eddie DeLoach, Presiding (arrived at 10:10 a.m.)

Aldermen: Carol Bell, Julian Miller, Brian Foster, Tony Thomas (arrived at 10:15 a.m.), Van Johnson, II (arrived at 10:40 a.m.), Estella Shabazz (arrived at 10:25 a.m.), Bill Durrence, John Hall

Rob Hernandez, City Manager

Bret Bell, Assistant to the City Manager

Brooks Stillwell, City Attorney

Jennifer Herman, Deputy City Attorney

William Shearouse, Assistant City Attorney

Mayor Pro-Tem Bell presided over the meeting until Mayor DeLoach arrived.

City Manager Hernandez welcomed everyone to the meeting and briefly reviewed the agenda.

Workshop Agenda Items
1. 2019 Youth Basketball Program Expansion
Expanding 2019 Youth Basketball rev.pdf

Taffayne Young, Chief Community Services Officer, gave a brief history discussing the intergovernmental agreement between the City, County and Board of Education that provides athletic and recreational programs. She stated staff has been looking for ways to maximize those opportunities and has identified basketball as a means and is currently working on ways to expand it for 2019. Ms. Young stated this summer a request was made for a summer basketball league and Council asked that whatever efforts were made that these initiatives be included and this is staff's efforts in fulfilling that request. She stated additional resources are needed and a service enhancement request will be submitted. She concluded stating because the support of the community is needed staff did not want to wait to present the idea to Council as the season will start in November/December with games beginning in January.

Barry Baker, Director of Parks and Recreation, introduced members from the Board of Education that were present along with several Recreation Commissioners. He stated they are working closely with the Chatham County Parks and Recreation Director as well. Mr. Baker stated sports activities promote healthy lifestyles and safe environments for stronger neighborhoods and more wholesome communities. Organized youth sports instill confidence in young athletes to be part of a team and to make new friends in a safe environment. Young people who participate in athletics study more, get better grades, think more about their future, aspire to attend college, and have lower suspension and expulsion rates. He then briefly reviewed the 2018 Parks and Recreation Department programs. He stated there were boys and girls teams with 555 youth participants, between the ages of six to 17, with 90 teams and 90 coaches. Mr. Baker stated City game gymnasiums are the Windsor Forest Regional Center, John Delaware Regional Center, Eastside Regional Center at Shuman Elementary School and the Tompkins Regional Center. Practice gymnasiums include the W.W. Law Regional Center and the Grant Center. Practices are limited to 2 per week in December and ended once games began in January. He stated the 2018 basketball season direct cost was $42,000 which included the cost of site supervisors, officials, scorekeepers, clock operators and police security.

Mr. Baker stated Chatham County offered a boys basketball program this year. The age group was five to 14 years of age. There were 24 teams with 240 participants and 50 volunteer coaches. The gymnasiums used for games and practices were Armstrong State University Arena, West Broad YMCA, the Hellenic Center, and Kingdom Life Church Gymnasium.  The estimated cost for the program was $28,000, which included the cost of gym rentals, officials, clock operator and equipment. Mr. Baker stated the Board of Education also had a program for middle and high school students for boys and girls ages 11 to 18.  The City hosted games, tournaments, and practices utilizing school gymnasiums. Mr. Baker stated staff is looking forward to the 2019 basketball program, and continuing the collaboration with the Board of Education and the County. He stated the City is looking to increase participation by 20%, which is an additional 111 players, 18 teams, and 18 coaches. The cost is between $18,000-21,000 for facility rentals and additional employees, the total estimated annual cost would be between $60,000-63,000. Mr. Baker then briefly discussed what it would take to do a summer program for 2019. He stated the goal would be to reach 480 players between the ages of six and 17, this would be a total of 60 teams which means 60 coaches would also be needed. The seasonal cost of the program would be approximately $44,500. He stated they want to serve the same age groups in the summer as the winter program. Mr. Baker briefly reviewed the joint use agreement between the City and Board of Education and the City and the County which includes the various sports played and facilities used. He concluded stating to expand the basketball program for 2019 additional funds are needed, and practice and game facilities from the inter-governmental partners, and the need from the community is for more volunteers, practice facilities and players.

Alderman Hall thanked Mr. Baker for the presentation and stated this is a very nice inter-governmental agreement and asked will background checks be done on coaches. Mr. Baker replied yes, background checks are done on coaches.

Alderman Foster asked if the program includes girls and will they also be included in the summer. Mr. Baker replied it is a City program therefore girls are included and in the summer as well. The County program was for boys only.

Alderman Miller thanked Mr. Baker for bringing this forward. He stated it is important, in his years working with the Police Department he saw what happens with kids who don’t have supervision with responsible adults. He stated his efforts have been getting our recreation department going again, it has been funded on paper but we haven’t allowed it to be spent. He continued stating basketball was looked at because of a suggestion from the former Parks and Recreation Director, Joe Shearouse, Sr. He stated this was something that they wanted to do in two weeks, but it took six months, which shows how difficult it is to do, as there are so many moving parts. He stated he is concerned that it doesn’t go far enough, there are coaches who are willing to present that mentorship to kids that don’t have a positive role model and are willing to do it several times a week, but the opportunity isn’t there. He continued stating if the City went with the full $63,000, that’s about $69 per kid, per season. If that is compared to what is done with the seniors, approximately $2,574 is spent per participant per year. He stated we need more gyms and we need more gym time, and too conservative with this. He stated there is an overwhelming need to reach out to kids, we don’t compete with the negative influences in the neighborhood, and basketball is just the first, but there needs to be a bigger effort. He concluded stating he’d like the City to expand, and go further than this.

Alderwoman Bell thanked Mr. Baker. She stated she knows we aren’t going far enough, but it is a great start. She highlighted the efforts from the community, stating it speaks volumes to the time and effort that goes into the moving parts and how the need is addressed. She concluded stating she appreciates what they are doing, because it does take some real thought.

Alderman Thomas asked Mr. Baker if the City has reached out to Georgia Southern since most of their athletics are now in Statesboro and there is a gym being unused. Mr. Baker responded that has been discussed in their meeting process to identify additional gyms that can be used. He stated the County used it this past year, but it is definitely on the list to reach out to them. Alderman Thomas stated the City used to use their ball fields before Armstrong started growing; but the gym itself might have some opportunities for the City to engage as well as the ballfield.

2. Shared Mobility Devices
Shared-Use Dockless Vehicle Presentation.pdf

City Manager Hernandez discussed the Shared-Use Dockless Electric Vehicles issue stating the City is trying to get in front of the issue before it gets to Savannah. He stated many cities have banned these devices and are studying this issue. The reason the cities have chosen to ban these devices is mainly because they pose a safety issue. He stated riders leave them on sidewalks, ride them on sidewalks which is illegal, and riders are riding in streets without helmets. He concluded stating there is an item on the agenda today for a first hearing to ban them from being used in the City.

Nick Deffley, Office of Sustainability, stated the City Manager did a good job of summarizing the challenge we are facing that many other cities are facing. He showed photos of what the City is trying to prevent from happening. He then briefly reviewed the Shared Mobility Ordinance, the definition of a shared mobility device, and what it does not cover. He reiterated that this is specifically for these dockless vehicles. He concluded the presentation by showing examples of the SCAD bike system.

Alderman Miller stated this is a motorized vehicle and he didn’t see anything that requires the use of a helmet. Deputy City Attorney Jen Herman replied there would be no requirement for a helmet, because they are not legal.

Alderman Miller stated there are other small scooters on the streets that are out there with no tags or helmets and asked if there is anything in the City that requires it.

Attorney Herman replied that is a State law issue. The State defines vehicles and what is required. She stated if a vehicle has a tag slot and there is not a tag that is something the City can cite for, because they should have tags.  

Mr. Deffley stated people 16 years and younger requires a helmet for bikes, but he is not sure how that applies to motorized vehicles.

Alderwoman Bell thanked staff for the presentation. She stated often times citizens are informing them about what’s going on in other cities, and telling them they need to get out in front of things. But when she came back in town they were already prepared, she concluded by giving them kudos for being in front of this for the community.

Alderman Durrence echoed the comments of Alderwoman Bell. He stated the emphasis is dockless and shared, and does not get into anyone’s personal property rights. He continued stating there is a case in a sense with the SCAD bike system, but it’s not quite the same as there is an accountability and it is limited to students who can be reached through the system.

Mr. Deffley stated currently this ordinance does not have a sunset, but if this is something that Council decided it wanted to regulate, staff could look at it.

Alderman Durrence stated he believes Bird is working in Baltimore now to come up with some method of dealing with this in bike lanes. He concluded stating the idea was to manage this before it got ahead of us.

3. Savannah Business Opportunity Program Update
SBO Update Workshop 083018.pdf

Manny Dominguez, Director of the Office of Business Opportunity, provided a brief overview of the Savannah Business Opportunity (SBO) program and provided a six month update. He briefly reviewed the items he would discuss during the presentation stating we are currently eight months in to what is essentially a two year pilot program. He stated this is an opportunity to make improvements to the program. He reviewed key program dates stating a Disparity Study was conducted in 2015; followed by a Disparity Study work shop which was presented by Griffin & Strong in March 2016; an M/WBE Program report work shop was presented in April 2016; and the final Disparity Study report released in June 2016. Mr. Dominguez stated during this process came the development of the Savannah Business Opportunity (SBO) program. In April 2017, there was a SBO Council work shop, and in June 2017 the Savannah Business Enterprise (SBE) program was adopted; followed by the adoption of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program in September 2017. He stated also in September 2017, Council voted to suspend using the formula used in the old M/WBE program because it was restrictive in some cases. He continued stating the SBO Program officially launched in January 2018, which was followed by a resolution adopting the 18 percent DBE goal which was based on statistical data of our market, our available firms, disparity study, and prior procurement information using all of the best practices for goal setting.

Mr. Dominguez then briefly reviewed the program differences of the SBE which looks at Savannah based businesses that have 25 or fewer employees and meet certain revenue thresholds and the DBE, primarily minority and women owned, and other disadvantaged groups for contracts over $100,000. He provided a comparison of the eligibility between the M/WBE and the GDOT DBE programs, stating both programs are almost identical. The only real difference is that the DBE program allows on a case by case basis for other socially and economically disadvantaged groups to certify, the best example of this is disabled veterans who can prove that they are socially and economically disadvantaged can get the certification.  He stated the size standards are the same and they both have the same personal net worth.

Alderman Thomas asked Mr. Dominguez to explain the qualifications to be considered a socially disadvantaged veteran. Mr. Dominguez replied any group outside of the ones listed are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged. He stated any other group or individual that chooses to certify as a DBE has to present their case for their disability or situation in life, which is then reviewed by GDOT.

Mr. Dominquez then reviewed the required documentation needed to certify stating they are basically the same under both programs as the former M/WBE program was largely modeled after the federal program. He stated staff has worked diligently to upgrade all of its resources and did a huge amount of outreach, to include a new website with all of the information about what is required to participate. He stated there is a video that includes all relevant links, information about classes, mentorship and one-on-one assistance. He stated a tremendous amount of outreach has been done over the last year, where staff participated in over 100 events, including classes, workshops, and roundtables, to shape the program and get the word out. Mr. Dominguez highlighted many of the wonderful things that have been going on with the Office of Business Opportunity stating round tables were held throughout the City for the SBO Program and the Hire Savannah program; the annual survey was sent out to more than 8,000 small businesses in Savannah; a new mentor program with our local SCORE chapter was created; a newsletter was launched last year that goes out to 2,000 businesses in the City; and a number of networking events were held to include the Arena construction fair, which brought together over 130 contractors and subcontractors to learn about the project and meet with one another. Mr. Dominguez stated they have heard from the community how helpful the event was. He continued stating staff  embarked on a comprehensive and concentrated effort to reach out not only to all the businesses previously certified, but to 1,368 small businesses to make sure they were aware, many of which who had never participated in City procurement. He briefly talked about the first SBE contract which was awarded to Family Lawn Care. He stated the dollars that go to local companies stay local. He stated from a numbers perspective the City’s benchmark for 2018 is 18% DBE goal. Mr. Dominguez stated they compared the last three years to see how the City is doing so far. He stated the numbers for 2016 and 2017 are M/WBE numbers and the 2018 numbers are DBE numbers through July only. He stated they are excited by the progress so far.

Alderman Miller asked Mr. Dominguez to explain what primes mean. Mr. Dominguez replied prime contractors are contractors that win the contracts with the City, the one actually going into the agreement with the City. Subcontractors are those that are doing individual pieces of work. He stated it is important for us to measure our success at both prime level and the secondary level. Mr. Dominguez continued stating we have had some really good success at all levels. Under the M/WBE program, we were still struggling to get contracts at the prime level, however under DBE the local prime has increased.

Alderwoman Shabazz requested the following information:

Breakdown of the 32% award to local (prime) in the amount of $26,604,416 for 2017 for M/WBE as follows:

  • name of company
  • amount of award
  • type of service

Breakdown of the 34% award to local (prime) in the amount of $23,694,129 for 2018 for DBE as follows:

  • name of company
  • amount of award
  • type of service

Alderman Hall asked that the location of the companies be added to the list.

Alderwoman Shabazz stated there is a 2% difference between 2017 when the City was still under the under M/WBE program and the current policy of the SBO. She requested the same breakdown of information as above for the percentage of local awarded to disadvantaged (prime).

Alderwoman Bell stated the 34% for 2018 is thru July, so we would anticipate that number to increase. City Manager Hernandez replied yes.

Alderwoman Bell stated it appears to her that the eligibility for each is the same. Mr. Dominguez replied they are similar but the one difference is critical, allowing for other disadvantaged groups.

Alderwoman Bell stated she doesn’t understand why it is so difficult to certify local minorities if the requirements are the same. Mr. Dominguez replied he doesn’t think that is the difficulty, he believes they should all qualify as all of these programs are thorough and they are thorough for a reason. He stated it takes several months to certify because it is critical to the integrity of the program. Alderwoman Bell replied if everyone that was under M/WBE that was certified had to be recertified under the new program and all requirements are the same with the exception of the one what is the issue. Mr. Dominguez replied under the old program, some would expire and some would come on board each year, it took many years to get to that point. He stated there are always businesses that let their certification lapse or in today’s climate they decide I don’t need City business and as of today it’s not worth my time to get recertified.

Alderman Johnson stated ideally it becomes a business decision. He stated there is a self-reporting aspect on the DBE side, which is a critical aspect in here. He continued stating he voted against this because he felt like we were at a point where we were finally communicating with people. He stated he is interested in some of the breakdowns as well. He stated it upsets him to no end to see construction crews with out of town license plates. Local projects should have local fingerprints and he is not seeing that.

Alderwoman Shabazz asked that location, and if it is local as defined by the City policy, be added to the additional data requested.

Mr. Dominguez replied local is within the City limits. But as it relates to the presentation it is referring to the MSA.

Mr. Dominguez stated there are approximately 50-60 certified DBE’s within the County, and 99 percent of them are in Savannah.

Mr. Dominguez then reviewed subcontracting percentages for 2016-2018, including a breakdown of race and location. He stated DBE by definition creates a pool that you look at in an aggregate, so the 2018 numbers were broken down year to date. He stated you have to be careful when looking at the success of a program based on one project. So far, two arena contracts have been awarded, one for the project manager and one for design services, the construction manager contract is on the agenda today. He stated all three have well exceeded the 18% DBE goal. He stated on the design services the local percentage was lower than they would have liked, but Savannah is a growing market.

Mr. Dominguez then reviewed the program enhancements stating there is always room for improvement and based on feedback and numbers this year, they would like to see more local disadvantaged business involvement. He stated they would like to implement a LDBE (local disadvantaged business enterprise) goal of 10%. Contractors would have to meet a LDBE goal which would hopefully mitigate some of the concerns of out of town contractors bringing in out of town subcontractors. The last few changes include reinstating the previously certified M/WBE’s and giving them more time to switch to the new certification. He continued stating they have been working with the local lender to launch a contract financing program to address one of the major barriers to taking on City contracts, to provide low interest loans for buying equipment and hiring staff. He concluded stating they are working on establishing a joint venture program and mentor-protégé program to provide more resources to our local companies, to ensure that we are supporting our local disadvantaged businesses.

Alderwoman Shabazz requested a breakdown of information for all categories under the disadvantaged subcontractors slide to get a clearer picture.

Mr. Dominguez asked for clarification of the request. Alderwoman Shabazz stated she would like the name of company, amount of award, location of business, and type of service.

Alderwoman Shabazz stated she did a detailed breakdown of the percentages under design services for the total DBE on the arena project slide and the percentages show that all of these companies with the exception of one are not located in Chatham County.

She then asked Mr. Dominguez to give her the definition of program financing.

Mr. Dominguez replied they are calling it the Small Business Contract Financing Program and essentially it’s designed to provide low interest loans for local and small disadvantaged companies that win contracts with the City of Savannah.

Alderwoman Shabazz asked if this has to be under this program? Mr. Dominguez replied it is not part of the amendment that will be voted on later today, that portion is just the 10% LDBE component. He stated this kind of work is often times about systems changes which requires closing the gap. He concluded stating all of these things are all pieces of the puzzle and it takes all of those things put together to move the needle.

Alderman Foster asked if the 25% is based on $7.3 million on the arena slide. Pete Shonka, Executive Director of Arena Development, replied no, that’s the pre-construction phase and those are hard numbers.

Alderman Johnson stated we need an advocacy piece, we need to partner, engage and recruit companies. He stated we are overrepresented in some, and there are opportunities to spread it out in other areas.

Mr. Dominguez replied the Bilbo Canal contract challenge required marine experience. We brought in an expert to do a class and they have now been trained and next time something comes up they will be ready. He also stated for the LDBE portion staff is still working with the legal department at Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) to make sure that large construction is allowed under local preference, but what you are voting on today is not impacted by that.

Alderman Johnson stated local today is defined as the MSA. Mr. Dominguez replied yes, but Council can change that, but he’s hesitant to break it down too much.

Alderman Johnson expressed his opinions about location stating we need to take care of home.

Alderman Thomas asked what are the policies the surrounding counties have as it relates to us, and what is the Chatham County policy towards local.

Alderman Johnson asked that staff check to see what the surrounding counties, to include the County, has for their definitions of what local is.

Alderwoman Bell stated it appears the consensus of Council is that we are charged with building capacity for Savannah and asked that staff try to wrestle with that.

4. Arena Update and Construction Manager at Risk Overview
City Council Workshop Arena Update and CM at Risk (rev2).pdf

City Manager Hernandez briefly reviewed the item.

Pete Shonka, Director of Arena Development, provided a project update on the consultant procurement status, community outreach status and the construction delivery method analysis. He stated the project manager, JLL, came on board around February. The Architect/Design Team award was made in June and contract negotiations are underway. The Construction Manager at Risk is on the Council agenda today. The RFQ for the arena operator is currently on the streets and the preproposal meeting is next week. Mr. Shonka briefly reviewed the Construction Manager at Risk proposal and confusion with the fee. He stated two of the proposers included a percentage that impacted their total proposal cost, and one did not include the percentage.  So, there was confusion over how to calculate the numbers for their proposals. He reviewed the scoring process used to address this. Mr. Shonka stated the DBE construction fair was held and he has received great feedback from the contractors, potential contractors and the community. Community outreach includes surveys, and upcoming workshops. There have been over 500 responses to the survey so far. Based on the feedback, the designer will begin preparing some designs that we will be presented at the second workshop that the community can vote on, similar to streetscape designs.

Alderman Johnson asked Mr. Shonka if he thinks two community outreach events are enough to allow people enough opportunity as possible to weigh in, in each district. He stated because this is such a huge project, an effort should be made to go to people where they are. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and we need to do a better job of communication.

City Manager Hernandez replied staff is happy to accommodate additional workshops.

Alderwoman Bell stated each alderman has a responsibility at their district meetings and neighborhood meetings to make sure their constituents are informed, and we need to make sure to have staff at the meetings.

Alderman Johnson stated he is specifically asking each alderman to do that by district as that is a way to use staff resources better.

City Manager Hernandez replied this is an important project and we are happy to conduct as many meetings as necessary.

Mr. Shonka discussed the different types of project delivery methods used by the City. He stated the most commonly used method by the City has been design-bid-build. This method sets it up for lots of change orders and potential litigation. He stated with the design-build method you lose a lot of control, but most arenas have been built using the construction manager at risk method. He continued stating as they try to meet your budget, although you may lose some of your program elements. He concluded stating with the CMR you can cut down your packages to accommodate more local businesses.

Mr. Shonka then introduced Jim Curry with Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) who discussed the Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) experience. Mr. Curry stated the CMR is the delivery method of choice that JLL has been using. The most important aspect is that the client has input on the local and DBE input. He stated monthly and quarterly updates are received to ensure the project is on track, and to give periodic updates in the event adjustments are needed. Mr. Curry stated breaking down the packages helps achieve local DBE levels. Having the contractor work with the designer helps to identify more appropriate materials and expertise for the Savannah region. He continued with a discussion on the right sizing of the bid package and how that plays out in a large project such as the arena.

Mr. Curry introduced Ben Polote, Sr., who briefly provided a case study of breaking down a bid package at Godley K-8 School and Oglethorpe Charter School. Mr. Polote stated they pulled together a consortium of 6 firms and assured Council that the CMR method truly works. He stated the CMR process works under a process of not necessarily the lowest bidder, but under rating points. He stated he thanks God this body has fought so hard to include local firms. He stated Council elected a process that does work, and they will get out of this process their full desires of keeping a lot of businesses in this community that have been left out before.

Alderwoman Bell stated she was very impressed months ago when she saw an overview of this process and she knew that local and minority participation was important. She stated she loves the idea of breaking these contracts down, and the idea of training the skill sets. She concluded stating we have time to build capacity in the Savannah community.

Mr. Curry stated there is a difference between accepting and embracing a concept and we are embracing Council’s concept. He stated they have a lot of youth with no marketable skills and in the construction trade there is a place for that, where they can come in and get training.

Alderman Foster asked when you have a small DBE contractor that you are trying to bring in, how much flexibility do you have to take that local contract when it’s a few thousand dollars higher. Is that something that Council approves, or the project manager under the contract?

Mr. Curry replied they will work with the CMR on how to establish the best value, as they need to stay within the overall budget, and will share with Council the best overall practice.

Alderman Foster stated we need to get as much local DBE business as possible, because that is important to all of us.

Mr. Curry replied there is a budget, so there will be a balancing process.

Alderman Johnson stated he understands doing what’s best value for the contract, but doing things at the lowest price, isn’t always the best thing. He asked for his thoughts on community benefit agreements as it relates to the facility’s immediate neighbors.

Mr. Curry agreed that low bidder isn’t necessarily always the best value. When you are strictly low bidder, they are looking for holes in the contract, when you have best value your contractors are working with you and it is an interactive process, and your quality is greater. He stated having the people involved early in the process is the best thing.

Mr. Shonka stated the Arena Advisory Committees were important, he stated those recommendations that the teams came up with are on his desk and are the maps that will guide them in this process.

Alderwoman Shabazz stated the arena construction fair came out of a conversation with the City Manager, and it was very successful and the majority of those participants were local.

Alderman Durrence stated referring to the Council agenda that the recommended contractor is proposing a 25% DBE but the other contractor received more points…

Mr. Shonka replied the contractor said they felt like they could based on the market, the way they do that is based on breaking down the packages.

City Manager Hernandez stated they have identified that during the preconstruction phase.

Mr. Shonka assured Council that it will be monitored throughout project.

5. Real Estate, Personnel, Litigation

Upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderwoman Shabazz, and unanimously carried Council went into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing Real Estate and Personnel.

Upon completion of this session, a motion was made to come out of Executive Session by Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried.

6. City Manager's Briefing / Council Meeting Agenda Items for August 30, 2018

City Manager Rob Hernandez presented the City Manager’s Briefing of the agenda items for the Council Meeting of August 30, 2018. The agenda can be found online and will be made a part of the permanent record.

There being no further business, Mayor DeLoach declared this Work Session adjourned.

The video recording of the Council meeting can be found by copying and pasting the below link in your url: 

Luciana M. Spracher, Acting Clerk of Council
Agenda Plus