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Volume 2, Issue 32
December 8, 2010
A trend to watch!
 

Mary Scott Nabers

Interesting trends are evolving because of the country's economic stress. One trend that is expected to continue, and one that should be of high interest to firms contracting with public entities, is "shared services."


Shared services are governed by formal agreements through which two or more entities find a way to provide services that reduce costs for all parties.


Some entities only share large equipment. Others may share employees or facilities.  Some are consolidating technology and sharing IT personnel. For instance, in Georgia, the cities of Milton and Johns Creek plan to share costs for technology specialists. The shared services arrangement will save each city approximately $130,000 annually.

 

[more] 


 

IN THIS ISSUE
San Diego setting bar for outsourcing
Railroad safety grants awarded
Mitchell elected NLC president
Upcoming education opportunities
Other contracting opportunities
Where are they now?
Opportunity of the week
People
Calendar of events
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City of San Diego could set bar high for outsourcing

 

Council to discuss bidding out IT, publishing services, possibly more functions

Jerry SandersThe City of San Diego could soon set the bar for other government entities for outsourcing of city services. And Mayor Jerry Sanders (right) hopes to set that bar high. This week he took a proposal before City Council seeking to move forward on outsourcing the city's printing shop. Discussions on outsourcing of other services are likely to follow. The mayor said the city's landfill bid process is progressing, with final negotiations set to begin in February


Like many other cities across the country, San Diego is having difficulty making ends meet because of the economy. Also like other cities, it is looking for ways to generate new revenue streams and for ways to cut spending. Sanders' proposal regarding outsourcing the print shop is one of the ways he sees the city can cut expenses.
Outsourcing Printing

Outsourcing Printing
Printing coud become one of the services the city could outsource.  

The proposal to the City Council this week was "a strategy for competitive bidding of the city's IT services and approving the scope of services we expect from bidders for publishing services," said Sanders in a press conference before the council meeting. He said these are the first functions toward going into managed competition.


Sanders said these competitive bids "will save taxpayers millions of dollars each year, once implemented." He said the IT outsourcing strategy will be the "roadmap for bidding out $37.2 million in IT services," all of which are now provided by San Diego Data Processing Corporation (DPC), "which has never faced a competitive bid to provide these services." DPC is a not-for-profit provider of government information technology solutions.


Sanders said the city had previously bid out its help desk function, a small portion of the city's IT needs, which alone reduced costs by $1 million. "I believe we can significantly lower the cost of the balance of our tech services, hopefully by $10 million per year," he said of the new proposal.


Publishing efforts by the city require a budget of $5.8 million and 25 full-time employees, both of which could be cut if competition is implemented. Sanders said that would set the stage for putting even more city functions into the competitive process, including fleet service. He is convinced that outsourcing can save the city millions.


"These are steps toward long-term fiscal stability," said the mayor, and allows the city to "dedicate more resources to our most important functions - police and fire protection, streets and other functions."

 

Seven railroad safety technology grants awarded

 

Funding ranges from $500,000 to $228 million; results to benefit all railroads 

Train GrantsThe nation's rail system will get a little safer thanks to $50 million in Railroad Safety Technology Grant funds headed to seven different projects throughout the country. The funds will be used to institute Positive Train Control (PTC) collision avoidance systems and other advanced technologies.  The system uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to monitor and control a train's movement to help prevent collisions and ensure rail worker safety.

 

The grants - awarded to private corporations, academic institutions and public authorities - range from $500,000 to the Westinghouse Airbrake Corp. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for a video PTC database survey verification project to $21 million awarded to Meterocomm Communications Corp. in Renton, Washington, for a design integration testing and locomotive noise study. To view the complete list of grant recipients and a description of their respective projects, click here and look under "Recent Reports."

 

Joseph SzaboForty-one applications for the grants were received, requesting $228 million. The grant applications were rated on technical merit, with an eye toward improved interoperability between technologies, project management capabilities of the recipients and their willingness to share costs.

 

Applications were sought from passenger and freight railroads, industry suppliers and state and local governments.  Projects had to be ready for deployment within 24 months of receiving a grant award and applicants were required to commit to sharing 20 percent of the total cost.

 

"We are funding projects that confer the greatest benefits to the entire railroad community," said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo (picture), who pointed out that although specific projects received funding, all railroads will benefit from the projects. 

 

North Carolina's James Mitchell elected president of NLC

 

New vice presidents, board members also chosen during event held in Denver
James MitchellJames Mitchell (pictured), member of the Charlotte, North Carolina, City Council, was elected president of the National League of Cities at the organization's recent annual Congress of Cities and Exposition in Denver. Mayor Ted Ellis of Blufton, Indiana, was elected first vice president and Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers of Avondale, Arizona, was named second vice president.
 
Mitchell said he will announce new initiatives in five areas - sustainability, small business development, immigration, improvement of transportation and infrastructure and job development through economic development. He also encouraged more participation by NCL members in the organization's efforts to help build cities.

 

Members also elected a new board of directors. Named to two-year terms were the following: Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker; San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; Wellington, Florida, Mayor Pro Tempore Carmine Priore; Wichita, Kansas, Mayor Carl Brewer; Saint Paul, Minnesota, Mayor Chris Coleman; Hurst, Texas, Council Member Henry Wilson; Savannah, Georgia, Mayor Pro Tem/Alderman At-Large Edna Branch Jackson; East Orange, New Jersey, Council Member Jacquelyn Johnson; Cathedral City, California, Council Member Gregory Pettis; Trotwood, Ohio, Council Member Rap Hankins; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Mayor-President Melvin "Kip" Holden; Joplin, Missouri, Mayor Pro Tem Melodee Colbert Kean; Bartlett, Tennessee, Mayor A. Keith McDonald; Tempe, Arizona, Council Member Mark Mitchell; and Los Angeles Council Member Bernard Parks.

 

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Upcoming education opportunities

 

New primary, intermediate school approved by NY Department of Education
Yeruchim Silber A new primary and intermediate school has been approved by the New York Department of Education for the Brooklyn Burrough, but the site chosen caused some heartburn for some parents. Yeruchim Silber (pictured), vice chair of the local community board's land use committee, said many parents were opposed to building the 735-seat school on a site that would serve students living in a neighboring school district and were afraid that children living near the school might not be able to attend it. The community board voted against the site and the DOE had to find an alternative site. The school is being built because of growing demand for classroom space. Building of a 380-seat primary school is also under consideration.


High school, elementary school to undergo $2 million in remodeling
The New Prairie High School and Rolling Prairie Elementary School in New Prairie (Ohio) United School Corporation are about to get a facelift. The district's board recently approved spending almost $2 million in federal Qualified School Construction Bonds to help defray costs of the project. The school's kitchen will be renovated, including a new exhaust hood and cooling unit upgrade. At the high school, $1.2 million in projects are planned, with $300,000 at the elementary school. Bids are expected in mid-December and contract awards are expected in January.

 

Connecticut school district approves study for $70 million in renovations
The Berlin (Connecticut) Board of Education has approved preliminary plans for $70 million in renovations at the district's high school. Among the recommendations that came out of a feasibility study are work to meet air quality standards, handicapped accessibility, needs of more space and updated science classrooms. The study is intended to show what work needs to be done and how much it will cost.


Construction expected in spring for New Hampshire school renovation
Renovation and expansion of the Portsmouth (New Hampshire) Middle School has been approved for next spring at a cost of about $40 million. The construction contract will likely go out for bid early next year with a completion date expected by the fall of 2013. A large portion of the existing building will be renovated to house sixth-grade programs, tech ed, music, administration and other specialty classes. A new addition will provide space for seventh- and eighth-grade core programs and a new gym, kitchen and central boiler plant will be added. New additions will also be for a band, chorus and student commons area that will also serve as the cafeteria and stage and assembly area.


LA, Orange County schools recipients of $13.6 million in grant funds
Opportunities for network equipment and interactive technology will likely result from federal grants to the state of California and two school systems in California. Each of the entities received $13.6 million in grant funds for programs to help students succeed in college, including the Los Angeles and Orange County schools. More than three-dozen schools in the two counties were the recipients of Enhancing Education Through Technology Competitive Grants. The recipients include: Los Angeles Unified School District, $3 million; Long Beach Unified School District, $1 million; William S. Hart Union High School District, $1 million; Santa Ana Unified, $1 million; Capistrano Unified, $500,000; Glendale Unified, $500,000; and Pomona Unified, $500,000. The grants will be used to pay for data collection on graduation rates and to facilitate student preparation either to a college setting or a vocation.


Chattanooga State takes first step toward adding dormitories to campus
Jim CatanzaroA Tennessee Board of Regents committee has approved a $9 million grant to Chattanooga State Community College to add 15 acres to its main campus. The land purchase is the first step toward the campus becoming the first community college in the state to offer student housing. Chattanooga State received the funding from surplus state budget funds. "This will help us grow enormously," said Jim Catanzaro (pictured), president of the college. He said he does not know of "anything bigger that's happened to Chattanooga State." The purchase next year of the land will also allow addition of more parking and classroom space at the college. The property includes more than 350 paved parking spots, a 25,000-square-foot garage and a 186,000-square-foot building. With the move to the new property by the industrial electricity, industrial maintenance, machine tool technology and visual arts programs, more space will be freed up on the main campus for the theater, literature and foreign language programs.


Virginia school looking at $3.8 million new stadium at county high school
The King George County (Virginia) school system has given approval for architects for a $3.8 million new stadium to go out for bids. The stadium will be located at the county high school. The project could be ready to go to bid in about six weeks, with ground to then be broken by the summer. Until it is completed, football games will be played at an alternate field. The school board is also considering converting a middle school into a facility for fifth and sixth graders and renovating an elementary school in Dahlgren. Money is not yet set aside for those projects, but the stadium is being built with funds left over from the construction of the high school.


Tennessee community college garners $9 million for renovations
Walters State Community College in Tennessee will receive $9 million approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents. The funding will be used for renovations and to create new academic programs. To qualify for the funding, the college had to raise matching funds. Part of Walters State's matching funds came from a $3 million donation by a local businessman.


Technology funding made available to two California school districts
The Apple Valley (California) Unified School District and the Victor Valley Union High School District will benefit from $36 million in technology grants being shared by California schools. Apple Valley will get $250,000 and Victor Valley has been awarded $500,000. Victor Valley will spend most of its grant on buying new high-tech devices and training 100 teachers to use them. Apple Valley will use its funds to promote and enlarge the K-16 Bridge program, an online assessment and tracking tool that helps ready students for either college or a vocation.


Oklahoma school system plans bond election for upgrades to cafeteria
The Washington Schools (Oklahoma) system is planning a $1.4 million bond issue on Dec. 14. The proceeds would go toward construction of a new dining area and to construct and equip a new kitchen. The existing kitchen will also be remodeled if the bond issue passes. The new cafeteria dining room would include about 35,000 square feet. The new kitchen would double the size of the current facility. A second proposal on the bond referendum is for $200,000 to purchase three new buses for the district.


Michigan Legislature approved infrastructure projects as higher ed facilities
The Michigan Legislature this week approved financing for 23 infrastructure projects at universities and community college in the state. None of the projects received more than $30 million of the nearly $383 million approved toward the nearly $1 billion in projects and a dozen community colleges and 11 universities. The bill is awaiting the signature of the governor. Some of the projects approved for funding include:

  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor - $30 million - G.G. Brown Memorial Laboratories renovation;
  • University of Michigan-Dearborn - $30 million - science and computer information building renovations;
  • Wayne State University - $30 million - Multidisciplinary Biomedical Research Building;
  • Macomb Community College - $7.25 million - Health Science and Technology Building project;
  • Central Michigan University - $30 million - biosciences building;
  • Henry Ford Community College - $7.5 million - science building improvements project;
  • Grand Valley State University - $30 million - classroom and office additions;
  • Northern Michigan University - $25.4 million - Jamich Hall modernization; and
  • Monroe County Community College - $8.5 million - technology center project.  
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Other upcoming contracting opportunities

 

Boerne seeks more bids for $36 million wastewater plant, extends deadline
After receiving only two bids for a proposed $36 million wastewater plant, Boerne (Texas) city officials recently agreed to push back the deadline for bids for the project and extend the timeline for construction from 12 to 18 months.
At a workshop session, council members authorized the public works director to move the deadline for bids for the wastewater plant project from the current deadline of Dec. 16 to a new Jan. 20, 2011 deadline. The strategy is that unsuccessful bidders for several other large wastewater projects also being built in the area will be "hungry" for the job and submit better bids, said Michael Mann, the public works director. Several contractors also expressed concern over the 12-month construction timeline and four contractors said they most likely will submit bids if the construction timeline is extended to 18 months, Mann said.

 

County to hire consultant for study on nursing center
Mike AnagnostakisOfficials of Orange County, New York, have approved spending $118,000 to hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study regarding the continued operation and ownership of the Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation in Goshen. "I don't want to see our county nursing home have to close," said Legislator Mike Anagostakis (pictured). "I don't want to see our residents displaced and I don't want to see our workers put out of work." He said he felt the study is important to ensure that the nursing home does not close.

 

Rhode Island seeking vehicles on which to improve emissions
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has $500,000 in hand in federal stimulus funds to improve emissions in state- and city-owned vehicles and thus help air quality in the state. The funds come from the Rhode Island Clean Diesel Program. Nineteen vehicles already have been replaced or retrofitted from the total of $1.73 million awarded to the state last April. The funds can be used to cover part of the cost of a replacement vehicle. The old vehicle must be scrapped or permanently disabled. Funds are available until the end of March of next year.

 

$12.9 million grant will rehabilitate tracks on Appalachian short-line project
Victor MendezThe Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the U.S. Department of Transportation have signed an agreement that will provide a $12.9 million Recovery Act grant to begin work on the Appalachian Regional Short-Line Rail project. Hundreds of miles of track will be improved on five short-line railroads running through Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee. "This project is about increasing efficiency to boost economic competiveness and make it easier for businesses to ship their products," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez (pictured). "It's also about making better use of all transportation modes through targeted investment." The project will include grade crossing, bridge and tunnel improvements, all of which are expected to speed up delivery time. Officials are hopeful the cuts in delivery time will encourage shippers to begin a shift of the transport of hazardous commodities and chemical from trucks to rail. Tennessee will also receive $2.8 million and West Virginia $1.7 million for the project, bringing the grant total to $17.5 million. The grant is part of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.
 

City of Tacoma to sell bonds to finance modular paring garage
The City of Tacoma will sell $9.4 million in federal stimulus bonds to help build a modular parking garage. The tax-exempt bonds will help build a structure that will include 500-700 parking spaces. The city is exploring several sites as possible location for the garage.

 

$2 million wave pool to replace swimming pool in Pittsburg park
In its largest single capital improvement project, the Idlewild and SoakZone park in Pittsburg will replace its swimming pool with a $2 million wave pool. The 28,600-gallon pool will be up to six feet deep at its deepest end. It is set to open next summer and will be included in a general admission ticket to the park.
 
California health care district approves building new $2.6 million facility
Rudy ShuttaThe Bear Valley (California) Community Health Care District board has approved buildings of a new $2.6 million facility to house its Family Health Center and parenting resource center. The business office will move into the facility's existing building once the new center is built and the current business office will be used for storage. Chief Financial Officer and acting CEO Rudy Shutta (pictured) called the changes a "perfect marriage" to group obstetric services, pediatrics and the parenting center in one facility. The facility had outgrown its space and officials say building a new one frees up space for a storage area and pharmacy needs in the old business office. Officials hope to take occupancy of the new building by October of next year. Architectural work is expected to begin this winter with hopes of a groundbreaking next spring.

 

Alaska city plans $135 million in public works projects over five years
More than $135 million in public works projects have been planned for Sitka, Alaska, in the city's capital projects plan. Among the new projects are the proposed expansion of the library and construction of a new police station. Part of the expenditures will also be for maintenance and replacement of some of the city's water and road systems. Work on the water system is budgeted at $500,000 in 2011 and will be at $4 million by 2015. Paving expenses will start at $100,000 next spring and increase to $2.3 million by 2012. Other projects being considered are a Sea Walk, with construction on that project set to begin in 2012 and bear a price tag of $3.6 million, to be paid from the state's cruise passenger head tax. The largest planned expenditure is the doubling of the Kettleson Library in 2013 at a cost of nearly $15 million. A deepwater dock at Sawmill Cove will cost $12 million if funded in 2012 and a new $10.6 million police station is in the plan for 2014.

 

Wyoming county looking to build new courthouse
Smokey WildemanWhile a new justice center is already under construction, officials in Johnson County (Wyoming) are looking at designs for a courtroom and court offices project. Commissioner Smokey Wildeman (pictured) said moving straight into the courthouse project from completion of the justice center would save money. "We wouldn't have to pay a mobilization fee and everything is already there," he said. Wildeman said moving forward could save the county a couple million dollars. The design work has begun, from which a cost estimate will be provided. The project would include a new courtroom, court offices and a county attorney's office. 
 

Four-story clinic being planned in Charleston, West Virginia
A $9.5 million, four-story clinic and office building has been approved for the CAMC Women and Children's Hospital by the West Virginia Health Care Authority. The new structure will be attached to the Women and Children's Hospital and will allow for the addition of new services and renovation projects. The facility will include the hospital's clinics and doctor offices, and allow an expansion to include private postpartum care rooms for mothers and a step-down unit for infants leaving the neonatal intensive care unit. The current facilities for those services are outdated and in need of additional space. The new building is part of a three-phase project - with the other projects including expanding the parking lot and renovation projects in the existing facility.
 
Florida county approves $420,000 for energy efficiency projects
City Councilors in Seminole, Florida, have approved spending more than $420,000 for energy efficiency upgrades at city facilities. They also approved efficiency studies for the city's recreation center. The city will only have to pay a little over $130,000 of the cost, with the remainder to be paid for with a state Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. The funds will be used for LED lighting retrofits, occupancy sensors at the city hall and sports field lighting improvements. The two studies to be conducted at the recreation center are an HVAC energy audit and consideration of the possible use of solar power at the center.

 

Renovations on tap for capitol complex in Charleston, West Virginia
Robert FergusonA number of renovation projects are on tap for the Capitol Complex in Charleston, West Virginia. The largest project is the renovation of the DMV Building. The $27 million project includes renovation of the eight-story, 50-something building. Construction work is expected to begin in early 2011. The revamped building will include a conference, teleconference and meetings center on one floor and offices for the state auditor and treasurer on the upper floors. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2012. Robert Ferguson (pictured), Cabinet secretary for the Department of Administration, said another project will be the replacement of 80-year-old restroom fixtures in the Capitol. Some three dozen restrooms will be updated at a cost of $5.8 million. Ferguson said this is a "big, big project" and is not just replacement of fixtures. The project will begin after the legislative session ends in March 2011 and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2014. Federal stimulus funding will be used to replace windows in three buildings in the office tower complex and various landscaping projects will be added to prevent vehicles from driving onto the Capitol grounds.
 

Grants to provide funding for new hangar in North Dakota airport
Two grants of $100,000 each will be used to build a new 10,000-square-foot airplane hangar at the Dickinson airport in North Dakota. The hangar would provide an area where aircraft can park overnight. Some airplane owners have expressed concerns about the craft being susceptible to the cold. Officials are confident the new hangar will improve the airport's chances of reaching its goal of 10,000 enplanements, which would put the airport up for about $850,000 in additional funding.

 

Officials plan $68 million bond issue to help pay for needed projects
Some $113 million in capital infrastructure and improvement projects will be part of a planned $68 million bond issue expected to be called in Allgeheny (Pennsylvania) County. The funds would pay for more than 100 projects. If the bond issue passes, the proceeds of the bond sale would be added to $43 million in federal and state reimbursement for road and bridge projects and $2 million from other sources. Among the projects being floated are rehabilitation of the Mansfield Bridge, upgrades to the computer system and ADA-compliant playground improvements. Other projects sought are a $13.8 million replacement of the Greensburg Pike Bridge, $1.2 million in improvements at the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center and $13.8 million in building improvements.
 

 

Where are they now?

 Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at editor@spartnerships.com and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Larry Cretul.

 

Larry CretulFormer Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul was first elected to the Florida House in 2002 and was then re-elected to three more terms. He served as Speaker pro tempore from November 2008 until March 2009 and was elected Speaker on March 3, 2009. Before becoming a member of the House, Cretul was a two-term Marion County commissioner, having been elected in 1994 and re-elected in 1998. During that time, he was twice elected chairman and twice elected vice chairman. He was also Commission Liaison to Economic Development Council for three years, Commission Liaison to Hospital Board of Trustees for four years and Commission Liaison to Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce for three years. A real estate broker, Cretul attended Lawrence Technological University. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1967-1971 and served with the VF-74 and VF-101 and did an overseas tour aboard the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal. Cretul recently announced that he will become director of the Board of Governors for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, where he will help shape the legislative agenda for the state's leading business group. The board includes representatives from the chamber's different committees, councils and its Board of Directors.

 

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Opportunity of the week...
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People

 

Martin MeehanGlenn FineIan BowlesMartin T. Meehan (top left), chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and former member of the U.S. Congress, has withdrawn his name as a possible contender for the presidency of the UMass System. Glenn Fine (top center), inspector general for the U.S. Department of Justice after being appointed in 2000 by then-President Bill Clinton, has announced his retirement to pursue other professional interests. Ian Bowles (top right), environmental secretary for the State of Massachusetts and former White House Council on Environmental Quality and environmental aide to the National Security Council, has announced he will step down from his Massachusetts Cabinet post to pursue a private sector job opportunity. Maurice Jones, who served the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, as communications director a year ago, has been named city manager, beating out more than 80 applicants. San Antonio businessman Charlie Amato has been named chair of the Texas State University System Board of Regents, Texas' third largest university system, with Raj ChopraDon DinglerMichelle RheeDonna Williams of Arlington being chosen as vice chair. Dr. Raj K. Chopra (upper middle right), Southwestern College (California) Superintendent and President has resigned, two years prior to his contract expiration date in June 2012. Don Dingler (upper middle center), assistant police chief in Longview, Texas, will become the city's next police chief, culminating 37 years with the department and replacing Chief J.B. McCaleb, who will retire in January 2011. Former Washington, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee (upper middle left), whose three-year tenure as the schools chief ended last October, will join the education transition team of Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott. Kyle Sullivan, communications director for Gov. Deval Patrick's administration in Massachusetts, has announced he will leave the administration, as will Arthur Bernard, Patrick's chief of staff and will be replaced, respectively, by Mitz Levin, the governor's chief legal counsel since 2009 and Mark Reilly, who has been with the governor since 2007 and last year was named deputy legal counsel. Dan Olson, former town administrator Jason PerryPeter HildrethTeresa Gonzalesfor Farragut, Tennessee, has been named city manager for the city of Farmer City, Illinois, replacing Trent Smith, who was released last July. Former San Antonio Police Department, Alamo Community College Police Department and Northside ISD Police Department officer Teresa Gonzales (lower middle right) has been chosen chief of the Judson ISD Police Department in San Antonio, the first female chief for the school's police department. New Hampshire Banking Commissioner Peter Hildreth (lower middle center) will retire Jan. 1, 2011, after having served in that position since 2001. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's chief of staff, Jason Perry (lower middle left), will resign his post to become vice president of governmental affairs for the University of Utah, replacing Kim Wirthin, who was serving both as vice president for governmental affairs and associate vice president of public relations and marketing at the university's medical school. Former congressional candidate and businessman Jon Barela has been nominated to lead the New Mexico Economic Development Department by Gov.-elect Susana Martinez. Oklahoma Treasurer-elect Ken Miller has named the following members of his leadership team: Regina Birchum as Deputy Treasurer for Policy; Susan Nicewander as Steven PareBob ZarnetskeSue BudjacDeputy Treasurer for Operations and Tim Allen as Deputy Treasurer for Communications and Program Administration. Sierra County, New Mexico, Tourism Director Gina Kelley has been chosen as Ruidoso's new director of tourism. Former Rhode Island State Police Col. Steven Pare (bottom right) will serve as the new Public Safety Commissioner for Providence Mayor-elect Angel Taveras and will oversee police, fire, communications and emergency management departments. Bob Zarnetske (bottom middle), former Norwich, Connecticut, city manager and alderman and unsuccessful mayoral candidate, has been hired to oversee the New England operations of the U.S. General Services Administration, overseeing 47 federal buildings, 354 leased facilities and 25 border station facilities serving entry points from Canada. Dr. Sue Budjac (bottom left), vice president of academic affairs at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin since 2003, will take over Jan. 1, 2011, as the college's next president, replacing Dr. John Clark, who is retiring after serving as president the last eight years. Sugar Land, Texas, Acting Fire Chief J.J Adame, a 20-year veteran firefighter, has been named fire chief and Police Captain Eric Robins has been promoted to assistant chief. Laramie (Wyoming) County Community College President Darrel Hammon, who served in that post for more than four years, has resigned, effective Dec. 31. Penny Vought, a 26-year veteran office with the Waseca, Minnesota, Police Department, and a captain since 2006, has been named the city's new police chief.

 

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TxDOT announces three Small Business Briefing conferences 
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Business Outreach and Program (BOP) Services has announced three upcoming FY 2011 Small Business Briefing conferences. A  Nov. 10 conference is set this year in Beaumont, an April 20, 2011, conference is slated in Fort Worth and a July 20, 2011, conference is planned for San Antonio. The conference goal is to provide small and minority-owned business communities an opportunity to learn more about contracting opportunities with TxDOT.  Information will be available to help them do business with the agency and the State of Texas.  The sessions not only allow small businesses to be introduced to TxDOT and other state agencies, but also allow them to learn more about the economic development opportunities in their regions.  It also gives agencies a chance to show the myriad of prospects available for small and minority businesses in the state. For more information and to register, click here or call 1.866.480.2519, Option 2.

TxDOT Business Outreach & Program Services hosts webinars 
In fiscal year 2010, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Business Outreach & Program (BOP) Services implemented a series of webinars offering technical business development opportunities to small, minority and women businesses in the field of construction and professional services in the state of Texas. The webinar series topics ranged from how to become a pre-qualified bidder on TxDOT contracts, TxDOT Plans Online, How to Market Your Business To Prime Contractors, Construction Industry Bonding and much more. Each session's goal was to provide valuable information to contractors, suppliers and small businesses on how to do business with TxDOT, how to increase business capacity and improve opportunities to bid and obtain contracts with TxDOT. The final 2010 webinars concluded in August, but the 2011 fiscal year webinar series planning is under way and will be announced later in the 2010 calendar year. Each free webinar is limited and registration slots are on a first-come-first-serve basis. More information on each webinar can be found here. Questions should be forwarded to TxDOT-BOP-Webinars@dot.state.tx.us or call 1.866.480.2518, Option 2 for more information.

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