Volume 2, Issue 44
March 9, 2011
Women-owned businesses about to get big boost
Mary Scott Nabers

Contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) at the federal level of government are about to get a lot better. The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program, administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), has allocated more than $30 billion and it will be used for contracting with small businesses in which women have majority ownership. This is a major development in federal contracting practices.


There are a number of reasons for this significant change and the new rule was years in the making. The impetus was the fact that federal agencies have continued to fall short of a statutory goal of awarding 5 percent of all federal contract dollars to WOSBs.  As a result, after years of hearings and policy discussions, the "5 percent goal" was changed to a "5 percent rule."




Real ID security program delayed
High-speed rail dead in Florida
Oklahoma bill could net changes
Upcoming education opportunities
Other upcoming opportunities
Where are they now?
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Real ID security program delayed for third time


States complain about costs during tough economic times

Lamar SmithA third delay in the launch of a security program to ensure a national security standard for state-issued ID cards and driver's licenses has been announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The law - commonly called the Real ID Act - was passed in 2005 and implementation has now been delayed until January 2013. 


The economy is being blamed for one more thing, as officials say the financial downturn and the possibility that the current Congress could alter the law are reasons for the third delay. Most states, say DHS officials, would not have been able to meet the May deadline this year.


The standard ID was to be used for federal purposes, such as boarding aircraft or entering federal buildings, and was the result of security concerns following the terrorist attacks on 9-11. The program was originally to have been up and running in May 2008. The deadline was pushed back to December 2009. An updated version of the proposal - called Pass ID - would have cost less than half of the $11 billion over five years that the original law would have cost. It did not make it out of Congress during its last session.


A total of 24 states have refused to comply with the Real ID provisions and 16 of them have written local laws prohibiting compliance. Officials did say after this third delay that the program involves a "significant financial investment" that many states might not be able to meet, given the state of the economy. Governors throughout the country say Real ID called the proposal "unworkable" and a strain on already cash-strapped state budgets.


High-speed rail apparently dead issue in Florida


Gov. Scott refuses $2.4 billion, gets backing of state Supreme Court

Ray La HoodIt's official. High-speed rail is not coming to least not right away.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott last week rejected the $2.4 billion in federal funds planned for his state for a high-speed rail project and the Florida Supreme Court unanimously refused to overturn his decision.

The vultures have been circling since U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced he will send those funds to other states. California and New York already had been lobbying for the funding. The Florida project was to include a train between Orlando International Airport and downtown Tampa.  


Scott's decision stuck in spite of local officials seeking to have the money allocated to four Florida cities - Orlando, Miami, Tampa and Lakeland - and bypassing state coffers. But such a proposal would still have required Scott's approval since it would require state land and supervision by the Florida Department of Transportation.

Scott is moving on with other transportation issues, directing the DOT to spend $77 million to dredge the port in Miami so it will be able to accommodate larger ships that will soon be moving through the enlarged Panama Canal. Officials with DOT say the dredging project is one of the state's top priorities and will be paid for with savings from bids on other projects.

Scott was opposed to the high-speed rail proposal because he felt it could ultimately cost voters billions of dollars in cost overruns or if the system did not meet ridership predictions. In addition to New York and California, other states seeking part of the Florida funding are Illinois, Missouri and Washington.


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SPI is currently working throughout the country on P3 initiatives and is available for conversations with any public entity interested in asking questions, discussing national trends or obtaining advice about how to reach out to private sector firms.


Interested parties click here or call Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 to schedule a conversation.


Bill considered in Oklahoma could net agency changes


House passes legislation to consolidate some administrative services

Administrative services of several state agencies in Oklahoma would be consolidated under legislation recently passed by the Oklahoma House. The bill would consolidate shared services of five agencies. Among them are the Department of Central Services and the Office of Personnel Management, both of which would be consolidated into the Office of Finance by the end of the year.

As the state faces a budget hole estimated as high as $500 million, lawmakers feel consolidating some agencies' shared services could save up to $10 million per year. The goal is cooperation among state agencies, more efficiency and saving money.


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Upcoming education opportunities


Supplement to bond will allow for building of new Utah high school

Kim HoriuchiThe Canyons School District in Utah has decided to supplement a $250 million bond approved by voters last year, with the supplement covering 13 construction projects. Up to $70 million worth of bonds will be issued this spring. A new high school is among the projects, which will allow for reconfiguration of other high schools to include ninth grade. One elementary school will get new buildings and an elementary and middle school will get upgrades. "This is a really good solution," said Board Member Kim Horiuchi (pictured), of the prioritization of the projects and funding them without dipping into the capital budget. An architectural study of Canyons schools has identified $650 million in needed building improvements to address seismic and academic concerns. 


Texas district seeking contractors for PE clothing, print shop management

The Aldine (Texas) Independent School District is accepting bids through March 21 for physical education fitness clothing and for print shop management services. The PE clothing bid is for a one-year contract with options for annual renewal for two additional years. The bid includes 8,000 shirts and 8,000 shorts. Last fiscal year, the district spent more than $86,000 for a similar need for nine middle and 11 high schools. The contract would begin in April. The district's print shop, for which a contract manager is sought, processes approximately 28 million copies per year. Bidders must have the capacity to process up to 35 million copies yearly. It must also bring in and install new equipment and improve the efficiency of the current shop. The winning bid will be based on annual costs, long-term costs, quality, reputation, safety record and past relationship.


Arkansas bond election would provide schools with upgrades

Voters in Nashville, Arkansas, will vote May 10 on a $13.2 million bond package. If successful, the bond issue would pay for numerous renovation and construction projects.


New York county residents approve $35 million in school construction

Joseph CamerinoOswego County (New York) residents recently approved more than $35.4 million in construction projects for the Oswego County BOCES (Bringing Our Community Education Solutions). Superintendent Joseph Camerino (pictured) said $20 million of the funds will replace aging and failing items such as fire alarms, clocks, telephones, electric and heating systems, as well as roof work and updates to plumbing and drainage systems. The remainder will be used to renovate the campus, update traffic patterns for vehicles, improve classrooms and equipment, install an entrance for visitors and students to maintain security, add enclosed walkways to other buildings and install energy-efficient programs.  


College of the Mainland to put $86 million bond before voters

Officials of the College of the Mainland in Texas City (Texas) have agreed to put an $86 million bond referendum before voters in May. With many of the institution's facilities at least 40 years old, officials see a bond election as a reasonable way to improve campus infrastructure. Officials have reduced the recommendations of a citizens advisory committee by $23 million to get to the current bond amount. 


Upgrades to technology on tap for New Mexico school district

Terry BrunnerA distant learning telemedicine program in New Mexico's Gallup-McKinley School District will benefit from a grant nearing $500,000. The funds will be used at seven middle schools and nine high schools, according to Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner (pictured). The funds will be used to install new computers in classrooms and to make video conferencing equipment available to teachers to obtain certifications without having to physically travel to schools. These grants are used to install the latest technology in rural communities to ensure students in those areas benefit from improved educational opportunities. The system is expected to be installed in phases beginning this summer.


$13.7 million renovation on tap for Youngstown State University center

The Kilcawley Center at Youngstown State University in Ohio is gearing up for a $13.7 million facelift. The project is expected to be completed in phases, with the first phase to begin in late May. The student center update will be paid for with $10 million from bond funds and the remainder will come from the center's reserves, a new food services contract for the center, money left from other projects, the Centennial Master Plan account, the technology fund and a loan from housing reserves. The project includes expansion of the Chestnut Room, and moving it to the second floor. A food court will be part of the first floor, entryways will be enhanced and conference spaces consolidated on the second floor. The student government and Center for  Student Progress areas will be updated and expanded and mechanical, electrical, plumbing, computer and security systems also will be upgraded.


Virginia announces $229 million in school bonds for 41 school projects

Patricia WrightThirty-three school divisions in Virginia will share more than $229 million in Qualified School Construction Bond authority to either fund or partially fund construction, renovation and expansion projects. Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia Wright (pictured) said the funds will be used to finance "much-needed new construction and renovations and repairs to existing public schools and facilities" to improve learning and working environment at the schools.  


The awards were capped at no more than $15 million per division. Among the awards are:  

  • Albemarle County - $2 million addition to an elementary school; 
  • Appomattox County -$10 million expansion, renovation of a primary school;
  • Augusta County - $7.5 million expansion, renovation of an elementary school;
  • Bland County - $11.6 million for new high school and renovations at another high school and two elementaries;
  • Bristol - $3 million construction of an ADA-compliant education/central office facility;
  • Buckingham County - $10 million expansion, renovation of one elementary and renovation at another;
  • Buena Vista - $510,000 renovation at a middle school;
  • Caroline County - $6 million expansion, renovation of a primary school;
  • Carroll County - $15 million expansion, renovation of an intermediate and high school;
  • Charlotte County - $1.5 million renovation of a high school;
  • Chesapeake - $5 million expansion, renovation of a high school;
  • Dickenson County - construction of new consolidated middle/high school, $10 million;
  • Essex County - $10 million for expansion, renovation of high school;
  • Falls Church - $3 million for expansion, renovation of an elementary school;
  • Fauquier County - $10 million for expansion, renovation of a  high school;
  • Frederick County - $7 million for a new pupil transportation facility;
  • Gloucester County - $500,000 for land purchase for new middle school site;
  • Henry County - $3.4 million for HVAC upgrade at a high school, roof replacement at two elementaries;
  • Hopewell - $5 million for expansion, renovation of a high school;
  • Isle of Wight County - $7.5 million for a new middle school;
  • King George County- $5 million for elementary renovation;
  • Loudoun County - $5 million for new elementary school; 
  • Lunenburg County - $5 million for expansion, renovation of high school; 
  • Martinsville - $10.5 million for expansion of a high school; 
  • Montgomery County - $15 million for new high school; 
  • Norfolk - $8.5 million for new elementary; 
  • Richmond - $7.5 million for expansion, renovation of middle school;
  • Richmond County - $5 million for conversion, renovation of high school building to intermediate school;
  • Rockbridge County - $7.5 million for expansion, renovation of middle school;
  • Smyth County- $9.5 million for new elementary and renovation of primary school;
  • Suffolk - $7.5 million for new elementary school;
  • Williamsburg-James City County - $1 million for expansion of high school; and
  • Wise County - $15 million for new consolidated high school. 
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Virginia transportation investment in 900 projects to have far-reaching effects

Bob McDonnellA huge investment in transportation in Virginia is expected over the next six years after the General Assembly passed Gov. Bob McDonnell's (pictured) transportation plan late last month. There are some 900 projects in the plan, including bridge, tunnel and corridor improvements to interstates, highways and local roads in both urban and rural areas. McDonnell said the plan "will not only address the needs of the aging highway system, but it will also provide a needed injection of funding into our economy to spur recovery." Officials say the investment would generate $119.8 million in tax revenue for the state and $10.4 million of benefits for local governments. The economy, say researchers, would expand by $13.1 billion and support more than 105,000 jobs over six years. Of the $13.1 billion, $7.2 billion is direct construction spending and $5.9 billion would be ripple effects. To view the complete list of proposed projects, click here.  


El Paso area has variety of bid opportunities open

A number of bid opportunities are currently open in the El Paso (Texas) area. They include:  

  • The city of El Paso is seeking bids for improvements at Capistrano Park;
  • The city of El Paso is seeking bids for George Dieter and Rojas storm drainage improvements;
  • El Paso County is seeking bids for bread products for the county;
  • El Paso County is seeking bids for dairy products;
  • El Paso Water Utilities is seeking bids for Carlson/Elliot Storm Water Pump Station improvements;
  • The Ysleta Independent School District is seeking bids for district food;
  • The El Paso Independent School District is seeking bids for athletic trainers' supplies;
  • The Region 19 Education Service Center is seeking bids for Division 10 construction specialty purchases;
  • The Texas Historical Commission is seeking bids for Magoffin Home State Historic Site exterior preservation; and
  • The University of Texas at El Paso is seeking bids for grounds equipment and machinery.

Nevada bill could generate as much as $270 million in borrowing capacity

Steven HorsfordThe Nevada State Senate this week approved a bill that would generate up to $270 million in borrowing capacity for public works projects in the state. Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford (pictured), the bill - the Nevada Jobs Initiative - would divert two cents of a local property tax rate from the general fund back to transportation projects in Clark and Washoe counties. "Creating jobs in this session is our No. 1 priority and that is why this measure needs to move forward," Horsford said. The initiative would total abut $27 million, which in turn would allow for the issue of $270 million in bonds. Officials say the bill is similar to one that uses portions of existing gas and sales taxes for road construction.


MBTA secures $10 million in stimulus funding for bus route enhancements

Fifteen of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) most popular routes will undergo $10 million in enhancements, thanks to a one-time infusion of federal stimulus funding. About 30 stops will be removed along the route, which will help both bus traffic and accessibility. Among the amendments to the original plan are efforts to add pavement markings to alert cars and bicycles of bus stops, adding amenities and keeping some stops that were originally scheduled to be eliminated.


San Diego to get new fire station, dog park in redevelopment efforts

Fire StationThe City of San Diego (California) is looking forward to the construction of a new $17 million downtown fire station and a more than $600,000 off-leash dog park. The projects are part of the city's $4 billion redevelopment effort. Construction on the fire station (as seen in the accompanying artist's rendering) will begin before the year is ended. The dog park would be for temporary use until further redevelopment is announced. Some $85,000 of the equipment would be relocated to a new permanent dog park, according to project officials, who also say the park could be ready to open by September. It would be located on a parking lot and operated and maintained by a parking lot operator to be selected by city officials.  


Indiana city approves design work for $25 million water-related project

The City of Fort Wayne (Indiana) Board of Public Works has approved the final design plan for a $25 million construction project that will allow the city to pump more than twice as much storm water runoff into storage ponds The engineering work on the project will cost more than $2 million. The station should be able to increase its current pumping of 160 million gallons per day to up to 370 million gallons per day. Officials expect the project to go out for bids in July, with construction set for this year and a completion date sometime in 2013. 


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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 and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Lt. Col. David H. Brierton, Jr.


David Brierton Jr.Lt. Col. David H. Brierton Jr., a U.S. Army veteran and former military policeman, joined the Florida Highway Patrol in September 1983. He served as a trooper and sergeant in Miami-Dade County. He served briefly in Bradenton, then returned to South Florida in the early 1990s as a captain. He was supervisor of operations in Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. He was promoted in 2003 to major and was assigned to Tallahassee, where he supervised investigations and professional compliance. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 2006. Brierton, deputy director of field operations, was recently selected from among more than 50 applicants nationwide and appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to serve as director of the Florida Highway Patrol. He succeeds retiring director John Czernis. Brierton is a graduate of Mountain State University with a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Criminal Justice.


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Benjamin's experience, leadership leads to winning proposals

Ed BenjaminEd Benjamin is a proven professional proposal writer in Strategic Partnerships, Inc.'s Special Services division. His credentials in writing and managing proposals that win contracts are successful because of his extensive experience and leadership. He has led proposal teams to win more than $13 billion in local, state, federal and international government contracts during his career and has nearly two decades of experience managing more than 50 proposals to 17 different United States and international government agencies for 15 different companies. Benjamin is an expert in the proposal writing process from start to finish, from researching proposal requirements and establishing outlines to supervising, editing and revising work prepared by other proposal writers. His winning proposals have resulted in contracts of from $450,000 to $1.7 billion. He has written proposals for a variety of entities - from those that provide security guard service to software that provides verification and validation of Health and Human Services Medicare benefits. SPI's Special Services division offers a wide array of services from executive coaching, communication and sales training to media/spokesperson training and keynote speakers. For a complete portfolio of experts and the services they offer, to inquire about specific services or to inquire about becoming a part of SPI's new Special Services division, contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3917 or For information on other individuals in our Special Services division and their areas of expertise, click here.


Alvin DominguezBill SherryGray SwoopeAlvin Dominguez (top left), New Mexico Department of Transportation South Region design regional manager and former district one engineer, has been approved by the New Mexico Senate as the state's next Transportation Secretary. Bill Sherry, (top middle) head of Mineta San Jose International Airport, has been named executive with nonprofit Team San Jose, and will continue to oversee the airport's operations while working with the hospitality nonprofit on the expansion and renovation of the McEnery Convention Center. Gray Swoope (top right), executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, has agreed to become the new president of Enterprise Florida, the public-private partnership that serves as the state's business recruitment entity. The Idaho State Board of Education has announced the hiring of Dr. J. Anthony (Tony) Fernandez as president of Lewis-Clark State College, where Fernandez has previously served as vice president and provost before becoming interim president last year replacing former President Dr. Dene K. Thomas. The city of Windcrest (Texas) has a new city manager - Rafael Castillo, Jr., who has worked for the city of Del Rio as parks and recreation director, community services director, purchasing director, acting city manager and city manager. Vince CapellMary MalatestaDan CrippenDoug Babcock, a 17-year veteran of the Ruidoso Police Department and current police detective there, has been selected as the chief of police for Ruidoso Downs. Vincent Capell (middle right), city manager of St. Joseph, Missouri, has been chosen as the new city manager for the city of Kingsville (Texas), replacing Carlos Yerena, who has accepted a position in Harlingen. Denver Manager of Safety Mary Malatesta (middle center), who replaced Ron Perea, has resigned, becoming the third person to hold the position and resign in less than a year. The National Governors Association (NGA) Executive Committee has selected Dan Crippen (middle left), former director of the Congressional Budget Office, as NGA's new executive director. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has nominated four to serve on the state Parole Board: Forensic psychologist Charlene M. Bonner, Lucy M. Soto-Abbe, victim's advocate in the Hampden district attorney's office; John M. Bocon, former chief officer of Boston's federal probation office; and Ina R. Howard-Hogan, former state and county prosecutor and the Parole Board's general counsel. DuPage County (Illinois) Housing Authority President John Day resigned and his deputy Robert Hess retired amid alleged misuse of funds. Chicago Jody WeisJeff MowryChristine AndersonPolice Superintendent Jody Weis (bottom left) has resigned after three years in that role, with former retired Superintendent Terry Hillard named interim superintendent. Broward County (Florida) Chief Information Officer Jeff B. Mowry (bottom center) has been selected by Executive Ed FitzGerald as CIO of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Christine Anderson (bottom right), who worked for 30 years in civilian positions in the U.S. Air Force and most recently as director at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson base in Ohio, has been named the next executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport. Miles LaRowe, former faculty member at Laramie County (Wyoming) Community College (LCCC) and former president of Northwest College in Powell, has been chosen interim president of LCCC, replacing Darrell Hammon, who resigned last December. A new chief for the city of East Lansing (Michigan) will likely be chosen this week from finalists that include: Victor Lauria, assistant chief of police for Novi; Juli Liebler, the current deputy chief in East Lansing; Allan Spyke, undersheriff in Ingham County; and Anthony Kleibecker, director of Public Safety for the city of Muskegon. Kansas City, Kansas, Community College President Thomas Burke, who has led the college since 1992 and is former vice president of the college, has announced he will retire this summer.


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NASCIO planning 2011 Midyear Conference in D.C. in May

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) will hold its 2011 Midyear Conference May 3-6 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Among the topics will be the evolving role of the state CIO and IT's impact in state government transformation. The annual conference provides an opportunity for state government and corporate members to discuss issues facing the IT field in both the public and private sectors. For more information and to register, click here.


TxDOT Fort Worth Small Business Briefing conference 

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Business Outreach and Program (BOP) Services reaches across Texas to provide small and minority-owned business communities an opportunity to learn more about contracting opportunities with state entities. The Fort Worth Small Business Briefing conference is set for April 20. Information will be available to help small business owners better understand how to 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. The final conference is planned for San Antonio on July 20, 2011. For more information and to register, click here or call 1.866.480.2519, Option 2.


Transportation, infrastructure convention slated in D.C. in March

The 4th Annual Transportation & Infrastructure Convention in Washington, D.C.  has been slated for March 9-11. Hear the most up-to-date information on federal policy developments from the Executive and Congressional branches and national trade associations. Local, state and federal elected and appointed officials will be representing more than 26 states. For more information click here. To register, click here.

AGC planning annual convention in Las Vegas in March

The Associated General Contractors of America will host their 92nd Annual Convention in Las Vegas on March 12-15. General and specialty contractors will hear from experts on the latest impact of state and federal regulations on the construction industry as well as best practices for BIM and contract negotiations and advice on labor management and green building. Those attending the AGC Annual Convention will receive free admittance to the CONEXPO-CON/AGG international exposition that showcases the latest equipment, services, products and technologies, featuring more than 2,000 exhibitors. To register, click here

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