Volume 3, Issue 16Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011

Debt reduction bill will result in sweeping changes

Mary Scott Nabers

Government contractors, like all other Americans, are eager to understand what will happen now that Congress has finally struck a deal to raise the debt ceiling and eliminate $2.5 trillion in spending over the next 10 years. There are many opinions.


There is also lots of frustration and angst but a few things are certain:


- Federal spending will never be the same. Government at all levels will change. There is no option other than change because federal spending cuts will amount to hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade;

- Certain programs, such as Medicaid, veterans' benefits and pensions will not be affected, but military budget analysts predict that military cuts may total as much as $550 billion over 10 years;




Minnesota considers consolidated IT
California could shutter entities
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Where are they now?
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Minnnesota works toward consolidation of IT services, staff


Officials say goal not so much to save money as to improve upon inefficiencies

Cathy de Moll
Cathy de Moll

After the recent nearly three-week-long shutdown of state government in Minnesota, one of the offshoots was legislation that will lead to the consolidation of the state's information technology services and staff. All IT staff in the more than 70 state agencies in Minnesota will now become part of the Office of Enterprise Technology (OET), a central IT entity. That will leave OET with some 1,800 employees, a tad more than its current 350.


"We will be doing not only infrastructure and standardizing infrastructure, but then we'll be overseeing and managing projects, and all IT expenditures and all IT staffing eventually," said Cathy de Moll, OET's director of planning, communications and marketing. The OET currently just oversees purchasing and contracting in the various state agencies and provides primary infrastructure services such as the e-mail system.


State CIOs will also move to the OEG. All agency staff in the state government will report to the OET by October.


Although there will likely be a cost savings, de Moll said improved efficiency is the goal and becoming more standardized throughout government. She said the state's leadership is looking to IT to set the standard for reform that will make government more efficient and effective. They are in hopes it will set the tone for even more successes throughout government.


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California lieutenant governor would shutter some entities


Eliminating redundancy goal of proposal he'll eventually take to Gov. Jerry Brown

Gavin Newsom
Gavin Newsom

Eliminating redundancy among state agencies is part of an idea launched recently by California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom, who heads the state's Economic Development Commission, said his commission is one of many that could be eliminated. "I think it should be done away with, and it should be reorganized under the Governor's Office," Newsom said.


Newsom issued a report - "An Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda for California" - that calls for a strategic, statewide economic plan that the state is lacking. Among his suggestions are reopening California's foreign trade offices, with the new offices privately funded. He also favors strike teams that would address state and local regulatory and permitting issues. He cited how sometimes those in charge of permitting matters may change their mind from day to day on regulations and their implementation.


Newsom said he and the California Assembly Speaker plan to send a bill to the governor to create the state office in the governor's office.


Newsom already is receiving the support of the business community, including an executive of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.


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Funds made available for replacing two elementary schools

Guy Chamberlain
Guy Chamberlain

Bond money has been released by county commissioners to replace the Pineville and Bain elementary schools in the Charlotte Mecklenburg (North Carolina) Schools. Guy Chamberlain, Associate Superintendent for Auxiliary Services for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, said numbers were run on the two schools and it was about the same cost to replace them than renovate them. Construction cost on each school is estimated at $11 million. Add design costs, furnishing and other ancillary items, and the cost per school is closer to $15 million. Each school will have 39 classrooms, special area classrooms, a computer lab, media center, cafeteria and gym. Construction on the Pineville school is expected to begin in October, with the Bain school scheduled to go under construction in January of next year. Both will be LEED certified. "We want to be able to demonstrate that we are building sustainable schools that meet LEED certification, and we'll point to Pineville as proof," said Chamberlain.


$59.5 million in green repair grants approved in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts School Building Authority has approved $59.5 million in green repair grants that will benefit 23 projects in 12 districts. The program is designed to improve learning environments for students and teachers, reduce energy use and generate cost efficiencies. The program covers repair or replacement of roofs, windows and/or boilers in schools that otherwise are structurally and functionally sound. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis. More than 175 school repair projects are part of the program. During its six-year history, the MSBA has put more than $7.9 billion in reimbursements to cities, towns and regional school districts for school construction projects. The awards have saved municipalities more than $2.9 billion in local interest costs they would have been saddled with, providing cash flow to the communities during the current economically difficult times.


Coalition of colleges hoping to build ultra-high-speed computer networks

Blair Levin
Blair Levin

Faster than a speeding bullet... That's what a coalition of nearly 30 universities in the United States hope their proposed ultra-high-speed computer network will be. They are shooting for Internet service in communities surrounding their campuses that is several hundred times faster than what is available commercially. Among the participants are Arizona State University, the University of Michigan, Howard University, Case Western Reserve University, Duke University, the University of Washington and others. And one of the best things about the proposal, according to Blair Levin, fellow at the Aspen Institute who is heading the project is that, "We're not asking for government money." Instead, Levin said he is hopeful the private sector will fund the initiative. The colleges involved are about to start making calls on big telecommunications companies about ways to attract new ventures to their areas with super-fast computing.


Design phase for new high school in Frisco studied by board members

Now in the design phase, the Frisco (Texas) ISD Board of Trustees is discussing the development of a new high school. Once the design phase is completed, the plans for the school will be put out for bids. The plans are hoped to be finalized by the spring of next year, with a groundbreaking slated for summer of next year. Ideally, say school officials, some 750 ninth and 11th grade students will be housed in the school, which will be designed to hold more students than the current school. It will take some two years to complete, with completion and occupancy in the 2014-15 school year.  


Two-part bond proposal goes before New York school district

Ann Cotton-Degrasse
Ann Cotton-Degrasse

The Riverhead (New York) School Board will put two bond proposals before voters in October to allow both for repairs and improvements to numerous schools and to build a new gymnasium at Riverhead High School. Some $78 million would be available in the first proposal for repairs and improvements, while an additional $7 million would be in the second proposition for the gym. The two are tied together and the smaller bond issue cannot pass unless the larger one does. The renovations bond issue would pay for new classrooms and cafeteria space, repairs to windows and doors, repairs to parking, sidewalks and plumbing and other improvements. The second proposal would build a new 16,000-square-foot gym. "We've got roofs that are 20 years out of warranty, meaning they're 40 years old," said Board President Ann Cotten-Degrasse. She said these types of projects are something that "absolutely has to be done."


New York district gets approval for renovation plans at school

New York State has granted its approval for the Malverne School District to move ahead with its plans to renovate one of its elementary school buildings. The district will now be able to send out a request for proposals for the work that will be performed at the Davison Avenue Intermediate School. Officials also are expecting approval for a similar project at the Downing Primary School. The Davison Avenue school project calls for construction of a new cafeteria, kitchen upgrades and basement renovations. Elevators will be installed and other Americans With Disabilities Act requirements. Exterior doors will be replaced, steps and ramps will be repaired and other safety issues addressed. Classrooms and libraries will get upgrades as well.


Residence hall, apartment complex slated for Indiana University

Residence Hall
Residence hall

A new student residence hall (pictured) and apartment complex are being designed for Indiana University. The 450-bed residence hall will be a four-story structure of 155,000 square feet. It will include single- and double-occupancy rooms with group bathrooms, single, semi-suite rooms with group bathrooms and single rooms with bathrooms. The four-story apartment building will feature 84,000 square feet. It will include 106 units that include studio apartments, one-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom apartments. Both facilities will have limestone exteriors and will fit in with the style of the IU Bloomington campus architecture. Both are also being designed for LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council to include energy conservation features, waste recycling and other sustainability features. Both will also have common areas, student lounges, classrooms, computer labs, music practice rooms and other features designed to help build a community atmosphere. The residence hall carries a price tag of $38 million and the apartment building will cost $16 million. 


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Nassau County voters say no to proposal for new hockey arena

Edward Mangano
Edward Mangano

Trying to keep the National Hockey League's New York Islanders in Nassau County, taxpayers there were asked to approve a proposal to borrow $400 million to construct a new hockey arena and a minor league ballpark. But voters said no. Although County Executive Edward Mangano opposes tax increases, he said the project would have generated income that would overcome any taxpayer investment. The average cost to taxpayers would have been about $14 per year, he said. With their lease expiring in 2015, the Islanders' owner said he will likely explore other options, such as selling or moving to a new city - but he is not giving up on Long Island. The owner says he has lost about $240 million over 11 years, playing in a sub-standard coliseum. He now is backing a publicly financed plan that would include a hockey arena, a minor-league baseball park and a possible track and field facility.


Communities in New Mexico awarded funding for improvements

Three communities in New Mexico were among 10 in five western states to receive Rural Community Assistance Corp. loans for water, wastewater and housing improvements and development. A total of $3 million was awarded to areas of California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. In Tyrone, a predevelopment loan to help build a lift station and force the main pipeline to pump untreated sewage to the town of Silver City sewage system and eventual transport to the town's wastewater treatment plant was approved. Both Quemado and Reserve in Catron County will upgrade their water systems thanks to a USDA Rural Development funding award. The Quemado Lake Water Association will get more than $432,000 to pay for expansion of the current water system with new pipes, fire hydrants and other equipment. Reserve residents will benefit from more than $1.6 million in the form of a loan/grant funding package to expand and upgrade its water system. Construction on the projects will begin as soon as the final paperwork and bid process is completed.


New Jersey could restore $5.5M to budget for technology upgrades

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he is open to consideration of restoring $5.5 million in technology upgrades spending that was cut from the state budget. His decision came after two computer crashes last month that nearly shut down operations of the Motor Vehicle Commission. But his action would be contingent on the state legislature sending him a supplemental appropriations bill.


Sumter County courthouse in Florida to get makeover

The historic, 100-year-old Sumter County (Florida) courthouse is about to undergo a facelift. The county has budgeted more than $4 million for new plumbing and electrical systems, a fire suppression system and will replace the air conditioning and heating systems. The exterior of the building will get attention, too, from new energy-saving windows to fresh mortar and new signage.


Nebraska city approves $18.5 million capital improvement spending

Joe Mangiamelli
Joe Mangiamelli

A variety of capital improvement expenditures have been approved for the city of Columbus, Nebraska, with more than a third of the budget set aside for buildings, infrastructure, vehicles and equipment. City Administrator Joe Mangiamelli said he expects work to begin on the $2.7 million construction of the Loup Levee next year with recertification in 2013. Other projects include $750,000 for installation of field turf at Pawnee Park Memorial Stadium, a $500,000 track replacement at Memorial Stadium, $70,000 for design work for Pawnee Plunge Water Park expansion, $50,000 for replacement of a bookmobile and more. The five-year capital improvement plan also includes funding for projects at city hall, the Senior Center, a central fire station and Columbus Public Library.


Funds secured for W. Virginia National Guard training facilities

More than $12 million in federal funding is headed to West Virginia for the construction of a new Buckhannon Readiness Center and a $2.2 million replacement of the hydrant fuel system at Camp Dawson in Kingwood, W. Virginia. Both facilities are used to help train the state's National Guard. The funding will help pay for the costs of a new 57,000-square-foot training facility known as the Buckhannon Readiness Center. It will be used to provide training, administrative, storage and maintenance space. There will be nearly 140 authorized personnel at the site. The $2.2 million will be used to improve the National Guard's fuel capacity for the helicopters, small aircraft and military trucks and vehicles that support Camp Dawson. The expansion and upgrade will include a new office building, fencing and a new electrical and lighting system for day and night operations. Part of the area will be paved and a new parking lot area will be developed.


Michigan county looking for way to cut costs on new jail

Officials in Allegan, Michigan, are looking at a new jail that could cost approximately $16.5 million. The Board of Commissioners says yes, but officials are ready to seek bids to see just how much toll the recent bad weather has taken on the project. Recent projections showed the project could cost as much as $19 million, but officials are seeking not to go over the $16.5 million figure. They have even gone so far as to ask the architect to prepare costs of some portions of the jail that might be bid separately as a means of bringing the costs down. The current proposal would include 202 beds, but building a dormitory to house inmates on work release would raise the price to $16.9 million while providing 248 beds. For a price tag of $18.6 million, the jail could house up to 352.


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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 John Letchford.


John Letchford
John Letchford

John Letchford attended York and Exeter universities and holds a Master of Science degree in Information Technology from the University of York, England. Before entering the public sector, he spent nine years in the private sector working for a global consumer products company. Since 2004, Letchford has worked in a variety of IT management roles for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is a former Technical Operations Manager for the Virtual Gateway, the Executive Office of Health and Human Service's Internet portal that provides online access to health and human services for the public, medical providers, community organizations and government staff. In 2008, Letchford was named Deputy Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and was responsible for the operations of the Information Technology Division and for the Commonwealth's Information Technology Infrastructure Consolidation program. Last year, he became Acting Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth when CIO Anne Margulies left to become Harvard's CIO. Letchford was recently named as the state's new CIO, bringing 18 years of experience in enterprise resource planning, database management and IT service management.


Opportunity of the week...

A Pennsylvania borough has received an $11.1 million, low-interest loan to help defray the costs of sewer treatment plant upgrades. Bids are expected to be solicited the first week of August and opened by the end of September. A contract is expected to be awarded by the end of October or early November, with an early 2012 groundbreaking and then a year to complete. Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or




Michael Wolff
Mark Bugher
John Mattingly

After 13 years or service, Michael Wolff has announced he is retiring from his position as a member of the Missouri Supreme Court, effective Aug. 11. Mark Bugher, director of University Research Park at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been named special assistant to Interim Chancellor David Ward, advising the chancellor on issues including strategic priorities, political issues and the budget. John Mattingly, commissioner of he Administration for Children's Services in New York City since 2004, has announced his resignation to return working for his foundation work in Baltimore. Lincoln County, New Mexico, County Manager Tom Stewart, a former adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the National Command Authority, has announced his retirement, effective Dec. 23. Catherine V. Emerson, assistant administrator for human resource management at the Federal Aviation Administration, is the new chief human capital officer at the U.S. Homeland Security Department. Dr. Bruce King, a former academic advisor and coordinator for the McCurtain County branch campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the campus' former associate dean, has been named dean of the McCurtain County branch campus. UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu has been appointed

Goodwin Liu
Mike Hogan
Nelda Wells Spears

to the California Supreme Court by Gov. Jerry Brown, to replace retired Justice Carlos Moreno. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has appointed Mike Hogan, who ran unsuccessfully for Jacksonville, Florida, mayor and is a former Duval County tax collector and former member of the Florida House, as chair of the Public Employees Relations Commission. Nelda Wells Spears, who has served as tax assessor-collector of Travis County (Texas) for 20 years, announced she will retire at the end of the year, the third year of her four-year term. Lon Kaufman, plant biologist and long-time faculty member of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and who has been department head, dean and vice provost there, has been named provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the university, effective Aug. 15. William H. Reynolds, a retired Marine Corps attorney and former deputy county administrator in Washtenaw County, Michigan, will take over as city administrator for the city of Pensacola, Florida, and current city manager Al Coby will remain as assistant city administrator through Sept. 30. Harry Downes, Jr., a retired Delaware State Police major and a member of the state police for 26 years, is Delaware State University's new police chief and director of public safety. Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief Eddie Burns, who joined the Fort Worth Fire Department in 1979 and rose to executive deputy fire chief and then

Eddie Burns
John Dever
Steve Pinkerton

became chief of Dallas Fire-Rescue in 2006, has announced his retirement to pursue business opportunities. Dr. John T. Dever, whose community college educator career began in the English Department of Thomas Nelson Community College in 1975 and is currently the executive vice president of Academic and Student Services at Northern Virginia Community College, will become the next president of Thomas Nelson Community College, effective in October. Steve Pinkerton, current city manager of Manteca, California, has been chosen to be the new city manager for the city of Davis, California. Jeanette Mladenovic, who currently serves as the senior associate dean of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been selected the new provost for Oregon Health and Science University and will join the university this fall. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has announced three appointments: his deputy chief of staff Doug Darling as first executive director of the new state Department of Economic Opportunity; Cynthia Lorenzo to head the Agency for Workforce Innovation, where she has served as interim head since January; and Mike Hansen, a 30-year veteran of health and human services, to head the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. David Ridberg, who joined the Greenwich, Connecticut, police department in 1984, was promoted to sergeant in 1992, lieutenant in 1996 and chief in 2007, has announced his retirement, effective Oct. 31.


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NASTD 2011 Annual Conference set in Omaha Aug. 28-Sept. 1

The National Association of State Technology Directors 34th Annual Conference and Technology Showcase for 2011 is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 in Omaha. Jeff Taylor, founder of and CEO of, will keynote the conference. The 2011 conference will offer attendees opportunities to network, share information and learn about new ideas and solutions for improving state government through applied technology. The conference will have breakout sessions to provide specific training opportunities for those technology professionals responsible for managing and operating state networks and data centers. There will also be an e-leadership track to address issues of interest to current and future IT directors. For more information, click here. 


11th Annual Public-Private Partnership Conference set Aug. 25 in D.C. 

A comprehensive day of learning and networking for leaders and staff in the Washington, D.C., region is planned at the 11th Annual Public-Private Partnership Conference set Aug. 25. The conference will be at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The District Office of Partnerships and Grant Services and Center for Nonprofit Advancement are joined by Greater DC Cares and the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington. Sessions will provide learning opportunities for all levels of board governance, program evaluation, grants management, fundraising, financial management and volunteer engagement. For more information and to register, click here


NASCIO Annual Conference scheduled for Denver on Oct. 2-5

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Annual Conference is set this year for Oct. 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency in Denver, Colorado. "Moving Government Forward" is the theme for this year's conference. The conference focuses on pulling corporate sponsors into the conference to discuss trends and build relationships rather than market their products. The conference also features educational programs based on IT issues that affect both the public and private sectors. To register, click here. To view the agenda, click here.  


The biggest meeting of state legislators and legislative staff 

Come to San Antonio, Aug. 8-11, for the National Conference of State Legislatures' annual Legislative Summit - the largest and most important gathering of the year of state legislators and legislative staff from all 50 states. Broaden your contacts with state officials, learn the pressing issues facing lawmakers today and hear from top-notch policy experts. For more information, click here

National Veteran Small Business Conference set for August 

The National Veteran Small Business Conference is planned for Aug. 15-18, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Billed as the largest nationwide conference of its kind, it provides veteran-owned (VOSBs) and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) an opportunity to learn, network and market their businesses. Those who should attend include  VOSBs and SDVOSBs seeking an edge on the competition in the federal government marketplace, along with prime contractors seeking VOSB and SDVOSB partners and federal government representatives who promote both through contracting opportunities. For more information, click here


AGC's HR Professionals Conference slated Oct. 4-6

The Associated General Contractors Human Resources Professionals Conference is set for Oct. 4-6 at the Crowne Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. The gathering is billed as the premier event for human resources professionals to learn and share HR practices related to the construction industry. The conference features a number of construction-related sessions on HR topics such as creating a mentoring program, hiring from a remote location, successfully operating in multiple jurisdictions, keep your organization safe from workplace violence, using pre-employment assessments and more. A federal Contracting Compliance Construction HR Workshop will be held the afternoon of Oct. 5 and the morning of Oct. 6. For conference and registration information, click here.


KC Business Central hosting Minority Business Forum 

Kansas City Business Central will host a Minority Business Forum on Wednesday, Nov. 9, that includes a panel of minority- and women-owned business experts who will discuss their successes and the resources available to others. Panelists include: Michael L. Barrera, attorney and former president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Consuela McCain-Nunnaly, director of Diversity Business Connection of the Greater KC Chamber; CiCi Rojas, president of Community Engagement with Truman Medical Center; and Daryl Williams,director of Research at the Kauffman Foundation. For more information contact Heather Nicolosi at


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