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Friday, July 15, 2005

Lynchburg Spends 190,000 Dollars on Midtown Plan: Do What?

When a Convention Center in Norfolk was being build ages ago, there was much excitement over the idea that the Norfolk had hired an independent consultation company to come up with a name. It was back in the days of when you had to feed a series of punched card in a computer to tell the computer what to do.

This consulting firm was charged with the momentous task of running a computer that selected random letters to form names. Such was the task of this consulting firm, they ran their program and the convention center was named.

Norfolk residents waited anxiously for the name to be revealed, and marveled at the new technology to name the convention center. Then, the result was announced "Scope." There was a staggering pause and the price this consulting firm charged was exposed.

You could almost hear a rising chorus of the residents of Norfolk saying almost in unison "Do What?" There are some that say that was when the expression Do What originated. Others say, it was brought in by out of towners when they went in Norfolk drug stores and asked where to find the Scope and ended up on on the personal hygiene aisle.

On a more serious note, Lynchburg has outsourced the plan for midtown to a company in Florida. They have brought back a plan that wants your input as citizens. Its a computer generated plan with ideas you brought to them and some of their own. The cost is 190,000 dollars. This is roughly 1.3 percent of the entire Lynchburg City budget. On April 28th,WSET ran a story on the midtown plan this was my comment then:

Dover, Kohl & Partners, Coral Gables, Fla., typically charges over a quarter of a million dollars to do a study like this. My question is could not this money be better spent? Imagine for a moment, that the city asked for local professionals to offer their ideas free and gave them a quarter of a million dollars to actually do something. I think that would be better than pictures of a far off dream.

Lynchburg must of got their best discount plan, but at a 190,000 dollars you have to wonder isn't this what we are paying the Planning Commission to do, not to hire consultants to do their work for them. And if they find it necessary to get consultants, wouldn't it be better to tap the able resources in our own community? So I am asking all the citizens of Lynchburg, is this the way we want our local government to act?

Picture midtown Lynchburg

(Local news) (City Council and local issues)


At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know of atleast one local, experienced professional that told our city manager thats would should be done - and many would do it free.

Frankly, I beleive the popularity of hiring consulants by politicans is to avoid taking responsibility for making decisions - CYA.

At 8:52 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thanks for the comment. There is no doubt in my mind that you are absolutely correct. It is our hope, that people in city government will read this post and think of the responsibility they have being entrusted in spending our tax dollars wisely.

At 1:25 AM, Anonymous iwwobbly said...

What a waste of money.That's $190,000 that could have been used to help the poor.

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mid-town spending was a waste. The answer to this was simple! With all the college students available,have all of those architects submit their proposals and the best get a gift of $5000.00 or the same for a charity. Thanks

At 4:50 PM, Blogger B O B said...

There are some good comments here, the sad part is that the city has already done this. Hopefully, with residents keeping a closer eye on the workings of the local government, the city will be more attentive to how they spend our tax money. What I find most regretable, is that Lynchburg government rather than explore possibilities that most of you pointed out, decided not to consider local options, at a great expense to the taxpayers.


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