Meeting Date:

August 15, 2005





David A. Berger,

General Manager

Division/General Manager’s Office

Professional Fees




Prepared By:



Cost Estimate:

$3,475 plus 10% contingency


General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on August 4, 2005 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY:  The purpose of this action is to authorize the expenditure of budgeted funds for professional meeting facilitation services by Eileen Goodwin of Apex Strategies in connection with the proposed annual District Strategic Planning and Goal Setting Workshop tentatively scheduled as a special meeting of the Board on September 8, 2005.


RECOMMENDATION:  Staff recommends that the Board authorize the expenditure of budgeted funds not to exceed $3,475, plus a ten percent contingency, to cover the cost of Apex Strategies workshop facilitation professional services.


BACKGROUND:  The Board of Directors last held a strategic planning workshop to establish District strategic goals and work program priorities on September 29, 2004.  The Strategic Plan developed at that workshop, which the Board adopted on October 18, 2004, calls for future strategic planning workshops to be conducted annually, or semi-annually, in order to fulfill the stated goal of continued improvement in communication among Directors.  During the Board’s June 16, 2005 workshop discussion that led to scheduling the August 25, 2005 “town hall” meeting on long-term water supply alternatives, Chairman Foy proposed that the Board deal with any decisions regarding those alternatives during the Board’s next strategic planning workshop.  All Directors have been advised of the September 8, 2005 tentative date for the proposed, all-day Strategic Planning and Goal Setting workshop.  I’m also proposing that division managers and other key staff members participate again this year, and this date has been coordinated with them. 


Following contact with several experienced strategic planning firms, the District selected Eileen Goodwin, principal of Apex Strategies of Santa Cruz, to facilitate last year’s strategic planning  workshop.  Based on positive feedback from District participants regarding her performance, staff solicited a proposal from Ms. Goodwin to facilitate this year’s proposed Strategic Planning workshop (Exhibit 10-A).  The total estimated cost and proposed tasks are the same as in the Apex Solutions 2004 strategic planning workshop facilitation proposal, although Ms. Goodwin has re-allocated some of the pre-workshop hours to reflect her actual effort for each task last year.  Staff is proposing a ten percent contingency be included in the maximum authorized fee.  This will provide Ms. Goodwin and staff with some added flexibility in designing this year’s strategic planning workshop, to ensure that all communication and other policy issues are covered in the agenda to be reviewed by the Chair/Vice Chair Committee.


Finally, the General Manager employment agreement requires that the Board conduct an evaluation at the end of my first 12 months of employment, based on the performance goals developed earlier this year. The Chair and Vice Chair recommend that this performance evaluation be handled by adjourning to closed session as the last item during this proposed Board workshop. 


IMPACT TO STAFF/RESOURCES:  The General Manager’s Office section of the District’s fiscal year 2005-06 adopted budget, contains a $4,000 professional fees line item that is intended to cover strategic planning facilitation services.   This amount is more than adequate to offset the $3,475 estimated total cost of tasks included in Ms. Goodwin’s July 14, 2005 proposal, plus a ten percent contingency (rounded off), i.e. up to two additional hours at $175/hour.  If the Board approves the recommended action, staff intends to execute a standard District professional service agreement with Ms. Goodwin that will incorporate her proposal.       



10-A    Letter Proposal by Eileen Goodwin, Apex Strategies dated July 14, 2005