Quincy commissioners undertook the issue of hiring a permanent city attorney at their Tuesday, June 24th meeting. Interim city manager Mike Wade said the city had only received one response of interest by the April 30th deadline.
Board members requested a re-advertisement for the position, he said, which closed on May 30th. In that Request for Qualifications (RFQ), the city got two responses. Wade asked commissioners if they wanted staff to negotiate with them both or for the board to interview them in a workshop.
“I’m disappointed that only two firms responded. I want to interview both firms. We can question them about their rates and scopes of work (at that time),” said Commissioner Andy Gay.
Board members unanimously approved setting up a workshop for the commissioners to interview both firms.
During an overview of the city’s financials, Commissioner Daniel McMillan said he had reviewed the budgeted-to-actual revenues and expenses (in the city’s financial report.) “The revenues are about $2.5 million above expenses, which is wonderful,” he said.
The CPA who is helping the city with its financials until Quincy can get a finance director on board said the city as a body has shown great discipline on spending this fiscal year. He cautioned the commissioners that he would like to see more consistency in the city’s cash flow, however.
Wade said he had looked at the city’s current bus shuttle service and recommended going out to bid for the service. Wade said the city staff would meet with the county commission at their Tuesday, July 2nd meeting to learn what would be needed to put out a joint Request for Proposals (RFPs).
During Commissioners’ Comments, Commissioner McMillan gave a list of issues and actions he’d like to see happen. He thanked Wade and the Public Works Department for mowing Hillcrest Cemetery; he requested a code enforcement action list at every meeting; he said he wanted to get together with Police Chief Walt McNeil to set up a community meeting. He said some citizens are having problems communicating with him and gave out his email address and phone number, which are DMcMillan@myquincy.net and 850.627.6032.
McMillan asked if any polling of bus riders had been done. Wade said Bernard Piawah, director of the Building & Planning Department, was setting up a survey for bus riders. “I will conduct the survey myself,” Piawah told board members. “I will ride the bus myself and ask questions this week,” he said.
McMillan said he wanted a financial analysis of NetQuincy. He said the $32.95 monthly service would have to leap to nearly ten times that amount to break even or be profitable. “We need to sell, lease or whatever to make sure we don’t have these costs,” said McMillan. “I want our financials to be more transparent. I hope our next budget is more precise.” McMillan added that the city needs to paint the picture like it really is, not how the board wanted it to be.
Mayor Derrick Elias said his issues also include the NetQuincy service, along with former city manager Jack McLean’s lawsuit against the city. He told board members that the Florida League of Cities has retained an attorney on Quincy’s behalf in McLean’s suit.
The city reappointed Code Magistrate Jonathan Kent Robbins. Code Magistrate is a volunteer position that helps the city’s Building & Planning Department in code enforcement cases. In his previous term, he had presided over 70 code cases, none of which were challenged or appealed by the violators.
Quincy commissioners also reappointed Don Sirmons as one of their Quincy-Gadsden Airport Authority members. It is also a volunteer position.