City Payments to Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins

DeKalb city manager Mark Biernacki entered into a contract agreement last fall with the firm Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, using his ordinance-given spending authority (PDF p. 55).

A professional services contract had been entered into by the City Manager, on behalf of the City Council, with the firm Klein, Thorpe, and Jenkins to conduct research and to prepare recommendations on code enforcement strategies and practices. The City Manager is authorized to enter into contracts provided the cost to the City does not exceed $20,000.

The city manager is authorized to enter into these contracts but to be more precise, the services must already be authorized budgetary expenses. He is not allowed to start new projects without permission.

Regardless of budgetary legitimacy, Mr. Biernacki obtained the blessing of the city council via one-on-one communications — no formal vote was taken at the time — to bring in KTJ under his spending authority. Then it got a bit more complicated.

To date [January 2012] this hourly rate contract has incurred a cost of $17,828 (see attached invoices). Given the growing expectations the City and the Housing Task Force have had of the firm (additional research, attendance at additional meetings, etc.), it is clear that the total cost of this contract will exceed $20,000. It is estimated the total will be in the range of $30,000 to $35,000. The Municipal Code requires that the Council ratify a previously entered into hourly contract where subsequent circumstances lead to a total cost exceeding the $20,000 cap.

Council authorized expenses incurred by KTJ up to $40,000. Shall we take a peek at the final tally?

Attempt to turn DeKalb into Mt. Prospect: $47,700.

Lack of accountability: Priceless.

4 thoughts on “City Payments to Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins”

  1. What Lynn? You are really concerned with a mere over run of aroind 17%? ……. lol at the way our city manager and council run city business.

    Don’t worry this rubber stamp council will easily approve the cost over run with Aldermen Teresinski and Gallagher fighting for the first and the loser than fighting with Naylor to get recorded as being the second.

  2. I hope not, and I’ve been operating under the impression that KTJ wrapped up in May. In trying to take a quick peek at the latest check register, however, I have discovered that it is no longer posted online. I’ll have to request it under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Wow! DeKalb’s Transparency Checklist Score is going to drop from F to F-.

    Can we agree that we should not be going backwards when it comes to posting information? Which aldermen campaigned on transparency?

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