Friday, January 03, 2014

Bailey's Street Plan Recommendation to Go External

The Standard Times reported:

The city will request quotes for a comprehensive survey of all San Angelo streets, proposed by former city engineer Clinton Bailey before he left the city, in 2014.

Clinton Bailey spoke to City Council on February 26, 2013 about his recommendation to create a comprehensive street maintenance program for the City of San Angelo.  He did so by describing the life cycle of a street and the City's abysmal performance in maintaining streets.  His presentation effectively damned Ricky Dickson, the longtime operations leader responsible for San Angelo's maintenance, including streets and bridges.   

Bailey stated his department had already done an analysis of the top 55 streets in San Angelo and projected the cost of upgrading each.  He wanted to spread this effort to all city streets.  Bailey mentioned the specific software his department would use to create such a plan.  Not once did he use the word consultant.   City Council's discussion revealed TXDOT conducts such an analysis every three years for its streets.

One month after Bailey presented his proposed plan, City Manager Daniel Valenzuela named Ricky Dickson the permanent Water Utilities Chief.  Valenzuela waived the engineering degree requirement for Dickson to occupy this top job.

In May 2013 Clinton Bailey left San Angelo for the top public works position in Fredericksburg, Texas.  Ironically, Bailey's replacement has a strong street background.  A September 2013 City press release stated:

Karl Bednarz, who has more than 30 years of engineering experience with the Texas Department of Transportation, has joined the City of San Angelo as its new City Engineer.

Bednarz replaces Clinton Bailey, who joined the City of Fredericksburg as its public works director in May. 

What changed that an internal study will now be an external one?  I'd guess Bailey would've needed to replace engineering staff to conduct the study.  After Bailey fired engineer Blake Wilde for poor performance, the engineering department lost two employees to Will Wilde's Water Department.

Blake went on to work as a contractor for the Hickory Water pipeline and father Will suddenly retired when a series of events erupted into a public firestorm.  The events included:

1)  Outrageously high, seemingly unexplainable water bills for a number of area citizens
2)  Buying and installing over $100,000 in Water Department furniture without required City Council approval
3)  His son's hiring by Carollo Engineering to work on the Hickory pipeline after Blake had been fired by the city, designated ineligible for rehire.

Both Blake and Will Wilde formed Wilde Engineering.  Blake had the street background, but lacked customer service skills.  While Will knew water inside and out, he also had hubris in spades.  It would be more than ironic if Wilde Engineering got the comprehensive street survey job.  It'd be the latest twist in Surprising San Angelo. 

Update 2-2-14:  Oddly the minutes from the 2-26-13 City Council meeting don't mention Clinton's presentation. 

1 comment:

Bill Richardson said...

"The city will request quotes for a comprehensive survey of all San Angelo streets, proposed by former city engineer Clinton Bailey before he left the city.

First of all Mr. Bailey expressed the survey could be done by the San Angelo Engineering Department. My proposals when I ran for SMD-1 was to increase funding to the Engineering Department and the GIS (Geographic Information Department) department.