Saturday, November 17, 2012

City's New Website Jumps in Cost

San Angelo City Council will consider a budget amendment for the redesign of the city's website.  Council approved the redesign in May for $40,000.  For some reason this original amount is not mentioned in the budget amendment.

Is the original $40,000 spent and the contractor needs an additional $90,000 to bring the project to fore? If so, something's wrong with the city's bid generation and evaluation process.

Why the omission of the original contract amount? This comes on top of the purchase and installation of over $100,000 of furniture without required approvals.

If I were a City council representative, such behavior would lead me to question the intent of staff.

Update 11-19-12:  City Public Information Officer Anthony Wilson called to inform me the $90,000 amount is for more than the Vision web site contract.  It includes servers to host the city's website, as well as equipment used to video and produce City Council meetings and content for Channel 17.  When I asked why this information was not in the packet, Anthony said his memo was "inartfully worded."

Update 12-6-12:  City Council approved a grant application that would provide the Public Information Office with $17,000 in technology, including servers.  It's not clear how these servers relate to the initial $90,000 budget request.

Update 12-15-12:  The web redesign went from information lite to information overload in the council packet.  It shows multiple options on services and maintenance.  Halfway through the memo, I felt I was reading Vision Internet's marketing brochure.  The proposal deals with redesign and hosting only.  There are none of the servers or video equipment/software mentioned as in the $90,000 on 11-19.
Despite having twice the amount of the project in a special fund, the presentation mentions possibly charging a fee for departments or users in FY 2013.

1 comment:

Jim Turner said...

We covered this in more detail over at

The critical questions to be answered now are why does the city need servers to host the website when the original proposal included web hosting on vision internet's servers, why weren't the costs for production mentioned and itemized in the agenda packet or by staff members, and who was the city going to buy this equipment from as Vision Internet doesn't supply equipment. A full disclosure of what the money was going to be used for must be part of any presentation and discussion on a purchase.