Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Dane's MedHab Sidestep

In response to Councilman Silvas' longstanding request for a MedHab LLC update, specifically a ten to fifteen minute Powerpoint update.  Assistant City Manager/CFO Michael Dane offered (at the 2:47:26 mark). 

Thank you, Mayor.  This would normally be handled by Bob Schneeman, our Interim Director of Economic Development .  Bob is on the trip to recruit another airline, same place Daniel is, so I'm going to hit some high points and I'll ask for your indulgence on the high points part of it.  If you want a more in depth recap of what the contract calls for or a little more in depth review of what's happened, we'll probably try to get Bob back up here.  I thought we'd make sure we got this on the agenda, had some conversation about it and gave Mr. Silvas an opportunity to talk or ask questions or whatever his pleasure was. 

Recall that COSADC and MedHab have an agreement for approximately $2.795 million in incentives to be paid based on performance of milestones.  Recent activity on that includes in December MedHab signed a lease with the Concho Valley Center for Economic Development (CVCED) and they moved into location on West Beauregard.  Remember where COSADC was for a while and they've got that annex.  They moved into that location in January.  MedHab currently has four full time employees and plans to hire two additional staff within the next few weeks.

MedHab has not requested, nor have they received any incentive payments from COSADC at this point.  The Development Corporation through the CVCED has forgone the collection of rent on that facility in accordance with the terms of the agreement.  All other exceptions with the exception of building maintenance are borne by MedHab.  Again, they haven't started the big hiring that is anticipated, but they do see a little bit of growth.  They do have some employees at this time.    Those are kind of the high points, the latest on that at this time, Mr. Silvas.  Of course we'd be glad to pursue any questions you have or try to bring back a more in depth review, if that's what you'd like (2:49:40).

Silvas' longstanding request for a comprehensive update was a two minute, fifteen second verbal dodge.  How many of MedHab's four employees live and work in San Angelo?  The only employee listed on MedHab's LinkedIn site is CEO Johnny Ross, who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. At best there are three possible San Angelo employees. 

Dane went on to offer under questioning:

As far as the specific time frames with the different milestones associated with this contract, we'd be glad to bring back an itemization, a summary of that.  We can do that as part of a council meeting in a subsequent presentation, if you'd like or we can put together an executive summary and get it to you in the Friday packets.

Why didn't the update include updated time frames associated with different milestones, the very thing Silvas asked for?

Dane's update lacked the current state of MedHab's plans, especially clarification of MedHab's declared move to shift non-FDA production elsewhere.  Given Ross' statement I find it hard to believe MedHab's early hires are here.

The economic development agreement is valued at $3.6 million.  The $2.8 million represented by Dane is actual cash incentives.  The unmentioned difference is roughly $800,000.

Councilman Silvas must be tired of trying to get the full story on behalf of his concerned taxpaying constituents.  Michael Dane's casual, imprecise, half-hearted update is symbolic of a dysfunctional administration.  Reasonable questions are minimized, eventually responded to with half truths and spin.  This administration works hard to make the asking individual look bad.

The public face of San Angelo would be much improved by taking elected official and citizen concerns seriously and preparing a thorough response that does not attack the person questioning.

Update 7-14-13:  Any messages Dane was to send back to the Development Corporation did not make the agenda for their July 10th meeting.  

Update 8-8-13:  More of what Michael Dane left out.  The Standard Times reported:  "The company has three full-time managers and has hired four ASU grads on a contract basis to work on software development, Brown said. The company should have a full-time technical support employee and has been working with the Texas Workforce Commission to hire five or six workers to help with distribution in September when the RPM2 goes on sale.

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