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March 22, 2013

Transcript of Stillwater Chamber of Commerce's City Council forum Friday

(Continued)

STILLWATER, Okla. — "We've recently had a number of studies: parking, fitness center, roads. Are we spending too much on studies and consultants?"

Weaver: "I don't think we are and I do look at that every time that the city staff want to bring a consultant in. But frankly, I would rather have the private sector give some advice; hire some experts to give us a report than to hire up a bunch of staff. We couldn't duplicate the kind of talent we've been bringing in to give us advice on parking. Walker and Associates are awesome. They are a great company. The university has used them a number of times. We didn't have that expertise on staff. So, I think it's incumbent on us that when we have a problem that's complicated, that's multi-faceted, bring in an expert to help you sort things out and give you a report. In the long run, that could save you from making mistakes that cost could you even more money."

Pina: "Again, like Joe said, if we look at experts versus staff, I don't think our staff is qualified to do some of the research that's necessary. I don't mind bringing in a consulting firm to do the research that we need. If we allow the staff to do it, we're going to get a good product. I'm not saying that, but if they're doing that, what are they doing at City Hall? We've got them doing two functions, multi-functions. And that's unfair. When you bring in a consultant, his prime job is to give us the answers that we asked him to look at. And because he or she is doing those kinds of things, it relieves the staff and the staff and City Council can take those recommendations. It doesn't mean we have to go through all the recommendations and approve everything they say, but at least they've given an outside point of view, they've looked at all the questions we've asked them to look at and I think they give us a fair assessment instead of asking internal staff to do it."

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