Keith Powell named Community Center project manager
The Pleasanton City Council selected Keith Powell (5-2) as the project manager for the Community Center/ Library Project at the Aug. 16 meeting. Also included in the motion is that City Manager Bruce Pearson check with the insurance carrier TML about liability. Pearson, City Attorney Bobby Maldonado and Powell were also instructed to get together on an agreement, with final approval by city council.
Powell has agreed to provide his services pro bono (for the public good, without pay).
Councilman Abraham Saenz, who said he wanted to wait until a response was received from TML regarding liability, abstained from voting. Mayor Clinton J. Powell also abstained from voting, as he is Keith Powell’s brother.
Pearson said he met with Keith Powell the previous Monday, who asked about the provisions of volunteering his time as the project manager. Keith Powell asked what Pearson’s take on the matter was, since Powell was originally going to be a committee member.
They discussed the provisions of design-build and construction manager at-risk at length. Powell has been project manager and project administrator for one of the largest international contractor firms.
Pearson found Powell to be very insightful and said he had some of the same structural questions that everyone has. Powell, Pearson and City Engineer John Metting met and went over the plans. Pearson added it was very evident to them that Keith Powell knew exactly what he was talking about. If Powell was chosen by the council, he could give them further input on the plans, said Pearson.
“I just think we would be hard-pressed to find someone with his capabilities that is not going to demand a six figure income,” said Pearson.
Powell has an in-depth knowledge of drafting and construction plans, contract management and working with design consultants, said Pearson. He has also built $48-60 million schools, the DPS headquarters in Harlingen and other public facilities.
Pearson added that if council selected Keith Powell, there would not be any decision-making power. He would be in a recommending role. Pearson also commented on how Powell gave lots of in-depth advice on the plans in such a short notice.
Metting found his discussion with Powell to be very favorable. While Guajardo did a lot of detail with the exterior, regarding the interior, there was a lot left out and a lot to be desired on the plans, said Metting.
“His experience is very vast and I think he would be a wonderful addition to the project team,” said Metting. “Price is one thing, but for someone to offer their services for free... he would be doing an excellent service to the community, especially with his level of knowledge.”
Councilwoman Kathy Coronado asked if Keith Powell was willing to speak. For the last 13-14 years, Powell explained he has worked for consulting firms and two of the largest general contractors in the world and projects throughout the Rio Grande Valley, such as remodeling the library at UT-Brownsville. In February, he bought his own business, which Powell said affords him more time.
“If I have an opportunity to give something back to the public, where I grew up, I’m going to do it,” said Keith Powell.
Councilman Roger G. Garza asked if they had checked into liability issues. Mayor Powell and Pearson said they had. Pearson said that City Attorney Maldonado said nepotism clauses are excluded in this case. As far as expenses like cell phone, the city can pay for those expenses that are not considered salary. As far as liability, Pearson would check with TML and ask if Powell would be covered under the policy as a volunteer. At this point, Pearson did not believe it would be a problem, but he will clarify that with TML.
Powell said he would see the project through completion and he did not have any plans on moving, as he has lived here his entire life.
Garza said he appreciated him for that. Councilman J.R. Gallegos also expressed his thanks and said he had joked with Mayor Powell that they could name one room after him. Gallegos added what Keith Powell was doing was rare, especially with his professional knowledge.
Powell answered, “Things like this happen everyday, around the world. A big thing for a community is transparency.”
Councilwoman Jeanne B. Israel also thanked Powell. Saenz said he would not vote on the item until TML came back with an answer regarding liability. Councilwoman Kathy Coronado said she did not see an issue at all. TML has been with the city since 1986, said Coronado, so they are very aware with the city as a client. Saenz said he would just feel more comfortable to wait.
Council also unanimously appointed a committee to recommend an architect to complete the design of the Community Center/Library Project. The committee will be led by Rudy Klein. Others serving on the committee will be: Roger Wells, Bill Lamb, Ray Samsel, Deborah Herber, Bill Carroll, Karen Villarreal and Frank “Butch” Tudyk.
At the Aug. 2 and 6 meeting, Pearson was asked to come forward with nominations of community members to serve on the committee. Pearson met with several people one-on-one with professional expertise.
Pearson spoke on the characteristics that would make the best committee members. He said those include: a strong, technical background, a real estate background, a finance background, contracting background, someone in the legal field, those with respect in the community, understanding of selecting construction managers and a connection to the community and an understanding of holding elected office.
President and owner of Klein Engineering, Rudy Klein was selected as chair for his strong technical and contracting and construction background, respect and decision-making abilities. He has very objective decisionmaking abilities and has worked as civil engineering consultant with the City of Pleasanton.
Roger Wells, owner of Wells Construction in Pleasanton, recently shared his professional expertise and advice to council recently. Bill Lamb is the former City Manager of Pleasanton and is a professional engineer with a construction background. He has project experience and professional expertise. Ray Samsel has a strong technical background in engineering consulting and design. He has years of experience of contracting in the civil service sector, has been a part of the Planning and Zoning Commission and more.
Deborah Herber has a background in finance, legal issues and banking and more. She is objective in her decision-making abilities, said Pearson and also held elected office. She was also the lead in the refurbishing of the Atascosa County Courthouse. Pearson said he would not list all of Commissioner Bill Carroll’s achievements, but that he was objective in his decisionmaking and has an infinite understanding of holding elected office.
Karen Villarreal has a real estate background, legal background, connection with the community and respected. She took the lead with her husband to build the Atascosa Urgent Care Medical Clinic in Pleasanton and more.
Pearson also said he would not go through all of Frank “Butch” Tudyk’s list, but that he is school board president and has an inifnite understanding of holding elected office.
Pearson met with all of them, who said they would be honored to serve on the committee. They also understand that they are serving in a recommending capacity.
Israel asked about the interviewing process and if it would be the same as the master plan selection, allowing council to be present for those interviews. Pearson said they absolutely would and any meetings would be posted and open.