Consultants doing job their hirers should do

info@islandpacket.comFebruary 4, 2014 

Over the past several weeks several organizations were reported to be using consultants.

Some of these were: Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority, how to process intake water to remove bad taste and odors (still there); Beaufort County Board of Education, how to hire teachers; Lowcountry Economic Alliance, how to market an empty, city-owned commercial park (still empty); Downtown Marina redevelopment, starting over with a blank sheet of paper (let's talk to the people and see what they want).

These consultants address core skills that the organizations hiring them should possess.

Meanwhile the city of Beaufort continues to engage consultants for extensive plans. In 2006, it was the Boundary Street Development Plan, which was completed by Dover, Kohl and Partners. In 2009, the plan was updated to reflect a start of construction in September 2012 and a completion date of December 2013. Construction is now announced for 2014. No construction plans are available on the city web site. The Beaufort Civic Master Plan (since reduced to a vision) has cost $1 million to date and revisions are ongoing. The vision has no enforcement mechanism, no incentives, and no punishment for failure to comply.

It will be interesting to see if the final act of the consultants is to write their contract for the next phase, whatever that may be. Having failed to reach our objectives, we have redoubled our efforts and cost.

Randolph Elliott


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