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City Council Could Pay More For Competitive Bidding Employee Consultant

The City Council's Rules Committee signed off today on a proposal to spend more money for the services of a consultancy that assists city of San Diego employee groups when their departments are put out for competitive bidding.

E.L. Hamm and Associates helped workers win all four bidding wars for city functions in the past couple of years. Five more competitions are in the pipeline.

"I can't begin to express how awesome this consulting team is,'' said Kathleen Higgins of the Municipal Employees Association, which represents many of the city's white-collar workers. "They work really hard, and they make us work really hard, too.''


She said city workers have taken to calling the consultants "The Hamsters.''

The city is in the second year of a five-year, $250,000 contract with the Virginia Beach-based firm but nearly $200,000 has already been spent, according to a staff report.

Approval of the full council is required for additional funding.

According to city staff, when the contract was signed, it was unknown how much work the company would actually have to put in.

The committee members forwarded to the full City Council a plan to authorize up to $250,000 for the third year of the deal. An initial proposal to fund years four and five failed when the Independent Budget Analyst's office questioned how much the firm will be used by then.