(This is an April Fool story.)
The City of Evanston has engaged internationally repected consultant group Riley Getz Bank PC to study the City’s use of consultants in planning City expenditures.
The item passed with little or no controversy. In fact, once City Council noticed that the staff memo indicated that a consultant was being brought in to advise the City, two members of Council asked, “Is this fee actually enough?”
Two representatives of the firm, Sam Fresh and Vera Young, appeared before Council to explain the service that would be provided. “I see on last month’s agenda you hired a consultant to advise you on getting air conditioners fixed,” said Ms. Young, speaking of the engagement of a HVAC consultant for Levy Center, police station and Fleetwood Jourdain repairs.
“This is exactly the kind of engagement that can be expanded to include day-to-day climate control decisions. Who better to explain the timing and level of thermostat adjustments? And you have an expert, right here!”
“The cost would be modest, probably less than double the current fee,” added Mr. Fresh. “We can steer you in the right direction with so many of these outside professionals.”
The City currently hires about 1,380 consultants a year to provide advice on dozens if not hundreds of highly important decisions, from staffing to pensions and beyond.
“But you are just scratching the surface of available talent,” said Mr. Fresh. “I mean, just walking in here today I can tell that you need a consultant to advise you on the water levels in your commodes here in City Hall. Levels looked way too high to me. And the savings would start rolling in.”
“And we have just the consultant in mind!” said Ms. Young eagerly. City Council listened, rapt.
The new consultants’ engagement begins officially April 1, 2013. Expect a horde of freshly coiffed and well-groomed consultants roaming the Civic Center shortly thereafter.