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Elmhurst to extend Findzall contract 6 months

Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:50 p.m. CDT
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First Ward Alderman Diane Gutenkauf (right) explains why she does not support renewing the city's contract with Findzall Community Marketing for another six months during Monday's City Council meeting. (Mari Grigaliunas - mgrigaliunas@shawmedia.com)

ELMHURST – The Elmhurst City Council extended Findzall Community Marketing's existing contract for six more months.

The Development, Planning and Zoning Committee recommended the six-month extension to allow new communications manager Dan Leahy, who starts July 7, to learn the position so the city can determine where the new position and Findzall's duties overlap.

"I think that once we have the essential tasks for the communications manager, I think that we will be cutting back on what Findzall is covering," said Third Ward Alderman and DPZ Committee Vice Chairwoman Dannee Polomsky, adding that before changing or adding to Findzall's duties, she first would like to send out a request for proposal to open the position up to other vendors.

Third Ward Alderman Michael Bram believed the city should be able to determine necessary changes to Findzall's marketing roles sooner.

"A six-month overlap is utterly generous," Bram said.

He motioned to amend the committee's report to extend the contract for just two months instead of six.

"I don't think it's a two-month transition," said DPZ Committee Chairman and Fifth Ward Alderman Scott Levin.

He explained that the transition could be less than six months, and even when the new communications manager is settled in, Findzall may stay on as a consultant.

After the motion to amend the extension to just two months failed, with only Bram and First Ward Alderman Diane Gutenkauf voting in favor of the shorter contract, Gutenkauf suggested the city should be reviewing a different consultant, referring to Ken Bartels' contract as it relates to communications.

"This is the wrong contract for us to be discussing," Gutenkauf said of the Findzall contract.

Levin responded to Bram's concerns about the six-month extension.

"Just because there are a few people – a couple aldermen and a few others – who feel that Findzall should be in the crosshairs every time we have this contract come up doesn't mean that we're not doing our job," Levin said.

Bram insisted he was not targeting Findzall, but didn't think the six-month extension was justified.

The council eventually approved the report for a six-month contract extension with a 12 to 2 vote.

"What I am trying to do is make sure we're spending the taxpayers' money wisely," Bram said.

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