This is the official website of Travis County, Texas.

Travis County Commissioners Court

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 (Agenda)
Item 20

View captioned video.

20 is to consider and take appropriate action on the following matters in relation to the development of a new civil and exactly courthouse.
a, authorize purchasing agent to issue request for information with a specified due date.
b, identify internal team to oversee rfi process including evaluation of responses, c, preparation of request for solicitation for an owner's representative or outside p3 consultant, d, schedule work session, and e, other issues related there to.
we started discussing this item last week.
if we want to follow through on the work session, the earliest available date is may 5.

>> I move approval.

>> is that on a Thursday?

>> uh-huh.

>> second.

>> ms. Porter?

>> yes.

>> okay.
that is based on responses that I got from, my office got from court members.
Commissioner Gomez moves we set the work session on may 5.
discussion on the motion?
all in favor.
thetthote--that passes by unanimous vote.

>> judge, I would like to reurge the motion that we authorize the purchasing agent to issue the rfi with the caveat that the rfa this would relate it back to c, the catch yacht that the rfi--caveat that the responses would not be reviewed until we have pursuant to c, made a selection of a request for services or request for, I suppose a rfs is the appropriate terminology?

>> for project manager.

>> for project manager with financial expertise to provide us the information that we need to make a decision on how we are are going to do the project.

>> to evaluate responses and other preparation.

>> second.

>> last week we talked about the due date being June 20.

>> I think that that due date after having spoken with the purchasing agent, is a little ambitious.
being mindful of what Commissioner Gomez said about let's do this right and the the time necessary, I would think that if we could get a rfs out by the end of March with the--of may with response back by June with owners representative, we could make the selection in late June or early July.
that is that with your understanding?

>> you are en2009ing a and.

>> yesyes.

>> yes, it's my opinion and of other members, we don't have the internal expertise to evaluate the responses.

>> I agree.
on c I think we need to figure out how we put that together.

>> we do.
but I believe that the rfi, the rfi on public private partnerships is a wonderful base document, a tremendous amount of work has gone in and I think it can serve as the base document for the rfs.
with regard to the scope of services of the individual or organization necessary to review what we get back from the rfi, from the perspective of the court's decision about how to finance the project, I don't think there's any doubt that we need a new civil justice center.

>> okay.

>> we are 40 percent over capacity currently.

>> but the motion as to c is what?

>> the motion as to c is to prepare a request for solicitation for owner's representative with the financial expertise necessary, not only to analyze the responses on this rfi for ppp, but also to analyze our options in financing this project.

>> the anticipation is that there would be a document put together that this court would sign off on at some point.

>> right.

>> okay.

>> thank you.

>> Commissioner Davis.

>> yes.
my concern, I want to make sure, as I iterated before, we haven't gotten to e yet, but I'll speak to e in a little bit.
I want to make sure those particular compolents of having a project manager, if we are going to do geo--go that route and also the financial person, this e may not be one in the same.
in other words, they may not wear the same hat.
so we may be looking at a project manager who has expertise in a project, but does not have the financial advisory role that we would probably be looking for.

>> may i--

>> so when you said, you know, you are almost, appears one hat going on one person or one deal.

>> you had you.

>> and I don't know if, I may want to look at it, we have financial advisers that may not be project managers of a major project such as this.

>> I agree with you, Commissioner.
I think that the threshold question of what options we have for financing this project needs to be answered before we know what flavor of manager we need.

>> I understand.

>> as we crafted the broadest contract, for instance, that was in phases depending on what the first phase revealed.
and we could similarly craft this rfs to be phased.
depending on what the first phase reveals, we might then go to the second phase and bid out for project management.
or expand the winner of the financial expertise contract depending on their further expertise.
they may have the additional expertise.

>> I'm looking at what judge dietz was saying.
they spoke of three basic options that we should consider.
one was the project manager phase.
in other words, the first question, the executive person that understands that.
I agree with that.
at some stage we are going to have do that.
no doubt about it.
he also mentioned a legal advisor, which in my opinion that is some attorney type situation, who we don't really know about at this time.
and then thirdly, he mentioned the financial adviser, the person that knows about probably this type of setting.
I don't know who did it up brooklyn or long beach or charlotte, who the technical person was in those settings.
just appeared to me that hopefully it would be somebody that has the type of expertise that are here local.
right now I don't know that.
in dealing with the p3, the presentations I heard today were people, said p 36789 --p p3, but everybody knows what I'm talking the public private partnership.
the only place it occurred was brooklyn and they are looking at the situation there long beach.
my concern is where are these folks.
if we have folks locally, that is a plus.
to incorporate people that come out of town, which is another expense to provide the service.
I think a lot of consideration we are going to have to look at.
or do we have people right here in Travis County that can do it.

>> that would be wonderful if we do.
I would suggest that since the only p3 courthouse in the nation is brooklyn, and that we are in an unprecedented time of shifting burdens and economic uncertainty, that we are being viewed nationally.
we are on a national stage with this project.
because there's not many projects of this scope and type that are occurring right now.
and it's occurring here because we are blessedly in a better economic position than many other parts of the country, and indeed other parts of the world.
so I think that it is likely, as the judge alluded to, that we will be able to draw the best and the brightest from almost anywhere.
to help us with this project.

>> thank goodness we have aaa bond rating, which is just fantastic.
I just want to make sure that all of these points, the pieces of the puzzle are moving to the best benefit for the direction I would like to go in.
of course, the rfi is one thing.
you know, I'll a big advocate of getting the information.
and this kind of information back to us.
if you want to intertwine into the c portion, I have no objections.
but I just think that we need to stay in stride with the recommendation that I heard.
it's something that I have been considering anyway.
but anyway, the recommendation that was brought up by judge dietz.
I don't want to lose the flavor of that.
I'm just letting everybody know up front.

>> when we get a specific draft before us we can really better determine.

>> yes.

>> we will have an opportunity to spend whatever time we think is necessary on the draft document for c.

>> okay.

>> see what I'm saying?.

>> so the motion is to?

>> the motion is to authorize the purchasing agent to issue the request for information.

>> which is a.

>> with the responses not to be reviewed until an owner representative has been selected through c, preparation of a request for solicitation for an owner representation with expertise in financing projects of these types.

>> this is what goes with that.

>> we have all been trying to figure thought our head different things.
I have the procurement sort of perspectivetive and I am a very visual person.
what I tried to do with this is just sort of set up what I think y'all have been talking about.
we needed to find our internal team.
we need to find the external team.
and I think we need a project manager.
I think that project manager needs to foremostly be a project manager who can be the single point of coordination for all those teams, internal to external, Commissioners court, and I think that person we start with now and they oversee the project until the end.
I think that the financial expertise that we need is separate.
I think that is a separate expertise in a project manager, as Commissioner Davis was sort of alluding to.
when we get to the decision, once we put out the rfi, we get our teams together and our project manager and experts, once we do the rfi, we make the decision if we are going to do the p3.
or you do the design build, do it with our own money, the less track, the normal process we are used to.
if we do the p3, at that time you need to do the rfq that builds that p3 team that we have that has those other firms we're working with or sitting across the table as judge dietz says.
right now I think we need a project manager and we need to look at who our external team members are that help us review the rfi, which is what I think Commissioner Eckhardt has been alluding to.
and that is the legal, financial and whoever else we think it should be.
I think we need a project from the beginning, hire them.
as we hire team, put the rfi out and have the teams in place when rfis come back to review.
we might that the point, y'all need to make a decision on which way we are going to go.
if you look at this model of the right hand, once we go through the p3 project which took so long in long beach, then you get all the experts and more experts to talk about the decisions baw you have the multiple choices.
just how far do we enter into the agreement with them.
so this is just sort of me trying to figure out last night in my head what I thought that y'all needed.
I think we need to start with the project manager.

>> you're me.
--scaring me.
I'm cutting the paper in half and looking at the top half.
just looking at the top half, before the decision a made of p3 the project manager down to decision about which track we go I only want to go that far right now.

>> okay.

>> not to muddy the waters.
I'm perfectly fine if the rfs, the parallel track rfs, is styled as a project manager.

>> okay.

>> all I'm asking is that at a minimum, that scope should include the financial expertise necessary to help us make that decision.

>> and I do--

>> if it also includes construction, maintenance, operation, legal, all the better.
I think at very least the project manager needs the financial expertise to help us make the decision about which track we're going to go on from that point forward.

>> that was my point early, the financial person that you mention in your motion, the financial adviser, analyst, whatever you want to call it.
I think we still need to have a project manager on top of that.

>> I'm fine with that.
I was saying financial expertise as a floor.

>> project manager, I think, needs to be right now, my opinion.
but anyway, within this rfi also I want to make sure the folks understands, just speaking for Commissioner Davis, not nobody else, that we understand that I am very concerned about the minority participation in this project.
so when the rfi goes out, I like to know what you are suggesting.
this may come up under e.
the motion is on the table that rf--that solves --that involves the rf i.
I want to be sure the a portion gets the attention it needs.
minority participation, people of color, black, brown, asian, the whole nine yards.

>> Commissioner , I'm going to in trouble if that doesn't happen.
I have already been given direction from my board that they want to make sure it happens.

>> I know.
but the percentages haven't been what they should be, in my opinion.
I wasn't in on the last deal.
but I understand from the information I have, it was about 20 percent of that type of participation.
I do not know if it was woman-owned, I don't know how many blacks were involved, I don't know how many hispanics were involved, how many asians were involved, I don't know the break down of that 20 percent.

>> yeah.

>> see, you know, so I want to know.

>> we have all that history from the project.

>> I want to make sure that folks that are coming in and want a piece of the action understand that Commissioner Davis is also looking at the rfi as far as what you can help as far as the services that will be needed by the minority businesses in the community.

>> okay.

>> I want to make that very plain and clear.

>> Commissioner Huber.

>> I think that the discussion that we have had so far indicates what judge dietz was referring to, in that we probably don't even know the questions to ask and don't know what we don't know.
we don't know what we need from a project manager definition standpoint.
we may know some of the parts, but we don't know all of it.
when we were in brooklyn, the one thing that they emphasized over and over there in that presentation was that we needed to get our team together.
we needd to have our internal team, we needed to have our external first two key pieces, legal advice and financial advice.
we need those compolents--components, the internal team and the external legal and financial, whether ourselves or whether we did a p3.
the importance of getting those players from the external standpoint on bored, I just cannot emphasize not.
it's not just they told us in brooklyn, it's in every piece of literature you pick up on p3.
we have had very limited external input on the document, the rfi, that is going out.
we don't have a team together.
I just cannot, I don't know how we would even write a scope of services for this project manager without going after our financial expertise and our legal expertise that have experience in p3.
I can't support this motion because I don't believe we should be putting the rfi out before we have a team together.
and when just the dialogue taking place here in court right now indicates some of the questions some of the questions that we don't have answers to at this point.
what we don't know.
my prefered direction, which has history behind it, is that we get our financial and legal expertise on board first.
and put it together with an internal team.
then we move forward.
because then we have got the right resources advising us on what next steps we need to do.
I think it's going take lot longer.
yobble we should put this rfi--i don't believe we should put the rfi out until we have the expertise to work on it.

>> I agree.

>> we have a motion that intwines a and c.
c as I an understanding would authorize staff to come up with a draft document.
seems to me that we look at the draft document and if we want outside help on putting that together, we can.
it is difficult to debate the draft document without having a draft.
but we ought to be able to decide fairly soon whether we need outside expertise to put that document together or not.
what I'm unclear of is what is the deadline for submitting responses to the rfi.
I know the motion says that we will have in place whoever we select in c to help evaluate responses.

>> yes.

>> but we still need a deadline in the rfi so that those who wish to respond will know what the deadline is.
seems to me the deadline ought to be either June 30 or July 30.
but what we are saying is we won't do the evaluations of the responses until we have outside help.

>> correct so I would suggest a deadline response of the rfi of June 30.

>> that is the motion.
I second.
any more discussion?

>> judge, just want to be sure that what we discuss as far as the project manager, which is something that will come back, will be something that we can look at.

>> that is c.

>> the document that you are referring to.

>> right.

>> so all these, even the legal, and what Commissioner Huber is even referring to, all of that stuff will be intertwines into what we are saying as far as the document that comes back after the request.
I'm ready to vote.

>> there will always be questions.
I don't know that we ought to be comfortable doing nothing for the next 60 had ever 9--60-90 days.
seems to me the more questions, maybe that emphasizes the need for outside help from somebody with training and experience.
none of us ran on the platform that we would a new civil courthouse.
that has been an issue recently.
what you do is get professional help when you need it.
this gets us started in the right direction, I think.
anymore discussion on the motion?

>> the help external help we need is probably financial.

>> legal and financial and other stuff.

>> I think we out to have that and have the internal team put together.

>> we will go to the internal team next.
in just a minute if this motion passes.

>> I think it's a little too premature for a project manager.

>> and that is the reason I suggest the floor of expertise for this request for services should be the financial expertise to help us not only evaluate the rfi, but also the fundamental question of p3 versus design build construction manager at risk.
now, let's see what the internal team, which I'm hoping we will establish in the next item, will come back with as the scope.
but this motion says as a floor, this rfs will be for the financial expertise for those two questions.
it defers to another day regarding the scope of that rfs.

>> I think we ought to get the rfi on the street so that those interested will have two months and ten days to give us responses, and those responses ought to help us determine how to proceed.
it may be that we look at them and conclude a design build or traditional project is what we need, not the p3.
I can live with that.
seems to me that is how we get some of our basic questions answered.

>> okay.

>> Commissioner Huber?

>> I'd just like the say that we will be getting responses from the people who want to do business with us.
and they will be telling us what we want to hear.

>> I agree with you.
the rfi will be selling us rather than educating us.
all the more reason to get that outside expertise.
on parallel track and in place in time to evaluate those responses.
frankly, filter them appropriately for the court.

>> concerned with the speed we work with.

>> anymore discussion on the motion?
all in favor.
show commission erse Eckhardt, drives, yours frily vote favor.
against, Commissioners Gomez and Huber.
a, c and d, b, identify internal team.
do we want to do that now?

>> I would like too if we can.
I did provide this memo that is, there is no name on it because it is the work product of many folks.
but it is a notion that came for the not just about the civil courthouse project but many alternative financing mechanisms being proposed for many different things.
I thought it perhaps could be useful on the back side of the page, the proposal that the members of an ongoing task force could also be the very same for the civil justice courthouse.
it's very close to what the core team is currently.
it's not a huge heap from the core team currently.
one representative from pbo with expertise in finance, one in planning, one representative from fmd with expertise in construction negotiation and management, one renttive from tnr with expertise in park and transportation planning and construction management.
one representative from the county attorney's office with expertise in land use.
one from the county attorney's office with extis in contracts.
one representative from the purchasing agent and one representative there the auditor's office.
the only material change in the core team, in my understanding, is the inclusion of tnr.
the reason tnr is included in this proposal is because we will need a standing team if we have other proposals for alternative financing where there is an issue of shifting risk, say for the exposition center, for public improvement districts, for commercial and residential development.
there is a role for transportation and natural resources to play, particularly in light of their history with construction projects and public private partnerships in the transportation realm.

>> in view of that explanation, this is language sufficient?
do we need another posting?
it's a lot broader--

>> I agree.
I think we do need another posting for a charge to this group beyond the civil courthouse.
but I think this group is appropriate for the civil justice centers project as the core team.

>> the motion is to appoint this group to serve as b.

>> yes.

>> the internal team in b.

>> correct.
and I can bring a later agenda item.

>> second.

>> seconded by Commissioner Davis.
Commissioner Huber.

>> I just want to say that my experience in two and a half on this court is that we do no not have anyone in our facilities management project with the e expertise adequate for this civil course house.
I believe we need to go outside the court for that piece.

>> the b goes to the internal team.
but I do agree with you that we will need to augment the internal team with considerable external expertise.
but since b is just to identify the internal team, this is my proposal.

>> I don't agree with that as far as going outside.
I think we do have sufficient enough representatives here that work for Travis County.
I think the engineers and the architectural persons that reside here in Travis County, I think it's an integral part of this.
they know how to read plans and about facilities aspects.
I don't agree with you Commissioner.
I feel very strongly about the representation of our facilities management team here.
otherwise are we paying these people a salary if they can't do the job.

>> our team has never done a project like this.
we need someone who can represent us internally from that respect.

>> Commissioner, that does nootnot mean that they don't have the expertise or the knowledge to know what is going on.
this facilities management team of course has been involved in major projects.
in fact, they kind of overlooked some things over there and as we go through the process even at 700 lavaca.
I think they have expertise to sit there.
I guess when things come back and report to the court, whoever is sitting there, we need to have a representative from that department.
I think this department has knowledge and understanding of facilities.
I don't believe that.
I just respectfully disagree with you.

>> respectfully disagree.

>> anymore discussion of b?

>> judge Biscoe, we have had a subcommittee of the Commissioners court and we have also sort of had a subcommittee of civil judges.
could I just ask perhaps that we have a subcommittee of the court at least maybe two civil judges on our team, internal team to make sure they are coordinated with on the design of the courthouse?

>> I would suggest no.
and this is the reason.
I would suggest that that be left for another day.
this is the internal team that reports and has a direct report relationship to the Commissioners court.

>> okay.

>> that is not to say that there isn't absolutely a need for the judges to be involved and for us to establish a mechanism for the judge's involvement.
but I would suggest that involvement come after we have a project manager in place.
this team is not for that.
this team, I believe, is for us to look at the rfi, as the agenda team expresses, identify internal team to oversee the rfi process including evaluations of responses.
I think this goes to the folks who are direct reports to us.
although it does include the auditor and the purchasing agent and neither of y'all have a direct report relationship to the Commissioners court.
but I think that, I am 100 percent behind a robust mechanism for the judges' continued participation.
I just don't think the internal team reporting to the Commissioners court on the rfi is that.

>> did the judges go on the trip to look at these other buildings?

>> two them did.

>> two did.

>> three went the first time.
three went to brooklyn.
they were trying to get out of town, though.

>> I can't see why they can't be a part of it.
I mean, this is the end product of what they will be using.
just almost like building a house and then they tell you to move it and you had no, you know no say even though you are paying for it.

>> I'm suggesting that this is a group of a.
if you include the judges and their schedule, this group will never meet.

>> no, no, no.
in other words, I guess what I'm trying to say, I'm quite sure they have representatives.
when they have situations where they have to be someplace, they sometimes can get another judge maybe in the system.
I'm just saying I do in the want to exclude them out of the house that they will occupy.
just appears that they should be part of it.

>> I 100 percent agree they should be part of the process of us budding the courthouse.
this agenda item is an internal team to oversee the rfi process.

>> I understand that.

>> and that is its scope being discussed today.

>> all right.
so in other words, with the other item, there's a future item coming back.
of course, if it is a future item coming back for internal, not including the rf i.
so internal.

>> I promise you, I will bring an agenda item for--

>> because they--

>> next week or the week after.

>> I want to be sure the house we are constructing that they will occupy and use and provide the service, they should be a part of it.
it may be a different situation, but I want to be sure that it goes across to them properly.

>> you recommend within of these individuals chair the committee?

>> I did not.

>> probably a good idea.

>> we get somebody responsibility for coordinating, scheduling meetings, setting agenda, et cetera.

>> I'll tell you frankly, my hope is that the product of a request for services will result in an external addition to this team that will chair et for the purposes of the civil justice center.

>> may I be so bold?
belinda powell has been very involved in the master plan and all this.
I notice you have one representative from pbo and planning.
I'm not speaking for rodney, but she and I work really well together and I know she has done so much work on this.
we all might be coming back saying we need some help on coordinating and managing.

>> are you throwing belinda under the bus--

>> yes.

>> to be the chair of this group?

>> are you on this committee?
do you know?

>> (off microphone)

>> you plan to be on the dismee.

>> if you want me on, I will serve.

>> the idea was that we would defer to the managers of the various departments to populate the positions.
I feel confident that pbo, tnr, the purchasing office, county attorney, can identify their representatives.

>> let's say a pbo representative.

>> judge, there is another issue here.
even though we have pbo with expertise in finance, really the auditor probably ought to be the expertise in finance.
she presents to the bondage assist.
and based that.

>> (off microphone)

>> I think she ought to have a broader role.
based on her presentation, we got the aaa rating.
that is pretty important.

>> I wasn't going to volunteer her.

>> no, not to chair.
she needs to have a larger role.

>> she is on.

>> I know, but just one person.
whereas I know pbo does budget.
and I'm not questioning your financial ability.
but I think that the auditor certainly has a bigger--

>> she will have, I can assure you, Commissioner, she will have her office behind her.
I know diana warner has spent so much time on this.
even though we say one representative, my office will be supporting me, her office will be supporting here.
I hear what you are saying.

>> are any votes going to be taken on this committee for anything?
to recommend to court.

>> I would late for them to meet and not come up with recommendations.

>> we need our internal team.

>> the committee is not loaded, is it?

>> are you talking about eight or nine?
eight, I guess.
you hope they achieve consensus and come to court and basically have a strong consensus.
it's conceivable that there would be disagreement on some points.
hopefully not 4-4.

>> 4-4 brings it back to the court.

>> this is a starting point.
anymore discussion?

>> yeah,to.

>> yeah, I want to make sure, she included facilities, I want to be sure it's still there.

>> yes, facilities is still there.

>> anymore discussion?
all in favor of the motion.
show Commissioners Gomez, Eckhardt and yours truly voting in favor.
against, Commissioner Gomez and Commissioner Huber.
I suggest we move on.
we may need to come back this afternoon for the legislative item.
I don't see us rushing flew five minutes.

>> I serve at the pleasure of the court.

>> we you at 1:30.
8 is the one item we may be able do.

>> before we move off 20, I would suggest we have a standing monthly if not weekly agenda item from this internal team regarding this project.

>> beginning when?

>> work session may 5, I would say we have another may agenda item, at least a monthly.
mid month.

>> okay.

>> sounds good to me .
now, any questions about the healthcare district?
there is an annual report from the healthcare district.
questions about that?

>> no.

>> what if we just go ahead and seek the report this afternoon?
is that okay?
I understand you have afternoon commitments that keep you from coming back, right?

>> I can be here if you like.
I would be happy to.

>> there are no questions.
if you want to make a presentation, that is good.
if there are questions, any questions?

>> we can just move and accept the report.

>> we know you enjoy spending time with us.
but will gentlemen just see us next time.

>> thank you very much.

The Closed Caption log for this Commissioners Court agenda item is provided by Travis County Internet Services. Since this file is derived from the Closed Captions created during live cablecasts, there are occasional spelling and grammatical errors. This Closed Caption log is not an official record the Commissioners Court Meeting and cannot be relied on for official purposes. For official records please contact the County Clerk at (512) 854-4722.


Alphabetical index

AirCheck Texas


Colorado River
Corridor Plan

Commissioners Court

Next Agenda

Agenda Index

County Budget

County Departments

County Holidays

Civil Court Dockets

Criminal Court Dockets


Exposition Center

Health and Human Services

Inmate Search


Jury Duty

Law Library

Mailing Lists


Marriage Licenses



Probate Court

Purchasing Office

Tax Foreclosures

Travis County Television

Vehicle Emmissions/Inspections

Warrant Search

Last Modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 6:56 PM