Municipal Services Committee Will Hear Tuesday from Former City Manager Cynthia Kurtz

Published : Monday, October 8, 2018 | 4:45 AM

Reports from Pasadena Water and Power take up much of the genda for Tuesday’s (October 9) regular meeting of the Pasadena City Council’s Municipal Services Committee, according to preliminary information released by the City.

Of four information items on the meeting’s agenda, three are PWP-related.

Former Pasadena City Manager and current Metropolitan Water District Board member Cynthia Kurtz kicks of the proceedings a water update for the Committee, the agenda shows.

Kurtz was City Manager for Pasadena for nearly 10 years, from March 1998 to January 2008. She started as the City’s Capital Projects Administrator and served as Public Works Director before being appointed as Pasadena’s first female city manager. She now represents Pasadena on the MWD board.

After Kurtz’s presentation, PWP will present to the committee the results of two organizational performance assessments conducted by separate consultants: one on Power, Finance and Administration, and the other on water operations, according to the agenda.

The organizational performance assessment on Power, Finance and Administration was conducted by PA Consulting Group in 2017. PWP received an overall average to above-average rating in customer service and satisfaction, performance and reliability, staffing levels and costs from this assessment, preliminary information showed.

The consultant, meanwhile, identified what it said were primary gaps in the performance, such as below-average technology investment, reactive operations, and maintenance and CIP planning, a compliance-driven safety culture, as well as a “burdensome” and costly procurement process.

The assessment on PWP’s water operations was conducted by Deloach and Associates from 2017 to 2018.

Among the significant findings: there is a gap in leadership in water operations, a strict chain of command, and compartmentalized organization. The results also pointed at a defensive staff morale and culture, a fear of making decisions, and micro-management of affairs, according to the firm.

On PWP’s infrastructure, the consultant noted that the current rate of replacement needs to be accelerated, and that mainline replacements are often interrupted by service requirements. The results also emphasized there is room for improving efficiency in PWP’s operations and technology with regard to water operations, among other steps.

Both assessments included a number of practical recommendations, which will be explained in detail during the meeting on Tuesday.

The Department of Public Works is also scheduled to make a presentation on the Citywide Pavement Inventory and Pavement Management Program (PMP) later on in the meeting.

An updated PMP is required of every city in California receiving funding under the State Transportation Improvement Program, in accordance with the California Streets and Highways Code, which also requires that all streets classified as arterial and collector streets to be re-inspected every two years.

Public Works is set to explain before the Municipal Services Committee how such streets are ranked based on a Pavement Condition Index (PCI), and how streets in Pasadena fare in the ranking, compared to other nearby cities.

Preliminary data from the department showed Pasadena’s streets were ranked a PCI of 63, which is rated Good in the index but is the lowest among adjacent cities including Los Angeles, and lower than the county’s rank.

The presentation will also include a walk to the sidewalk in front of the Pasadena City Hall for committee members to be able to view a demonstration of PMP equipment, the agenda showed.

The Municipal Services Committee meeting begins at 4 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, Room S249 at City Hall.

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