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City Council Report


City Council Meeting: December 6, 2011

Agenda Item: 3-E  

To:               Mayor and City Council 

From:           Martin Pastucha, Director of Public Works

Subject:        Professional Services Agreement for Phase II of Santa Monica Airport Visioning Process



Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute a professional services agreement with Moore Iacofano Goltsman, Inc. (MIG), a California-based company, in an amount not to exceed $148,280 to design, facilitate and manage Phase II of the Santa Monica Airport Visioning Process and train City staff on the facilitation process.


Executive Summary

On October 4, 2011, Council directed staff to move forward with Phase II of the comprehensive three-phase public process regarding the future of the Santa Monica Airport Campus.  Phase II will engage the public in an open and transparent dialogue through the use of community discussion groups to gather and record community comments and ideas in formulating, discussing, and prioritizing potential policies and actions in advance of Phase III.  MIG is recommended for the design, facilitation and management of this Phase II process at a cost not to exceed $148,280.  In addition, as a part of this agreement, MIG would provide training to City staff to assist with the facilitation of the community discussion groups, establishing a well-trained cohort of City facilitators, who would serve as a resource going forward.



The City has embarked on a rigorous three-phase public process regarding the future of the Santa Monica Airport Campus.  On October 4, 2011, Council directed staff to move forward with Phase II as proposed.  During this phase an extensive program of community discussion groups would be conducted from January to March 2012 at locations throughout the city to maximize accessibility.  Staff recommends partnering with MIG, a planning, design, communications, and management firm, to lead the facilitation of the community discussion groups to engage the community in a dialogue about the future of the Santa Monica Airport.  MIG has developed a unique facilitation model called “Meeting of the Minds” that blends social psychology with dynamic visualization to facilitate groups, manage conflict, and reach agreement on vision and direction.


Additionally, as part of a Citywide staff development effort, MIG would provide training of its specialized facilitator methods and techniques to 24 City staff members who would assist with the facilitation of the community discussion groups. These City staff members would gain hands-on experience and be able to apply their newly acquired skills to future projects to improve communication and problem solving.  Staff would also have the opportunity to witness a complex community process unfold.  At the conclusion of the community discussion groups, MIG and staff participants would debrief about the process.


The community discussion group format, as developed by MIG, provides the public the necessary time, resources, and fullest opportunity to participate productively in an informed and focused dialogue with the objective of ensuring that each participant-specific recommendation is recorded.  These meetings would encourage a broad range of participants to fully engage in the public process by seeking to include in the mix neighborhood, community and civic groups, interested organizations, the business community, and members of City Boards and Commissions.  The community would also be informed through a designated website that would provide all the Phase I consultant presentations, informational materials provided to the discussion groups, and the reports from the discussion group meetings.


Meetings would be scheduled during January, February and March of 2012 at various dates, times, and locations to ensure all interested members of the public have the opportunity to participate. Each community discussion group would meet for two hours and consist of approximately 8 to 12 participants.  To ensure a maximum mix of participants and varying points of view, each interested individual would be able to participate in only one session, at a time and location of his or her choosing.  Community members interested in registering for a community discussion group would be able to do so online via a link on the City’s homepage.  For questions or to register by phone, the public can contact the Public Works Department at (310) 458-8221.


Consultant Selection

The City Manager has exercised his authority to identify a firm that is uniquely qualified to assist the City with the crucial task of providing meaningful guidance on the Airport public process and its relationship to the community.  MIG is recommended to undertake the comprehensive effort to design, facilitate, and manage the Phase II public engagement process.  Since the early 1980s, MIG has focused on planning, designing, and sustaining environments that support human development.  The firm embraces inclusivity and encourages community and stakeholder interaction as experienced on other City projects including the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) process that recently concluded.


MIG designs and implements multi-leveled, well-documented involvement processes aimed at increasing public confidence in decision-making.  With more than 25 years of expertise and experience, MIG’s community outreach process focuses on developing common objectives and providing a full range of successful strategies for achieving those objectives.


Financial Impacts & Budget Actions

The contract amount to be awarded to MIG is $148,280.  Funds are included in the FY2011-12 budget at account 33431.555060.


Prepared by: Susan Cline, Assistant Director of Public Works





Forwarded to Council:






Martin Pastucha

Director of Public Works


Rod Gould

City Manager