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To consult or not to consult

Former Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich, 74, slams the use of pricey municipal consultants in his new book The Division of Light and Power. In it he tells the tale of the troubled public utility he refused to sell/privatize back in the day when he was, at the age of 31, the youngest Mayor of a major US city.

"When money is being lost or the rates keep going up it means something is wrong. And that consultants report...why do you need a consultant in the first place to tell you how to run an electric system? I mean, that is part of what the responsibilities are managing a city government."

It is true that municipalities rely heavily on consultants for everything from engineering to human resources to strategic planning and governance advice. However, knowing when to bring in a consultant, the purpose and expected outcome, and the type of consultant you need is as important as following best practices in procurement and selecting the best consultant or firm for the job.

Click here for the four main pitfalls for local governments seeking to bring in a consultant (originally published in Municipal World magazine).


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