Friday, February 14, 2014
Brown Wants a $715,200 "Business Consultant"
Because the contract exceeds $100,000, it must be approved by County Council. It is also a "sole source" contract, meaning that no proposals from other consultants were actively sought.
Under the proposed contract, Zosky will be paid $216,000 for the first year (Feb. 20 to Dec. 31)for three days of work per week. In years two, three and four, she shall be paid $166,400 annually for what amounts to two days per week.
That translates to $200 per hour.
In her February 11 proposal to Brown, Zosky cites what she calls "significant government experience," adding that she specializes in "government sector work." She indicates that she and "[h]er team focuses on working with government at all levels within the state ... ."
But her company, Four-Score, LLC, was just formed on January 23, according to documents on file with the state corporation bureau. The corporation business address is actually her residence in Lower Macungie Township. The company has no web page.
Zosky's resume reveals that most of her professional career has been devoted to private sector clients, including Intel, Mack Truck and Associated Merchandising Corporation.
The only evidence of direct involvement in local government is her work as "chief turnaround officer" at what she refers to as a "local school district."
That local school district is Allentown. It does not appear to have turned around. Allentown School District's most recent proposed budget includes a $10.6 million shortfall.
Zosky resigned after about a year on the job. According to a Morning Call account, she "clashed with [the] central office over access to grant funds and personnel decisions."
In Allentown, Zosky also served in 2009 on a private sector "blue ribbon committee" charged with the responsibility of recommending financial improvements. Mayor Edwin Pawlowski was forced to reject many recommendations as unfeasible in the public sector
Zosky did serve as a Lower Macungie Commissioner for two years, but was appointed to the position. She was also an unsuccessful applicant to a vacancy on the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners in 2010.
Currently, Zosky is Chairman of the RenewLV, which was established by the Lehigh Valley Partnership to focus on regional cooperation and urban revitalization. Executive John Brown was a fellow board member at RenewLV before his election.
She is also a "strategy and execution executive" at Compass Point, a business management consulting firm headed by Tom Garrity. Garrity also chairs the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, which is funded in large part by hotel taxes levied by both Lehigh and Northampton County. Compass Point handles the administrative and compliance aspects of the Allentown's controversial NIZ. Zosky claims she leads that effort, which consists of collecting and accounting for the taxes.
According to the terms of the proposed contract, Zosky will assist in the implementation of a county-wide reporting dashboard that will be used to track capital projects and other county programs in real time. This dashboard has already been mentioned both by Executive John Brown and Council member Hayden Phillips in previous Council meetings.
Government agencies are increasingly adopting dashboards for a wide variety of applications, from cost control to emergency preparedness.
No explanation was provided for why no other business consultants, who may have experience in implementing government dashboards, were considered.
This proposal will be reviewed by Council's Finance Committee on February 19.
Updated 4:55 pm: Provided with a copy of this story, Zosky states there are some inaccuracies, which she will clarify when she appears before Council's Finance Committee on Wednesday.