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Spending Like No Tomorrow

Another contractor picking up some sweet change from the City’s Centre City Development Corporation is the Portland, Oregon landscape architectural firm of Walker Macy, designer of that city’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, which local politicos lust to emulate on the site of the old Robinson’s building at Horton Plaza.

A cool $1,199,647 will be paid to the firm. Of course, this being a project favored by the city hall powers that be, the use of a well-connected local public relations agency and political consultant is also provided for.

This time it’s Marston & Marston, the firm owned by longtime City lobbyist, GOP stalwart, and onetime assemblyman Jeff Marston and wife Myrna. According to Centre City Development’s April agreement with Walker Macy, “The Corporation may from time to time authorize Consultant…to perform additional services related to the Project that are outside the ‘Scope of Services.’ ” The contract adds, “Consultant shall not be compensated for any services rendered that are outside the scope of services without a written amendment to this Agreement.”

Under the deal, Marston & Marston, which is among 14 firms on the contract’s list of out-of-scope service providers, would be paid $150 an hour each for the services of a “Strategic political counsel” and “Community outreach specialist — project liaison.” A “project supervisor” would make $100 hourly, and “Project manager; strategic planning and design” would fetch only $80. Marston & Marston isn’t the only one to get in on the potential gravy train. The services of art consultant Gail Goldman, who departed as head of the City’s public arts program in 2000, are listed at $165 an hour. Myrna Marston confirmed that her firm was now working on the project, adding that the company’s contract was with Macy Walker. Centre City Development spokeswoman Michelle Gannon said this week that the work being done by Marston currently falls within the scope of the contract and will not result in additional cost.

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Another contractor picking up some sweet change from the City’s Centre City Development Corporation is the Portland, Oregon landscape architectural firm of Walker Macy, designer of that city’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, which local politicos lust to emulate on the site of the old Robinson’s building at Horton Plaza.

A cool $1,199,647 will be paid to the firm. Of course, this being a project favored by the city hall powers that be, the use of a well-connected local public relations agency and political consultant is also provided for.

This time it’s Marston & Marston, the firm owned by longtime City lobbyist, GOP stalwart, and onetime assemblyman Jeff Marston and wife Myrna. According to Centre City Development’s April agreement with Walker Macy, “The Corporation may from time to time authorize Consultant…to perform additional services related to the Project that are outside the ‘Scope of Services.’ ” The contract adds, “Consultant shall not be compensated for any services rendered that are outside the scope of services without a written amendment to this Agreement.”

Under the deal, Marston & Marston, which is among 14 firms on the contract’s list of out-of-scope service providers, would be paid $150 an hour each for the services of a “Strategic political counsel” and “Community outreach specialist — project liaison.” A “project supervisor” would make $100 hourly, and “Project manager; strategic planning and design” would fetch only $80. Marston & Marston isn’t the only one to get in on the potential gravy train. The services of art consultant Gail Goldman, who departed as head of the City’s public arts program in 2000, are listed at $165 an hour. Myrna Marston confirmed that her firm was now working on the project, adding that the company’s contract was with Macy Walker. Centre City Development spokeswoman Michelle Gannon said this week that the work being done by Marston currently falls within the scope of the contract and will not result in additional cost.

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