Deloitte Consulting won a $20 million deal to run San Diego’s Get It Done app.
Get it lobbied
Deloitte Consulting — which won a $20 million deal to run San Diego’s Get It Done program thanks to a controversial 5-4 city council vote last year and is seeking more work — has been providing free services to new San Diego mayor Todd Gloria.
New San Diego mayor Todd Gloria is getting the quid pro quo going early.
“Deloitte provided executive coaching services for [Gloria’s] successful Mayoral transition,” per a list of payments made at Gloria’s behest posted online by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission. Before becoming mayor, Gloria was a member of the state Assembly, thus requiring the full disclosure. According to the filing, required under the state’s so-called behesting disclosure laws, Deloitte’s complimentary November services, about which the listing gives no details, were valued at $10,000.
Deloitte got the first two-year Get it Done contract in July 2018, according to a June 30, 2020 council resolution granting the company a new two-year agreement with three optional one-year extensions. Under the arrangement, Deloitte will collect total payments not to exceed $20,480,337. Those voting in favor of the deal were Democrats Jennifer Campbell and Chris Ward, joined by Republicans Chris Cate and Scott Sherman, and ex-Republican Mark Kersey. Barbara Bry, Monica Montgomery, Vivian Moreno, and Georgette Gomez, all Democrats, voted against the contract.
A sketchy disclosure statement filed by Deloitte with the San Diego city clerk’s office on January 7 of this year says the company is still lobbying the mayor and council regarding sales of further “consulting services to government.” Listed as Deloitte’s lobbyist is Shawn VanDiver, a Gloria backer who works for Deloitte as a Client Relationship Executive, according to his LinkedIn profile. VanDiver’s wife, Stefanie Benvenuto, vice president of public affairs at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, is another Gloria backer. She has been a registered city lobbyist for the group, per disclosure filings. VanDiver, identified on campaign filings as a senior manager for Deloitte, gave a total of $1250 to Gloria’s mayoral campaign in 2019 and 2020. VanDiver, seeking the Get it Done deal, contacted city council Democrat Ward during the second quarter of last year, records show. VanDiver also met with Cate and Kersey. All three would up voting for the proposal... Francis Barraza, ex-deputy chief of staff for community engagement under ex-mayor Kevin Faulconer, was last year paid $1000 to $10,000 by Meridian Pacific, a Sacramento- based Republican political consulting outfit, according to Barraza’s leaving-office statement, dated January 11. “Meridian is a full-service strategy firm specializing in political and public affairs campaigns,” says the company’s website.
Airport artist in residence Margaret Noble, perhaps seeking for a “space to think and induce calmness.”
Covid-19 performance art
Besieged by the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 was not a good year for San Diego International Airport, forcing airport performing artist in residence Margaret Noble to change her act from live in-terminal events to those of the smartphone kind. “Her initial proposal for the Residency is to engage the San Diego International Airport’s unique spatial atmosphere with a series of ambient sound art concerts inspired by Brian Eno’s concept album Music for Airports,” said an October 8, 2019 staff report. “Through a casual and inviting sitting lounge, she wants to provide airport patrons a ‘sonic retreat’ in the midst of their journeys. This would be a ‘space to think and induce calmness.’”
But the deadly virus changed the plan. “Because of lockdowns and safety restrictions implemented for travelers, those in the airport needed an art experience they could engage with easily in isolation,” writes Noble on her website. “With this in mind, I designed a series of interactive visual music works to offer travelers a reflective and playful escape into light, color, and sound on their personal devices.” Users, including the currently reduced number of passengers making their way through the ghostly terminals, can touch their phone screens to interact with abstract shapes set to music.
Noble got $15,000 over five months of her creative services, per an October 2019 memo. Meanwhile, airport honchos have been advertising for a round of pricier art projects, ranging from $385,000 to adorn a “Family Play Area” to $2.1 million for Airport Gateway Artwork. In-between projects include a Recomposure Area Artwork at $376,000, Outdoor Plaza Artwork for $520,000, and Vertical Ticketing Artwork at $640,000. “The Artist selected for each Project will collaborate closely with the Authority’s Design-Build Team throughout the design, construction, and installation process,” says the notice. “The Artist can submit on one or more Projects, however, no Artist will be selected for multiple Projects.”
— Matt Potter (@sdmattpotter)
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