The agenda for the 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30 City Council virtual work session lists an “update” on the city’s Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) program.

However, the presentation which was posted on Wednesday, Sept. 29 is not an “update” at all.

The report mainly covers what the MWBE program is and how it operates.

The report begins with information about the disparity study which provides the legal justification for the city to operate a program that discriminates based on race and gender.

The report concludes with copies of the forms and affidavits that contractors are required to fill out to comply with the MWBE program. 

The City Council is supposed to establish policies and the city manager one of the two city employees who report directly to the City Council is supposed to carry out those policies.

City councilmembers often state that it is not their job to “micro-manage” city departments.  It would be difficult to find a better example of micro-managing than to have the City Council discuss the information required on forms and affidavits to be filled out by contractors bidding on a city construction project.

A department update usually covers services the department has provided and problems it foresees.  An update from the Water Resources Department does not cover the size of the pipes that deliver water the water treatment plants or how often filters are replaced.

The “update” goes into detail about the “Goal Setting Committee” and the process the committee follows to establish the MWBE goals for projects.

It also lists the forms and affidavits that contractors are required to submit to comply with the MWBE program and how a contractor documents a “good faith effort” was made if the goals are not met.

If councilmembers were confused about what information was required on “Affidavit F” versus the information required on “Affidavit C” their questions will be answered in this “update.”

 However, if councilmembers are interested in the progress of the MWBE program and how the additional city resources have affected the desired outcomes, that information is not covered in the “update.”