Thursday, February 7, 2013

BCS Presentation on Prop 39 offer

I run a professional services practice in my day job, so I end up negotiating a lot of agreements with clients.  Typically there's a Professional Services Agreement, and a series of Statements of Work that fit under the agreement.  As in any business, we want to have a long term relationship with our clients.

Occasionally when we start the negotiating process, it becomes clear that the parties have very different expectations.  At that point, we have a lot of ground to cover.  If I start lobbing back contract redlines with statements like "you guys are crazy, you don't know what you're talking about", what are the chances that I'm going to come to an agreement with the client?  Even if I do, what are the chances that the next negotiation is going to go well?

This past week, BCS had a Board meeting and they discussed the Prop 39 offer. I've attached the slides presented by one of their Board members, Janet Medlin.  I'm disappointed in the tone of this document.  Frankly, it reads like pre-litigation notes much more than any sort of constructive dialogue.  If someone is genuine in their desire to negotiate, and in a desire to foster better relations, they would moderate what they say.  This document reflects no such moderation.
I have attached the document exactly as I received it from BCS.  The red font, etc. are entirely theirs.

link to BCS presentation

This stands is stark contrast to the pleas from other BCS Board members for constructive discussions.  However, the LASD Board has to deal with both ends of this spectrum.  To those who argue in favor of increased engagement, a gentle reminder that the LASD Board has to deal with this type of discourse also.  Unless this faction of the BCS board can be reigned in, I have little hope for any sort of constructive engagement outside of the courtroom.

In case it needs to be clarified- changing the text of the presentation isn't enough.  What we say is just as important, and it is critical that the entire dialogue be more civil.  There is a recording of the meeting that I'll try to get to post here also.