Refocus on budget basics for Burlingame |

Refocus on budget basics for Burlingame

Dear Editor:

There seems to be an increasing lack of focus on the real issue facing us in this project. The real issue and objective is: How do we deliver much needed affordable housing at Burlingame at an acceptable cost?

The experience at Burlingame should be a “lessons learned” exercise in furtherance of that real objective. How were costs controlled ” or not? How was the project designed, built and managed? How was the project presented to the public? Was that presentation fair and accurate? What can we do in the future to not repeat mistakes of the past as experienced in BG I?

This is not rocket science. The first order of business is to present a comprehensive list of all budgeted (or forecast or expected) costs: land, infrastructure, design, engineering, building construction, landscaping, etc. Then do a parallel column of the actual costs incurred. Then do a third column of the variances between actual and expected costs, together with an explanation of those variances.

That simple exercise allows us to understand the variances, how/why they occurred and, thus, the “lessons learned” from BG I. That understanding will allow us to make changes as needed as we proceed to BG II and III. And, of course, it will substantiate the need for a bond issue and assure the public that the bond funds will be well managed.

Let’s get focused here and get on with it.

James DeFrancia


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