Sunday, May 19th, 2019

You would never know Scrima and Henschel share the same office


I was just saying to my wife, the Lovely Doreen from Waukesha, how I felt sorry for Carol Papes who works for both City Administrator Ed Henschel and Mayor Jeff Scrima. It has to be annoying to be typing competing memos.

Mayor Jeff Scrima sent out a response to Henschel’s memo to Henschel and all the city employees. I’m going to ask the obvious question. Why can’t Scrima just ask Henschel, who is in the same office suite, “Hey Ed, can you explain to me how this all works again?”

Are Scrima’s people skills just really that bad? If they are, who thought they were doing him a favor encouraging him to run for public office, let alone re-election?

Or is Scrima just copying and pasting questions from ProHealth Care?

Here’s the response from Scrima to Henschel’s memo:

City Administrator Henschel,

Thank you for following up on my request to provide information to our employees.

This is a good start; however many of our employees still have further questions.

Since our Common Council has not approved the intergovernmental agreement for the proposed health clinic on the County government grounds, please answer the following questions for our employees at your earliest convenience.

1. Where are the cost savings specifically coming from?

2. Since the proposed clinic is “voluntary,” what are the financial implications to the city if all employees voluntarily choose not to use it?

3. What will be the out-of-pocket cost difference and financial implications for employees who use the clinic verses those employees who choose to go elsewhere for health services?

4. How will this (the out-of-pocket cost difference and financial implications for employees who use the clinic verses those employees who choose to go elsewhere for health services) change over time?

5. Can we include within the intergovernmental agreement an annual independent audit, with conditions that if this proposed clinic on the County government grounds loses more than 15% to 20% in a year more than the current pro forma “guarantees” suggests, then to dissolve it immediately?

6. Per Alderman Cummings referral and my request, have you provided the necessary information to ProHealth Care, and have you invited them to come in and present their detailed alternative proposal to our Human Resources Committee, Finance Committee, and Common Council?

7. Since ProHealth Care already serves approximately 80% of our employees, and since ProHealth Care offered to provide us the same quality health coverage they give their own employees at a cost savings equal to or greater than that of the proposed clinic, wouldn’t it be open-minded and prudent to have more substantive conversations with them about this, and invite our employees to hear about and ask questions on this alternative proposal as well?

Thank you.

I’m sure we’ll see a response to this, but let me address points 6 and 7. There was an RFP process, one in which the city was fully involved. The reason why you have an RFP process is to get each vendor’s best proposal and avoid exactly what is happening now, the mayor’s preferred vendor (and a GuitarTown donor, I might add) getting special treatment from the mayor’s office.

ProHealth Care did participate in the RFP process and they submitted the worst proposal. As in, it wasn’t even close to consideration. The “alternative proposal” was what they submitted. If the city starts playing favorites with vendors now, you are not going to get quality proposals going forward from vendors. Why would any vendor trust a city bid or RFP process if they don’t know if some other mayoral favorite is going to be blessed with some last-minute Scrima drama?

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