On November 2, Doug Logan, who was just asked to resign as Director of Special Initiatives on chronic homeless, presented to the City Commission the idea that not a single agency in our community has stepped up to say that they will focus solely on the chronic homeless. Logan goes on to argue that the only answer to solving the city’s homeless problem is a new non-profit, named NEWCO. Logan spent nearly an hour, with the help of City Manager Tom Barwin, pleading the case of why the commission should get behind this “self-starter.”
Commissioner Susan Chapman quickly shot off several questions to Mr. Logan: “Who’s going to write the bi-laws? Who’s going to write the articles of incorporation? Who’s going to write the 501-C3? Who’s going to recruit the board of directors?” And for every question, Mr. Logan responded, “They will.” That is until she asked who “they” were. It was then that Mr. Logan refused to name the individuals who he had been working with for the past several months, claiming that they asked to be anonymous.
Commissioner Shelli Eddie asked Mr. Logan about oversight, for which Mr. Logan replied, “There will be no oversight.” And then he went on to explain why. It was at the end of that meeting that Mr. Barwin asked the commission for a decision for the new 501c3, NEWCO. To which Mayor Willie Shaw noted Commission consensus for staff not to take any action regarding NEWCO at this time according to the minutes.
What Mr. Logan and Mr. Barwin did not tell the city commission is that they have been working for months on this project and were much further along than they let on. In a memo marked confidential and dated Aug. 17, Mr. Logan detailed a conversation that he had with Mr. Barwin. Using initial DL for Doug Logan and TB for Tom Barwin, he stated among many points: “DL will assume supervision and direction of the HOT Teams. They will be housed in the Federal Building. TB will ‘square’ this move with Chief DiPino” (an authority that Barwin does not have).
“TB has suggested that DL’s activities developing relationships and trust with existing stakeholders and other constituencies are not a priority.”
“Prior to this intervention regimen, TB will provide DL with a written, enforceable acknowledgement that DL will be held personally harmless for these activities on behalf of the City. This includes payment for a defense, including at law, of DL’s choice” (also an authority that Mr. Barwin does not have).
A later document shows that NEWCO had been given a new name. It is called “Take Me Home” and listed the founding board of directors. People like former Commissioner Eileen Normile, businessman Jim Doyle, and, yes, even Doug Logan appear on that list. The same man who was hired only a few months before by Mr. Barwin was using the time that he was being paid by the city to create his next job in the private sector.
On Nov. 3, ignoring the commission’s direction, Mr. Logan continued on their project, Home Again. Making appointments, meeting with their lawyer—the emails, phone calls and text messages never stopped. In a city email requesting a logo from a graphic artist, Logan boasts, “I am forming a new non-profit.”
Tom Barwin has been the city manager for over four years. And although our city charter requires an annual performance review, it appears that Mr. Barwin has had none. And under Mr. Barwin’s supervision is an employee who is working against the direction of the commission with what appears to be Mr. Barwin’s blessing. Maybe it’s because Barwin has no fear of a review that he feels that he can act on his own accord. Either treat him like city employee or give him a seat at the table. At least this way we will know who we are dealing with.