The MOU 17 JIMEE Committee Election

Update: In order to give people more time evaluate the candidates, balloting has been extended. Ballots are due back at the Local by 5PM on Friday, August 5.
Los Angeles engineers’ new contract calls for the creation of an important new Joint Initiative for Maximizing Engineering Efficiency (“JIMEE”) committee, whose job is to monitor city engineering contracts. The committee will review contracting out processes, identify inefficiencies and propose solutions to the Los Angeles City Council.
Meet the Candidates
The committee will be comprised of two representatives from MOU 8, two representatives from MOU 17, four representatives from management and one representative from the CAO’s office.
Four candidates are running for the two slots from MOU 17. Their statements are below.
Gus Malkoun
My name is Gus Malkoun, and I am a Licensed Civil Engineer / Project Manager I at the Bureau of Engineering. I have a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering / Construction Management from the University of Southern California. I have been working in the Bureaus of Engineering and Sanitation for the last 25 years. During my career I have saved the City millions of dollars on several projects due to my hard work and dedication. Also, I am very committed to give all MOU 17 members the same devotion to represent them and serve them properly.
I have been elected as a Bargaining Team member representing the MOU 17 members at the Bureau of Engineering for the past two years. Currently, I have been nominated to be a candidate to serve on the JIMEE Committee. The purpose of the JIMEE Committee is to scrutinize the City engineering contracts by keeping the engineering services in house rather than contracting them out.
By allowing projects to remain in the hands of this City’s hardworking employees, we are better equipped to demand better raises. I aim to cater to your interests by reviewing all engineering contracts. As a Project Manager, I have managed several multi-million dollar projects and I have acquired the tools necessary to utilize the City’s forces, so that the work can be done internally.
Despite current economic conditions, by using creative Strategic Planning, we are closer to achieving our desired cost of living adjustment. Thank you for your vote.
Fred Burnett
My name is Fred Burnett, and I am an Engineering Geologist with the Bureau of Engineering (BOE). I am running for the position to represent MOU 17 in the Joint Initiative for Maximizing Engineering Efficiency known as JIMEE Committee.  I have worked for the City the past 27 years with the BOE and General Services, Division of Standards. During my time with the City I have provided services to the BOE, Bureau of Sanitation, Street Services, City Attorney as well as the Harbor Department, Department of Airports, Department of Water and Power, and the County of Los Angeles. Also some of the projects that I have worked on required interaction with other agency’s within the City (Building and Safety) as well as outside agency’s (Regional Water Quality Control Board and EPA).  I have assisted with permits for underground construction with the MTA and County Sanitation.  I am the best qualified to represent MOU 17 for the JIMEE because I have this broad experience with other agency’s within the City and I believe that the City can become more efficient in coordinating professional services citywide. We can improve the use, administration, and oversight of engineering contracts.  This will result in savings to the City and allow employees to gain experience from innovations working through this committee. Our professions should be providing input utilizing their experience when preparing engineering contracts with the intent of cost effectiveness.  If we can document savings then when the re-opener occurs our MOU will be in better shape to propose a better contract for the future.
Michael Simpson
I have been with the City for a little over 25 years and have performed engineering professional services in many different Departments and Bureaus. With the current fiscal condition of the City I plan to work on the Committee of the Joint Initiative for Maximizing Engineering Efficiency to not only bring more work to the City workforce, but also to create a culture for, executives, General Managers to work among Departments to get needed engineering professional services accomplished. I have had success early in my career in keeping engineering services with City employees by leading the implementation of Strong Project Management in the Bureau of Engineering (BOE) and creating a team of interns and professionals to perform street design elements for back log work. In both cases of leading Project Management and Street design if I didn’t act more than likely this work will have been contracted to consultants. Strong Project management gave BOE the structure, tools and knowledge to serve as a consultant to other Departments to deliver projects; and kept large scale design and construction projects in house for City employees.   I plan to serve on this committee and make contracting out technical services an uncomfortable and unreasonable option for the City.   Please sign the petition to endorse me to serve on this joint committee to gain efficiency and, most importantly, to keep more work inside for us to perform.
Farsheed80.jpgFarsheed Farhang
Dear Colleagues: Our current MOU is flawed in one important way. It does not conform to the concept prescribed by our City leaders themselves, the so-called “shared sacrifice.”  Our membership made a larger share of sacrifice than any other due to the circumstances we were in. The fact that our former Association’s leadership chose not to join the Coalition, and that our current union’s leadership who had just stricken the Coalition’s deal and was perhaps feeling a measure of indebtedness to management, did not help either.
Recognizing this widened disparity, the re-opener clause was included with our MOU to identify and implement cost-saving measures and use part of the savings to address this disparity. We must make sure that this fact is not lost on anybody, not on management, not on the Coalition, not on SEIU.
During nearly three decades in the Bureaus of Engineering and Sanitation, I managed more than 40 million dollars in engineering contracts in a lead or support role and learned where the pitfalls and opportunity for cost savings are.  As you probably have experienced yourself, I always found our efforts to address them to be difficult. Now for the first time I feel that through this committee our efforts can be institutionalized.
I am currently a member of our bargaining team. I hope you will give me the privilege to continue to be your negotiator on this committee as well.  I pledge to be your independent voice and not beholden to anyone else.
Come Watch the Vote Count
As always, members are welcome to watch the vote count, which will take place at Local 721 on August 5 at 5PM.
If you have any questions, please contact Paul Kim at or (213) 738-8427.