The private, Fort Lauderdale-base consulting firm Calvin, Giordano & Associates plays a big role in providing essential government services in Broward County. As the Juice has reported, the firm has a monopoly in the City of West Park -- doing everything from planning and engineering to running the city website -- and recently took over building inspection duties for Broward's second-largest city, Pembroke Pines.
Company President Dennis Giordano boasts that the firm "pioneered" local government privatization. He says it helps small municipalities provide services they couldn't otherwise afford, thanks to the recession and rising pension and health care costs.
"This year our business has grown, because we've got a good model, a good business model," he says.
But some critics worry about how much those services cost -- for
example, a Calvin, Giordano planning associate charges $160 an hour to
attend a meeting.
Also, questions have arisen about how objective firm employees can be when inspecting projects that could drum up more business for them, since they also do tons of road-construction and engineering work in South Florida.
To illustrate how wide Calvin, Giordano's reach is, here's a rough list, culled from public records and the firm's news releases, of the local municipalities and government agencies where the firm has recently done business. According to Giordano, the total is about 30 government entities in Florida and Georgia:
West Palm Beach
South Broward Hosital District
FDOT (including the $12 million, I-595 express lanes project)
South Broward Drainage District
North Miami Beach