RFP - Assessment and Strategic Organizational Design Services to Inform Rochester¡¯s Neighborhood Service Centers (NSCs)

Agency: City of Rochester
State: New York
Type of Government: State & Local
NAICS Category:
  • 541611 - Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services
Posted Date: Mar 8, 2024
Due Date: Apr 5, 2024
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RFP - Assessment and Strategic Organizational Design Services to Inform Rochester’s Neighborhood Service Centers (NSCs)

The City of Rochester (“City”) is seeking proposals from qualified Respondents (“Respondent(s)”) to perform an assessment and develop a strategic organizational design plan to best position the City’s Neighborhood Service Centers (“NSCs”) for positive community impact and sustainable operations well into the 21st century (the “Project”). The primary goals of this Project are to:

  • Better understand the current state of NSC responsibilities, operations, and resources;
  • Analyze if/how NSCs align, support, or duplicate existing City and external community agency functions with overlapping goals and service offerings;
  • Assess if the NSCs are well positioned to provide the services they are responsible for providing with their current resources, staffing structure, and management chain;
  • Better understand the customer base of the NSCs – who uses the physical location, who calls, how customers become aware of and/or are guided to the NSCs, how they make decisions about who to call (NSC vs 211, 311, or other entities), etc.;
  • Plan for how to strengthen NSC capacity to foster stronger social connections and support asset-driven civic engagement and collective action of neighbors within their neighborhoods;
  • Recommend if/how the NSCs’ future operations and organizational structure should be aligned with the City’s overarching strategy to transition from legacy software and service delivery models to 21 st Century government, with enterprise “software as a service” solutions and self-service capabilities;
  • Gather resident and stakeholder input – including existing, but also potential future, NSC customers regarding the current and desired future state of NSCs; and
  • Develop a strategic organizational design plan to align NSCs within the broader ecosystem of City and external community agency efforts to connect residents with needed and desired services and other resources.

The City seeks Respondents with significant experience in organizational design/reviews, local government finance/operations, strategic planning, process improvement/reengineering, managing technology and data integration with government and community services/operations, performance management, change management, and/or human centered design to lead this effort. The City is particularly interested in Respondents with knowledge (individually or as part of a team) of:

  • Best practices in integrating digital tools, data, technology, process improvement, and human centered design principles into organizational planning and change management for local governments;
  • How peer local governments to Rochester successfully organize and resource their staff teams that support resolution of community/constituent complaints, service intake and referrals, community engagement, and neighborhood building/empowerment; and
  • Rochester’s unique context and ecosystem of City teams and community agencies tasked with community/constituent complaint intake and resolution, service referrals and navigation, community engagement, and neighborhood building/empowerment efforts.

Click here to view the full RFP >>


Click the following links to access Exhibits noted in the RFP:

Pre-Proposal Virtual Conference

In order to provide Respondents with an opportunity to ask questions, clarify the RFP and Project opportunity, and meet other Respondents who may be interested in joining a team, a Pre-Proposal Virtual Conference will be held via Zoom on March 15, 2024 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

There is no requirement to attend the pre-Proposal virtual conference and no obligation by the City to provide information from the conference to parties who fail to attend, but a recording of the session will be made available on this webpage.

Communication and Questions

All communications by parties who have indicated an intent to submit or have submitted a Proposal in response to this RFP, including any questions or requests for clarifications, submission of the Proposal, requests for status updates about the Proposal selection process, and any other inquiries whatsoever concerning this RFP shall be sent, in writing by e-mail to Elizabeth.Murphy@CityofRochester.Gov .

Written questions that are submitted by no later than 5:00 p.m. March 15, 2024 will be summarized and answered in writing and posted to this webpage.

No contact is permitted with any other City staff member with regard to this RFP during the RFP process unless specifically authorized in writing. Prohibited contact may be grounds for disqualification.

Submission Deadline

Digital proposals must be received by the City no later than 11:59 p.m. on April 5, 2024. Respondents may attach their Proposal file/s directly to the email submission or include a link to a file sharing platform if files are too large for email attachments. Email submittals should be directed to: Elizabeth.Murphy@CityofRochester.Gov



Attachment Preview

City of Rochester
Request for Proposals
Assessment and Strategic Organizational Design Services to
Inform Rochester’s Neighborhood Service Centers (NSCs)
March 8, 2024
Proposals to be received by 11:59 p.m. on April 5, 2024
Submit Proposals Electronically to:
Elizabeth Murphy, Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives
City of Rochester, Department of Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD)
Elizabeth.Murphy@CityofRochester.Gov
0
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
The City of Rochester (“City”) is seeking proposals from qualified Respondents (“Respondent(s)”) to perform
an assessment and develop a strategic organizational design plan to best position the City’s Neighborhood
Service Centers (“NSCs”) for positive community impact and sustainable operations well into the 21st Century
(the “Project”). The primary goals of this Project are to:
Better understand the current state of NSC responsibilities, operations, and resources;
Analyze if/how NSCs align, support, or duplicate existing City and external community agency
functions with overlapping goals and service offerings;
Assess if the NSCs are well positioned to provide the services they are responsible for providing with
their current resources, staffing structure, and management chain;
Better understand the customer base of the NSCs who uses the physical location, who calls, how
customers become aware of and/or are guided to the NSCs, how they make decisions about who to
call (NSC vs 211, 311, or other entities), etc.;
Plan for how to strengthen NSC capacity to foster stronger social connections and support asset-
driven civic engagement and collective action of neighbors within their neighborhoods;
Recommend if/how the NSCs’ future operations and organizational structure should be aligned with
the City’s overarching strategy to transition from legacy software and service delivery models to 21st
Century government, with enterprise “software as a service” solutions and self-service capabilities;
Gather resident and stakeholder input including existing, but also potential future, NSC customers
regarding the current and desired future state of NSCs; and
Develop a strategic organizational design plan to align NSCs within the broader ecosystem of City and
external community agency efforts to connect residents with needed and desired services and other
resources.
The City seeks Respondents with significant experience in organizational design/reviews, local government
finance/operations, strategic planning, process improvement/reengineering, managing technology and data
integration with government and community services/operations, performance management, change
management, and/or human centered design to lead this effort. The City is particularly interested in
Respondents with knowledge (individually or as part of a team) of:
Best practices in integrating digital tools, data, technology, process improvement, and human
centered design principles into organizational planning and change management for local
governments;
How peer local governments to Rochester successfully organize and resource their staff teams that
support resolution of community/constituent complaints, service intake and referrals, community
engagement, and neighborhood building/empowerment; and
Rochester’s unique context and ecosystem of City teams and community agencies tasked with
community/constituent complaint intake and resolution, service referrals and navigation, community
engagement, and neighborhood building/empowerment efforts.
1
BACKGROUND
Rochester, New York is a mid-sized city of approximately
210,000 located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in
western New York. From a peak of about 332,000 residents
in the late 1950s, the city has lost more than one-third of its
population and experienced significant losses to its
employment and commercial base in recent decades with
the decline of former “Big 3” employers (Kodak, Xerox,
Bausch & Lomb) and the suburbanization of commercial
uses. These trends have had profound impacts on
employment, opportunity, accessibility, and health for city
residents. That population decline has recently turned a
corner, as the 2020 Census revealed that the city grew in
population for the first time since 1950. Today, Rochester is
a community with significant challenges, yet also
tremendous assets. City leadership and staff are working to
support growth and revitalization as key goals, and to pursue
them through equitable development and strategies that
foster health, resilience, and shared prosperity.
Rochester’s Neighborhood Service Centers (NSCs) were first created as Neighborhood Empowerment Team
(“NET”) Offices in 1997 as part of the City’s nationally recognized “Neighbors Building Neighborhoods” (NBN)
program. NBN was a community organizing and collaborative planning initiative that established ten “sector”
geographies across the City and provided ongoing City staff support to engage residents and neighborhood
leaders in developing Sector Plans for these areas. NET Offices were established to serve each of the sectors
and were intended to bring City government closer to residents physically embedding staff in
neighborhoods to create formalized spaces to implement NBN Sector Plans through joint problem solving,
and organizing collective action to address quality of life issues like property inspections, public safety,
nuisance abatement, etc. The idea was to make government more knowledgeable of and responsive to
community needs, and to empower residents and neighborhood organizations to become more effective at
partnering with the City to address concerns, and build stronger, more engaged and active community in
their neighborhoods.
Over time with staff and leadership turnover, changes in City Administrations, and the 2008 economic
downturn the NBN program evolved, and was ultimately discontinued. In 2009, the City adopted a new
model through which to conduct neighborhood engagement, quality of life problem solving, collaborative
planning, and community service coordination. It moved from having six NET Offices serving 10 NBN Sectors
to four “Neighborhood Service Centers” (NSCs), one for each of the City’s newly adopted Quadrant
geographies. And, as part of a major consolidation and re-organization of City government, the newly formed
NSCs were removed from the Mayor’s Office and combined with the City Departments of Community
Development and Economic Development to form a newly integrated Department of Neighborhood and
Business Development (NBD), where they remain within the City’s organizational framework to this day.
There have been various changes experienced by NSCs, the City, and the broader community in the nearly 15
years since NSCs were created within NBD, including:
2
Several Mayoral Administration changes, which have often involved changing leadership and staffing
of the NSCs;
Changing priorities of what the NSCs should focus on as their core roles and responsibilities by
different Mayoral Administrations and leadership;
Re-organizations of the NSC function and structure within NBD, and of other City teams and
departments that work closely with NSCs;
Re-organizations of some functions that were formerly led by NET Offices into other non-NSC City
teams (e.g., property inspections and code enforcement);
Increasing challenges in neighborhoods with issues of public safety, housing quality, code
enforcement, nuisance abatement, tenant-landlord conflicts, homelessness, drug abuse, etc.;
Widespread adoption of smart phones to access information and the digital transformation of
government and community services to increasingly online information access/processing; and
Changing context of neighborhood leadership, organizational capacity, and levels of engagement.
Today, NSCs serve a number of different functions, including:
Customer Service and Complaints receiving direct calls and emails (as well as referrals from other
City teams and community agencies) and then working with residents, business owners, and other
stakeholders or constituents to resolve neighborhood complaints on a wide range of issues.
Application Intake processing applications for handicap permits, City housing rehab grants, City-
issued garden permits, and certain types of business permits.
Community Serving Admin scheduling code enforcement inspector appointments, processing
requests and scheduling City resources for “mini clean sweep” neighborhood clean-up events,
tracking known homeless encampments, tracking “Top 10” problem property lists, etc.
Targeted Commercial Corridor Support managing the City’s Street Liaison contract that provides
outreach to small businesses about City grants and loans, inspecting and conducting outreach to
businesses and property owners on target commercial corridors for issues with code compliance.
Nuisance Abatement managing the City’s Nuisance Abatement Program to address chronic issues
impacting neighborhood quality of life.
Community engagement and community-building support liaising with neighborhood associations,
blocks clubs, and businesses associations; maintaining the City’s list of recognized neighborhood and
business association leaders; convening a monthly Neighborhood Presidents meeting to discuss City
initiatives and community questions/concerns; planning and implementing Rochester Community
University to help residents become more involved in their neighborhoods and with the City;
supporting community initiatives to implement Rochester 2034, the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
Special Projects facilitating implementation of special projects and initiatives as assigned, such as
administering the City’s Senior Meals Program from 2020-2023, working with college interns on
special projects, working with neighborhood or business associations on community beautification
projects, such as banner/bench installations, tree plantings, etc.
Police-Community Relations support Partnering with the Rochester Policy Department’s (RPD’s)
Community Affairs Bureau to improve police-community relations and public safety; providing office
space for RPD Crime Prevention Officers (CPOs) within the NSC offices and working with CPOs to
address community issues and needs such as vacant property, homelessness, drug activity, etc..
3
For more detail on the NSCs’ current organization, including roles and responsibilities, staffing, and key
performance indicators, please see the NSCs’ Final Adopted Budget for FY2023-24 (see Exhibit A on the
webpage for this RFP) and the Summary of NSC Services, Responsibilities, and Operations (see Exhibit B on
the webpage for this RFP) on the webpage for this RFP. Information about current NSC Office locations (with
a map of NSC service areas/City Quadrants) can be found on NBDs Neighborhood Preservation Bureau page
on the City’s website. It should be noted that NSC service boundaries/City Quadrant geographies differ
slightly from RPD police sections and service boundaries. A map of current RPD sections is available here on
the City’s website.
The NSCswide-ranging responsibilities also overlap or directly connect (to varying degrees) with a number of
other City teams and external community agencieswork and responsibilities. For example:
The Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services and City of Rochester 311 are other City teams that are
also tasked with taking community/constituent complaints and following up to help resolve
community reported issues and needs;
The City’s Code Enforcement, Contract Services, Housing, and Business Development Divisions (all
within NBD), Department of Environmental Services Operations Bureau, and RPD Community Affairs
Bureau are other City teams with overlapping (and sometimes duplicative) roles and responsibilities
for certain programs and initiatives; and
211/Lifeline and Together Now are external agencies that are also meant to serve as community
hubs/”front doors” for information and referrals to a wide variety of community services.
Because of these overlaps, community members may call their Quadrant’s NSC with the same issues and
referrals for service that they would also call another City team or external agency about (e.g., 311, The
Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services, 211, or Together Now). NSCs serve as a “front door” or community
entry point, but often have to navigate and refer community members on to services that are actually
provided by other City teams or external agencies where closed loop referrals are not possible or practicable.
This can create challenges in accountability, follow-through, and community perception of customer service
or responsiveness. For example, NSCs are not directly responsible for code enforcement but receive many
community complaints about problem properties and may be viewed as “responsible” by callers even though
they have no direct authority to address the issues being raised and are not responsible for inspecting
identified properties, or ticketing or enforcing on properties that are deemed to be not code compliant.
Given the wide variety of current NSC roles and responsibilities, the multiple shifts that have occurred in core
NSC focus areas over the last 5-20 years, the potential overlap of some NSC roles with other City or
community agency work, and the priorities of Rochester’s current Mayor, Malik D. Evans, we believe that
now is a crucial time to assess the NSC function within City government and develop a strategic
organizational design plan to inform development of a successful and sustainable path forward.
One of the Administration’s priorities is to develop a reimagined NBN model for today’s context and capacity.
Currently in a planning phase, the idea is to develop a collaborative initiative that provides resources that
foster stronger social connections and support asset-driven civic engagement and collective action of
neighbors within their neighborhoods. Given the NSCs role working with neighborhood groups and business
associations, they will need play a critical role in the implementation of the new NBN model, once finalized.
Therefore, clarifying NSC roles and responsibilities is an important part of planning for the implementation of
a reimagined NBN.
4

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