Brentwood wins statewide award; city partnered with company apparently owned by mayor

The Missouri Municipal League has awarded Brentwood one of its 2018 Innovation Awards for its use of GPS tracking to improve the delivery of public safety services. It looks like the city partnered with a company owned by the city’s mayor in implementing the technology.

From the Missouri Municipal League:

In June 2016, the city implemented low-cost GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) tracking devices in all of its public vehicles. The city partnered with Geocompile, LLC, to develop a data collection and analysis system to analyze the data from the GPS units.

Data from the city’s police vehicles was used to manage and improve the delivery of public safety services to the residents. Since implementation, 100 percent of the city is patrolled on a regular basis, incidents of Type I criminal activity have fallen; at least two major crimes have been stopped in progress; and residents have reported a notable increase in police visibility, particularly in residential neighborhoods. The system is completely cloud-based.

According to the Missouri Secretary of State website, the company Geocompile, LLC, is owned by Christopher A. Thornton of Brentwood. See the company filing, dated Feb. 3, 2018. The address given for the company is also that of Pam Thornton, State Farm Insurance.

The city won the honor last year too ((Medium City Category – population 5000 – 15000) for using a plastic known as PolyLevel to lift and level sunken sidewalk slabs in lieu of demolition and replacement.

35 thoughts on “Brentwood wins statewide award; city partnered with company apparently owned by mayor

  1. We must make time to attend the Ways and Means meeting tonight at 6pm. The last topic of New Business is Discussion concerning Geocompile, LLC

      • I did not attend the meeting but this was Posted on NextDoor regarding Brentwood Ways and Means meeting, 5.2.18

        Note — An agenda item has been added to the 5.7.18 BOA meeting to take up the issue of whether the City retains an interest in the methodology developed

        Recently, the Missouri Municipal League (MML) awarded its 2018 “Innovation Award” to the City of Brentwood for its “Technology to Improve Public Safety”. Essentially, it’s a “data collection and analysis system to analyze the data from the GPS units.” (See Brentwood’s Application, “Project Summary”). Upon reading the Application, some of the alderman had questions concerning whether, and to what extent, the City paid any monies related to this system. As Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, on Monday I instructed Staff to place on the agenda for the 5.2.18 meeting a discussion concerning this and a company known as Geocompile, LLC. Staff provided to the Committee a complete list of vendors, a spreadsheet detailing all payments to Chris Thornton and a spreadsheet detailing all payments to companies involved in the GPS data collection, among other documents. The following questions were asked by the Chair. Staff answers are capitalized.

        • Has any money been paid to Geocompile, or any entity on behalf of Geocompile, for the software that was the subject of the MML award? NO
        • Has any money been paid to Geocompile, or any entity on behalf of Geocompile, for any work it may have performed in writing or creating the software that was the subject of the MML award? NO
        • Has any money been paid to Geocompile for anything? NO
        • Does the City have a contract with Geocompile, be it oral or written? NO
        • Has the City ever had a contract with Geocompile, be it oral or written? NO
        • Has the City budgeted any sums to be paid to Geocompile this year? NO
        • Has any money been paid to Chris Thornton, directly or indirectly, for the software that was the subject of the MML award? NO
        • Has any money been paid to Chris Thornton, directly or indirectly, for any work he may have performed in writing or creating the software that was the subject of the MML award? NO
        • US Fleet began providing a service to the City of tracking the police vehicles equipped with GPS devices in March, 2016, correct? YES
        • Presently, the City only pays US Fleet for GPS tracking information monthly for all of the City’s vehicles equipped with GPS devices, correct? YES
        • Prior to February 20, 2018, the City paid US Fleet for GPS tracking information monthly for the police GPS devices and Verizon Fleet for all other City owned vehicles equipped with GPS devices, correct? YES
        • Since the summer of 2016, the only sums paid by the City of Brentwood for any GPS related activities were to US Fleet and/or Verizon Fleet, correct? YES
        • The only contract in place concerning GPS, and the data from the GPS devices, is the contract between the City and US Fleet, correct? YES

        The documents provided independently support Staff’s answers.

        This is not the end of the Board’s inquiry. An agenda item has been added to the 5.7.18 BoA meeting to take up the issue of whether the City retains an interest in the methodology developed which was the subject of the MML 2018 Innovation Award.

  2. “If voting for Chris make be a cronies [sic] then I am guilty as charged just like a majority of the residents in Brentwood” John Nuernberger
    747 votes is not close to the majority of residents in Brentwood. It’s not even close to the majority of registered voters in Brentwood. In fact, Thornton did not receive a majority (50% +1) of the votes cast for mayor. (46.66%)
    “Looking for the facts — you should should [sic] get your fact straight before spouting off” John Nuernberger
    John, take your own advice.

      • APRIL 4, 2017
        MAYOR BRENTWOOD
        (Vote for ) 1
        (WITH 6 OF 6 COUNTED)
        CHRISTOPHER A. THORNTON. . . . . . 893 52.81%
        BARBARA B. CLEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . 784 46.36%
        INVALID WRITE-IN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 0.83%

        • I was using the stats from the 2015 election, since that was when Thornton was originally elected. I apologize for not making that clear. 893 is still not a majority of Brentwood residents. (as claimed by John Nuernberger)
          Many thanks to Sharon for helping me prove my point. Facts matter.

      • I must admit to laughing when I read your post containing a hilariously incorrect fact while admonishing others to get their facts straight. I thought, perhaps, that you were being ironic. I see that I was incorrect. You were sincere, and I apologize for misinterpreting you.
        Are you being sincere when you say, “sorry your candidate lost” or is this an argumentum ad hominem disguised as sarcasm?

        • Voting for someone doesn’t make you a crony. Defending their every move, including those that raise some red flags, makes you a crony.

          Instead of playing the blame game, has anyone reached out to Mayor Thornton and gotten a response from him regarding all of this?

  3. I guess I’m wondering if this company (and thus the Mayor) has any of the City’s data. If so, doesn’t that data belong to the City? Is any of it stored on personal computers or even phones? Is the data going to be returned to the City when he’s no longer Mayor? These were just some thoughts I had which then made me think that maybe this goes deeper than non disclosure issues.

    • From what I gather the city implemented GPS in 2016, the mayor took the stored data and created his own business with it in 2018? John aren’t you on a committee for the city? If you find nothing wrong with what the mayor did you are just as guilty. City officials don’t just get a pass to do whatever they want even if you are on a Board. The mayor and Board cleaned house with the employees maybe it’s time we clean house with the city officials.

      • I did not say I agree with what was done I do not know and would be guilty I have nothing to do with this program but I think has been good for the city and the changes Mayor Thornton has implemented over his tenure have been all positive from what I have seen. I volunteer my time and if the BOA want me replaced they do not have to appoint me next time. What’s happening — are you maybe a current or former employee that does not want to disclose their identity and upset about been monitored. It is easy to call me out as I do not hide from my comments by staying anonymous.

  4. Since GPS have been installed in the police cars I have seen more police patrols my neighborhood. Some may question what company they used but the end result is better patrols in our neighborhood. I also understand it is not just police as all vehicle owned by the city are tracked.

    • So the end justifies the means? The mayor is receiving some sort of compensation (either financial or non monetary) and did not disclose like he is required to do by the ordinance he signed. I am grateful for the extra patrolling but don’t believe that should clear him of wrong doing. And maybe he hasn’t done anything wrong but he needs to answer for why this wasn’t disclosed.

      • I do not know what the mayors disclosure form says and who is to say he did not tell anyone that is for the Board of Alderman to say if it was inappropriate and they should handle it
        but you cannot not argue with the results. I am not tech savvy but how much money would be made monitoring GPS I would think it would be minimal.

        • I don’t think it matters if he received $100,000 or $10. The fact that Geocompile’s only customer appears to be the City of Brentwood, and that the mayor created the company while in office, reeks of corruption. This entire thing is a giant conflict of interest.

          • Corruption??? Of course it matters how much if it were $10 only you would care. It is a positive for the city and I commend the mayor for coming up with an idea to make the staff more accountable when driving City vehicles. I guess he will not have your vote if he runs again.

            • The RFP process is in place for a reason. The fact that Brentwood just won an award for having “partnered” with a corporation owned by its Mayor should have everyone concerned. I’m glad that it has been beneficial to the city, but elected officials creating corporations to solve city issues is pretty much a textbook example of corruption.

            • It seems like JN is just one of the mayor’s cronies. Corruption continues at the city hall!

            • Looking for the facts — you should should get your fact straight before spouting off. If voting for Chris make be a cronies then I am guilty as charged just like a majority of the residents in Brentwood . If you are include me in the comment — Corruption continues at the city hall – I would like you to show me how I have been corrupt in any thing I have done for the city.

            • We the citizens are looking for answers. You don’t have the answers but are defending him. So that makes you one of his cronies. And yes, $10 misappropriated is still corruption to those of us that have morals.

  5. While I’m here; Elaine Golfin, wife of long time Brentwood alderman Leon Golfin passed away on April 20th. Leon was a great guy; always dapper, very positive person, fun to talk to on any subject and Elaine was at his side almost always and equally as entertaining. Leon was known for casting his city vote during meetings, by phone from Florida. HA! Couldn’t get away with that today. RIP.

  6. That’s the problem with Brentwood. Things get brought here anonymously but NOTHING ever happens. Just because the comments are anonymously posted doesn’t mean there isn’t some truth to all of this. Go to your Aldermen and ask them to investigate. It’s outrageous and you could bet if anyone else did it, they’d be fired especially in the private industry.

  7. While I agree with the comments here, they would have so much more credibility if names were used. Truth? Looking for the facts? What’s happening here? As a taxpayer with a real name I would like the questions answered by our mayor.

    • You must be kidding Liz. Great that you are able to use your “real name” however some of us came up before 40 South and remember when having a difference of opinion with the city of Brentwood, its mayor, city employees or some elected officials caused us lots of problems. Hate mail, harassment, being ignored or treated like a 2nd class citizen around town or even church. People were afraid to place a campaign sign in their yard because if they needed 911 maybe they wouldn’t get help, yes some older residents actually said that. So Liz great that you are not in fear of this type of retribution but maybe someday you’ll fall on the “wrong side” of an issue and feel differently. Meanwhile I remain, Completely anonymous.

      • I’ve been in Brentwood 40 years and understand much of what you say. My father-in-law moved to BW in the ‘50s and ran a business here. He was on the “wrong side” of the powers that be on more than one occasion. It finally cost him his livelihood and broke his spirit. I get it. I’ll try to be more respectful of the need of some to stay anonymous. I often see anonymity on social media used to abuse others and that gets my dander up. I apologize.

      • Wow I love your speculation, MAYBE 911 they wouldn’t get help. Do you have ANY credible evidence to support your claims? I would think this would be a slam dunk in court. Of course you would have to provide evidence to your speculation. Something tells me you have NO support. Just another person afraid of change.

  8. Why wasn’t this disclosed on the mayors conflict of interest disclosure for 2016 and why is his disclosure missing from 2017 from the transparency portal? The residents of Brentwood deserve the truth and there should be repercussions based upon the ordinance if he neglected to disclose all business interests with the City. What say you Mayor Thornton?

  9. Thank you South 40 for including the facts that I have brought forward. We all have a responsibility to keep our politicians honest.

  10. I find it interesting that if you google Geocompile LLC, it is a Missouri Limited-Liability company with one principal on record. That principal is Christopher A Thornton from Brentwood MO. Appears to be conflict of interest with the city buying from his company, without going out for bids as legally required to do. I look forward to his response.

    • Perhaps that’s why the City is always looking for a Deputy City Clerk, some people are honest. This is embarrassing.

    • I’m confused as to how the city could have implemented this system in June 2016 when Geocompile LLC (according to SoS records) wasn’t registered until February 2018. There better be some extremely good explanations to this.

      • qquwn, good one! For the folks who commented on this: Just think about how great it would be … if you lived productive lives!

        • How is that helpful Jerry? I for one do lead a productive life. I just ate 15 cookies, watched 3 episodes of Trailer Park Boys and now I’m going to walk my dog. Envious much?

    • Name with held huh. Probably afraid of change, sorry lack of 911. And ur supporting documents will be made public when ?