… to the pillaging of the Duluth Schools. Here’s a sample:
“Johnson Controls believes the revitalization can be accomplished in both a budget and tax-neutral manner,” read the January 24, 2006 letter signed by company execs Micheal J. David and Brent T. Jones. “… Johnson Controls has the wherewithal to guarantee the financial solution, in writing. By doing so, we enable you to move forward with little or no risk…
“Bottom line, the Duluth Public Schools is facing a once-in-a-generation opportunity and Johnson Controls can make it happen.”
Alanna Oswald was feeling it. The ’91 Denfeld grad and mother with two says the sales pitch was irresistible.
“I was all on board.… We were going to get brand new shiny buildings that more adequately addressed our children’s learning needs, and our taxes would go up a little bit,” says Oswald, who’d go on to become a Duluth school board member in 2015.
The massive overhaul would become known as the Red Plan. Johnson Controls would oversee it all, from planning to engineering. Construction began in 2009 and lasted into 2011.
But before it was all over, the Red Plan’s price tag would balloon to $315 million. Johnson’s fees, which were based on percentages, soared with it.