Gangrene Pt 1 – Where did all the money go?

JCI’s offices in Old Central – The tail wagging the dog.

Art Johnston told me recently that my characterization that gangrene is spreading from western Duluth to Easter Duluth is going to result in some blow-back for my campaign. I understand but I am unrepentant. The 600 and more doors I knocked on from West End to Fon du Lac tell me our western schools are on the verge of becoming places families avoid. Its not happened yet. It should be possible to reverse. But shooting the messenger will not fix them.

That gangrene began when the School District and JCI began the practice of lying and covering up. In this they had many allies not the least of them a retired State Senator and former Ohio Community College President Ralph Doty.

This is from Ralph’s column which showed up three days before an election which cost me but, fortunately, not Garry Glass election to the Duluth School Board.

Ralph Doty’s ringing defense of Johnson Controls and his unhinged attack on its critics.

On June 17, 2007, at a meeting of the Duluth Heights Community Club, Mr. Glass criticized Johnson Controls for what he claimed would be a financial windfall (he called it a “plum”) for the company if it’s later hired to manage remodeling and construction of school buildings. Glass contended that Johnson Controls stood to get up to $33.4 million. The Duluth News Tribune reported on Mr. Glass’s comments the next morning.

But Mr. Glass was wrong. So, the following day, June 19, the News Tribune published a front-page story of clarification. It turns out that Johnson Controls got $250,000 for the study and follow-up activities, and could possibly earn another $4.5 million for managing projects. Undeterred by the fact he was $28.9 million off the mark, candidate Glass continues his reckless attacks on Johnson Controls.

This is the entire June 19th article that Ralph Doty refers to in the Duluth News Tribune which I found with the help of the Duluth Public Library’s Online Newsbank. JCI’s assurance that they will only collect $4.5 million is in the first two paragraphs of the five telling paragraphs I’ve included. You will note that JCI’s representatives say they will only be paid $4.5 million. You may also recall that I maintained in an earlier post that they received almost $85 million. Someone has not been honest.

Representatives of the Duluth school district and Johnson Controls of Duluth said Monday that the amount of money the company will be eligible to receive for its role in the proposed $257 million school plan was greatly overstated during a public panel discussion the day before. 

For assessing the district’s needs and overseeing public discussions, Johnson Controls is guaranteed a lump sum of $250,000. The multinational company will receive 2 percent of the project’s construction costs – about $4.5 million – for managing the remodeling and new construction of 15 school buildings, according to its contract with the district, Johnson Controls account executive Mike David said. 

Confusion over Johnson Control’s contract with the district arose after a public meeting Sunday night at which a community panelist said the firm’s compensation could be as much as $33.4 million. 

The firm entered into a contract with the district for designing and implementing a long-range facilities plan after a public bidding process held in January 2006. 

As program manager, the firm will oversee about $30 million to $35 million of the project’s soft costs, such as fees for architects and engineers, but most of that money will be used to pay sub-consultants for their work.

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