When I was in college the fraternity I belonged to had a few shortages of pledges. (It was back in the Animal House years and frats weren’t very popular) As the Fraternity house was owned by a trust set up by fraternity alums the fraternity needed enough tenants (fraternity brother renters) to pay the bills and mortgage. I recall one occasion when we ran low on renters (brothers) and had to put on a dog and pony show for the alumnae to prove we were going to be in the financial pink. Our eloquent President put together a presentation which glossed over our fiscal weaknesses and played up big plans to bring more fraternity membes and their dues and rents into the fraternity. Much of it was smoke and mirrors but it was a good sell and the alums stopped bugging us. much of the Red Plan reminds me of the dog and pony show from my college days.
A few months back Dr. Dixon sat down with the Trib’s editorial board and trumpeted the great savings of the Red Plan and the imminent realization of $32 million. The touted savings all supposedly came from the tremendous low bids the District got on its Red Plan contracts. The Editorial Board bit the hook like a starving trout.
I was a candidate for the State Senate back then and bad news from the District would only have bouyed my campaign although I doubt my race was the driving force behind the sales pitch. Every day requires a new pitch to doubtful Duluth residents.
This recent Trib story from the other day pretty well spelled out the reality of the Red Plan. Rather than saving $32 million the Red Plan is ending up costing almost exactly what the District predicted in the first place which is the same amount it was given authority by the State to spend. No savings. In fact, the plan seems to have cost more than the District projected notwithstanding proclamations about great contracts. That’s because several projects like a new bus barn and repairs to Old Central were scrapped.
I still haven’t given you, my loyal eight readers, the text of the letter from the District’s attorney telling me to zip my lips (or finger tips) but as this post has nothing to do with my lawsuit I seem to be on secure ground pointing out how gullible the Trib’s Editorial Board has been where the Red Plan is concerned.