From: Craig Walker
Sent: Tue, May 14, 2013 10:42 am
Subject: Re: UC2B Phase 2.5 – Community Alert !
Greetings from Atlanta !
It is such a pleasure to spend time working in this southern metropolis that embraces diversity at all levels of government, business, and neighborhood engagement.
I had a chance to review the email sent by Mike Smeltzer and it is best to allow Power Up respond to the technical portions of the email.
Mike I am sure you and your parents are good people and I appreciate all that you did to help the cause of black people in the 60’s and 70’s. What I have observed in the period since 2009 when you picked back up your service to the community by writing a grant to include the low income people of Champaign for a program that was geared to that exact community is this :
2011 – Champaign had a Mayor that denied the legitimacy of the first African American President. Former Mayor Schweighart presided over a rogue group of officers within the police department that brutalized the black community and in his tenure he allowed virtually zero participation by companies owned by people of color with the City of Champaign. In the April of 2011 election I saw you nowhere fighting for, assisting, or even speaking out in the cause to unseat this three term Mayor which did happen with an overwhelming black voter turnout that proved to be the margin of victory. Where were you then Mike ? Comfortable at the U of I working with the City to promote in our neighborhoods and churches how many jobs UC2B would bring to the AA community.
In fact Mike contrary to the benevolent tone of your email the first phase of UC2B procurement resulted in I believe one African American worker at Western and $1,000 for some ribs at a reception were the total black persons involvement in that first phase. It was only after a strong outcry from the black community and direction from City Manager Steve Carter did you and the
UC2B team revise its process to be more inclusive which had the desired result.
Now your assertions that Power Up was in way over its head and that you, Paul Duke, UC2B, Western knew exactly what you were doing is a perfect example of the arrogance that surrounds this project. I choose to focus on one factual incident where someone on the UC2B team ordered the wrong part, but said that the vendor shipped the wrong part, and the email I distributed where Paul Duke is blaming Power Up for the mistake. I have challenged the City to produce the evidence that the UC2B team ordered the correct part and to date no evidence is forethecoming. There is no evidence UC2B notified Power Up of what part they ordered. Only documentation from the shipping company and they say Shive Hatterly ordered the wrong part. But the tone of their email was to blame Power Up and accept no responsibility on their part. If that is the type of mentoring that was being offered, no thank you.
Western was behind schedule in the first phase and in fact the second phase was delayed because of the lateness by Western in completing the first phase of UC2B. In fact lets take a closer look at this company Western. Quite the political firm that’s for sure. According to the Illinois elections Board Western and their CEO have contributed $70,000 towards election campaigns all across the State of Illinois. Interestingly enough, for a project in north Champaign they put their local office in Tolono, unlike Power Up whose office is in central Champaign. The City of Tolono is a client of attorney Jim Green who just keeps popping up coincidently all over this project. Yep Western’s office is in Tolono, a place where people of color can really get there easily to apply for jobs there huh?
As for you being invited into a political retaliation plan, uh no you are no where near that level of what these people are capable of.
I assume you know Results Plus was involved in the Schweighart campaign and that both Gordy Hulten and Deb Feinen are Jerry proteges from their days on the City Council together. To get a better understanding of their tactics why don’t you research Results Plus involvement in the recent ballot controversy involving Stephanie Holderfield and Rick Winkle. Deb Feinen was the attorney representing an attempt to remove Ms. Holderfield from the ballot, Gordy sat on the hearing board, and on or about the day of the hearing Rick Winkle a party to this case made a $3,000 payment to Results Plus ( Gordy’s political consulting firm where Deb is the attorney of record) for services and supplies. Eventually Mr Winkle withdrew, Gordy left Winkle’s name on the ballot when he could have removed it, Winkle won and then was replaced by someone more to Gordy and Deb’s liking.That’s how they roll.
You were not at Douglass Center on April 9th where campaign workers asked why Gordy was acting so mad when he had to bring more ballots to the polling place there because they ran out of ballots when our community turnout was way beyond his expectations which he knew mean’t the demise of his candidates which it did. You did not see the anger in his face from that turnout effort. I did.
I do have to say Mike, for all your efforts in the 60’s and 70’s we really haven’t seen you on the front lines or any line for that matter, fighting for the justice that has been virtually invisible to the black people of Champaign in this decade.
What I do find interesting, is that you never described a meeting as called for in the change order where you and your benevolent friends Paul Duke and Teri Legner sat down with Power Up, outlined these concerns and attempt to reach a solution either with or without Power Up involved going forward. In fact Power Up knew nothing of this new change order until the Monday before it was to be considered as they were driving to Champaign to try and get paid their remainng funds. The process to replace Power Up was a cladenstine series of events that included no discussion with Councilman Will Kyles whose District this project is in which is a total lack of respect to him amd his constituents.Councilperson Deb Feinen encouraged an actual decision to knowingly violate the terms of the change order by not requiring UC2B to have the meeting with Power Up as called for in their agreement. In addition she made attempts to convince the council members to not speak to anyone on this matter due to litigation that may arise from that decision. These are the types of actions surrounding this process yet you want us to believe the UC2B was so perfect and Power Up just wasn’t up to snuff.. If its so up and up why all the secrecy and quiet discussions and strategies and negotiations of a fait accompli contract of 3 times the previous cost, with a politically connected contractor, advocated by the most partisan politically connected/active Republican member of the City Council ? Probably a coincidence right ?
As I said I will let Power Up answer the technical questions from their perspective.