Will Co. (ECWd) -
If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times, "you can't make this stuff up".
Joliet Township Supervisor Danial Vera MUST resign as it is beyond clear he has no concept of how a Township is supposed to operate. It appears the same is true for the legal counsel he had as well as the board members who allow this stuff to go on. Don't take my word for it. Read the exposure to date in these articles.
September 12, 2017 - Hey everyone, I got a quote from Cosgrove for $9,800.00 for sandblasting and painting. I will get a second quote and hope to have that done before winter.
"He has received 1 quote for $9,800 for the sandblasting and painting of the outside back staircase. He will be obtaining a second quote and hopes to have this done prior to winter."
So is getting the second quote before winter what he hopes to have done or the actual work that he hopes will be done by winter?
September 26, 2017 - Hey everyone, the sandblasting, and painting has begun.
"The Supervisor reported the work to sandblast and paint the back outside staircase started today"
Work has begun? What was the second quote? Nevermind, we are not supposed to ask such silly questions.
October 10, 2017 - Hey everyone, the sandblasting, and painting is done.
"The Supervisor reported over the past 2 weeks the back staircase and the staircase on the riverside of the building have been sandblasted and painted."
October 10, 2017 - Hey everyone, the steel lentils have also been painted but you don't need to know the details of that project right now, besides, it was a local union company that did the work.
"The steel lentils have also been painted. The work was completed by Cosgrove Construction, a local union company."
So another project was given to the same company as the first, all without board approval but no mention of the cost on that second project. Nothing to see here?
November 7, 2017 - Hey everyone, that invoice for $27,000, from Cosgrove, I misspoke at a past meeting on the price to paint.
"He also indicated he misspoke at a previous meeting when he referenced the incorrect price for the staircase painting."
November 7, 2017 - Hey everyone, I'm the CEO, I chose to combine the work we needed to be done without any board approval but that's not splitting projects to avoid bidding because the attorney says so. Besides, I reached out to three vendors, even some that turned out to be union contractors and their prices were high. Since I gave the business to Cosgrove without board approval on the first project I might as well do it again.
"He followed up on the invoice(s) for Cosgrove Construction for approximately $27,000. He reported that he went through the Painters Union for recommendations for contractors to paint and sandblast the outside stairs. He choose the low quote from Cosgrove. At about the same time, he decided to have the stone windowsills power washed, caulked and the steel lintels painted. He reached out to three vendors, some of which turned out to not be union contractors and the prices received were high. He then asked Cosgrove if they could do the work and their price came in at $8875. This was lower than the others received because the equipment was going to be here anyway to perform the other work. So, he gave Cosgrove permission to go ahead with the job. Attorney Burkey commented that he recommend to the Supervisor to keep a written statement in the file explaining the process he followed and the indicating the bid process was not avoided by splitting the project. He added, the project was not split deliberately. The Supervisor then apologized for not explaining the two quotes and the prices when the bills were approved at the last meeting. He also indicated he misspoke at a previous meeting, when he referenced the incorrect price for the staircase painting."
Now I don't know about everyone else's math skills, but the first project Vera claimed he was quoted $9,800.00 for sandblasting and painting and another quote, at about the same time, to have the stone windowsills power washed, caulked and steel lintels painted for $8,875.00. Add those two up and you get $18,675.00, not $27,000.00.
Anyone care to explain how the invoice actually grew by $8,325.00? Note the board never asked for the second quote on the first project which Vera said he was going to get.
Here is where the story falls apart. If the quotes combined were $18,675.00 there was no need to bid because it was under the limit that requires bidding. The attorney directing a written statement about the matter not being splitting of projects makes no sense if the quotes were actually what was reported. However now that we know the total was in fact well over the threshold for bidding, we now question what the first quote really was. Considering the minutes report that Vera got the two quotes at about the same time are we to really believe this was not an intentional splitting of projects to avoid bidding? Considering all the other creative no-bid projects we are seeing I tend to believe this was all intentional on the part of Vera. An FOIA request for the quotes is being submitted.
For Vera to say he misspoke at a previous meeting does not hold water as quotes don't speak, they are what they are. Did he show the board members the quotes?
More importantly in this whole no-bid mess, the timeline makes no sense. Why is he reporting to the Board in November, well after the entire project is done, that he went to the painters union to get recommendations for contractors? Who cares in November since you told everyone a month before the work is done? Why does it matter that it was a union company that did the work?
Having seen public officials play the word game shuffle many times, all indications are that Vera is a slick talker and knows if he talks long enough and throws out enough information mixed with misinformation no one will raise the flag on his activity. Better known as baffling them with BS.
Once again, we call for the immediate resignation of Joliet Township Supervisor Danial Vera.
We also urge everyone in Joliet Township to attend the next meeting, November 19, 2019, at 5 pm. The meeting is held at the Joliet Township office at 175 W. Jefferson St., Joliet, IL 60432. There is a portion of the meeting devoted to public comment and we urge everyone to express their concerns on how this township conducts itself.