March 30, 2008
Letter to the
I would like to
thank the Reader in doing some real reporting on the Red Plan.
You have done more journalistic inquiry on this than any newspaper in the
I would like to
comment on the Reader’s question to
order to safeguard life, health, and property, and to promote the public
welfare, any person in either public or private capacity practicing, or offering
to practice, architecture, professional engineering,… in this state, …shall
be licensed or certified… It shall be unlawful for any person to practice, or
to offer to practice, in this state, architecture, professional engineering,,,,
unless such person is qualified by licensure or certification under sections 326.02
person, except an architect, engineer,…licensed or certified…shall practice
architecture, [or] professional
engineering….in the preparation of plans, specifications, reports….
The JCI January 24
proposal had sixteen listed members
of the JCI design team. Of those, eight
are listed as engineers or architects, two are falsely listed as professional
engineers or registered architects, and only two of the eight are licensed
Professional Engineers in Minnesota
and it included no Registered Architects.
engineer, Jeff Schiltz, is not a licensed Professional Engineer in Minnesota.
Nor is Michael David who appeared to be JCI's principal engineer in compiling
the Long Range Facilities Plan. Technically, Schiltz and David's appearance on
the JCI design team may not be a violation of MN Statue Chapter 326, but
they used the initials "ME" which has no professional qualification or
meaning, but is misleading to the lay public, like the School District.
Schliltz and David have signed the JCI proposal and Master Agreement for JCI and
the School District. There is also a
question on whether JCI has violated MN Statue Chapter 326.14 which says:
A corporation, partnership or other firm may engage
in work of an architectural or
Are all these
unlicensed engineers and architects merely
an insignificant oversight by the School District and JCI?
Or this a sign of sloppy work, poor contract administration, or a lack of
understanding by an agency that we have vested with the trust of wisely spending
$293 million of our taxpayers’ money? And
is JCI, a large engineering firm, routinely in the business of using unlicensed
engineers and architects in large public works projects? The
School District routinely hires
certified teachers, and they should know the rules about professional
A School District
administrator has personally told me that they do not want licensed engineers or
architects working for the School District, and they will have no engineers or
architects on staff. The results of
this can be seen in the shoddy work that they have done in formulating the Red
Plan and administering the JCI contract. When
it comes to hiring their multitude of headhunter lawyers and real estate agents
you can bet that the School District hires licensed or properly certified
individuals and pay them premium dollars
Compare the high
price they are paying for lawyers to the bargain
basement dollars they brag about paying JCI for the Red Plan.
Apparently the School District does not know the oldest construction
trick in the book that once JCI gets the contract, they will be locking into
windfall profits in the construction phase.
Nancy Nilsen, the School Board Chair, states in her Weekly Reader column that in January of 2006, eight consultants submitted proposals to the School District and that JCI was clearly the best choice. Did the School District know at that time that two of the qualifications of the submitted JCI team were false and that others were misleading? And that none of the apparent responsible persons in charge of such work were going to be licensed engineers or architects in Minnesota?
In light of this
attitude by the School District, the false information in the JCI RFP proposal,
the apparent violation of Minnesota Statues, and the cavalier attitude by the
School District toward public safety credentials by their selected design
professionals, I request the School Board stop the Red Plan, and have an
independent legal review of the contract and the contract administration being
done by School District 709.