corruption

Part 3: Veterans Point of Honor Monument Chaos

BY: Architect of Record, Charles Slert, FARA – October 8, 2017 – Continued from Part 1 published on October 7, 2017, and Part 2 published on October 8, 2017:

Years latter in March 2015 the Committee put our Monument project out for a formal bid (local, regional, statewide & country wide).

After the 30 day bid process, which during that time, as the “Architect of Record” I only received one bidder inquiry who actually came to meet me in my Fortuna studio to carefully review the project from top to bottom. This gave me a good indication the bidding process was not going well, due to the only, one inquiry. In the end on May 7, 2015, we opened the one and only bid received. It was from local Crescent City Contractor Johnny Jacob’s, the only one who met with me prior to the bidding. I felt he fully understood the magnitude and the specific construction details as specified in my construction drawings. Mr. Jacob’s bid (all inclusive) came in about $650,000. At that time, because it still had not been established as to whether our Monument project was going to go in some part the “government Grant related funding route route” for funding (Grants) or otherwise, the Committee said it could not just accept one singular bid. The in late summer 2016 Ziegler and Committee decided to involve local contractor George Mayer for a project cost estimate. On November 16,2016 George Mayer came to one of our Committee meetings and offered a Monument cost estimate of around $450,000, with numerous items left out of his bid, which in fact were substantial. Therefore his total cost estimate would have exceeded $800,000. In the end as it turns out there would be no government or related Grant funding involved, therefore the Committee did not have to worry about getting a minimum of three construction bids to build. That bidding process typically insures competition and the knowledge that one is getting the best value for the dollar. And so it goes, you can’t make this collective project related insanity up.

So to continue to clarify the Monuments current financing status, in January 2016 yet another new “Fund Raiser” was brought aboard, Kelly Schellong.

She unveiled her local fund raising program in March 2016. It included no Grants and no big “out-of-the-box thinking” regarding major project fund raising which is exactly what has been needed all along. So after my Veteran colleagues conspired and colluded behind my back to “Abandon my Slert Point of Honor Monument Design” (fully designed, produced, approved & permitted), after ten years, everything has changed regarding my original Point of Honor Monument Design, and then attempt to reuse some portion of my Monument design, after “Abandoning me and my design. How so you ask? Because, I have seen recent “social media” images of Miss Schellong displaying my Point of Honor “Instruments of Service” (architectural drawings, panels and model) specifically for local fund raising. So what’s the problem you may ask? The problem is, your Point of Honor is not going to look anything like my original Monument design on any level (which until recently has been exhibited regionally), in any way, shape, planning or architectural form. Because, my original Point of Honor Monument architectural design and Ownership is fully protected and Copyrighted under the “Congressional Architects Copyright Law of 1990” nor can my “Intellectual Property” be transferred without my written approval &/or compensation. And I have, put the Veterans Committee on notice as a very specific and clear reminder of such, in writing.

So folks, what you have seen for the past ten years, is not anything like what you are going to get.

Do you find it curious that no new Point of Honor images have been made public? You continue to be mislead regarding the truth and the facts. After ten years of commitment, hardship, headaches, sacrifices, and contribution of nearly 800 hours (uncompensated), major out of pocket financial losses, in addition to my Public Service on the City Council and serving as your Mayor. The outcome of our original landmark Veterans Monument design of mine is a local tragedy. And yet another major missed opportunity for Crescent City, Del Norte County, the region and the Veterans. This is exactly what happens when you have a group of individuals although perhaps at one time well intentioned involved in a project as important as our monument, with little to no professional, hands-on construction experience, a lack of focus and follow through leadership as well as mis-informed and misguided. Now you, the citizens and community will get whatever they give you. Unfortunately, more mediocrity which continues as the trend for Crescent City, Del Norte. Your loss.

Over all of these years I worked closely, hand in hand with several of my personal friends, Veteran colleagues and people I believed where local civic fathers and leaders in our community.

As it turns out, once they were operating out of their sphere of knowledge and experience, they continually dropped the ball &/or screwed up, forever putting our Monument project at risk. Simply, they were not at all what I led myself to believe they were.

In ending, I would also submit to you that as Architect of Record I have in my possession the entire official Monument Record files (design/ construction drawings, letters, approvals, memos, Coastal Commission coordinations, consultant coordinations, project correspondence, media documentations, estimates, brochures, meeting minutes, etc. to back up each and every statement and claim I have made herein. I possess more project information and knowledge then anyone would ever want to know.

Additionally, remember the Committee can not and will not use any aspects of my original design after choosing to “Abandon my design.”

From this point forward, as a community I would suggest you know exactly what you are supporting and investing in, ask to see exhibits that show what you are promoting &/or contributing to, along with the various supporting details. I would suggest you ask to see a new Project Construction Budget, and Construction Cost, Phases of Construction and a Critical Path Method chart (“CPM”) outlining each and every specific point of your new project Monument progress. I suggest this only because your Veteran representatives and Committee have mislead and failed our Monument project and you now for many years. Based on my personal experience you will likely get ‘lip services’ and excuses because talk is cheap and you will get vague generalities for answers because that’s the way they have chosen to operate more recently. It’s really about individual professional responsibilities being fulfilled and individual/ collective accountability. I would also offer that given the circumstances and failures of the Committee, I would prefer to not be involved with our Point of Honor Monument project, rather than to see my original Monument design vision put at risk &/or compromised. The world I work in doesn’t include mediocrity! It’s all very unfortunate, and unfortunately to their own demise, based on my first hand dealings, it appears that the “good old boys” syndrome is alive and well in Crescent City, Del Norte. As the age old saying goes, you “reap what you sew.” Too bad for everyone concerned! A final thought, given my firsthand personal dealings and experiences working for the last ten years with this “rag-tag,” “wing-it,” make it up as you go group (The Veterans Committee), I would not knowingly find myself to be in a foxhole with any one of them.

STANDARD ARCHITECTS ROLE & RESPONSIBILITIES BASED ON INDUSTRY STANDARDS, STANDARDS OF CARE AND THE “CALIFORNIA ARCHITECTS PRACTICE ACT” CA ARCHITECTS BOARD

01- GENERAL ADMINISTRATION assisting with the selection of Bidders and Contractors

02- Checking & approve Construction “Shop Drawings”

03- Preparing necessary supplement(s) to original Construction Drawings &/or Specifications

04- Observing construction work to procure construction consistent with the Construction Drawings & Specifications

05- Review and issue construction “Change Orders” & “Construction Directives” with supporting documentation

06- Check contractors application for payment

07- The Architect as a representative of the owner, shall visit the construction site at appropriate stage to become familiar with the work performed and keep the owner informed about the progress and the quality of the work completed and determine if the work is being performed in accordance with the Architects Construction Drawings & Specifications.

08- Architect shall consider contractor request for material or product substitutions, if approved after the project construction contract, then prepare and distribute “Addenda’s”

09- Architect should use reasonable care to guard the owner against construction defects and deficiencies in the work in accordance with the Construction Drawings and/or the project construction schedule.

10- Both the Architect & Owner shall at all times have access to the work wherever it is in preparation or progress.

11- The Owner and the Contractor shall communicate through the Architect, additionally communications with the Architect’s consultants shall be through the Architect.

12- Where the work does not conform to the Construction Drawings as determined by the Architect, the Architect shall promptly notify the Owner in writing

13- Owner shall supply Architect with Construction Contract and the Construction Sum. 14- Architect, represents the projects’ “Pivot-man” and is responsible to oversee, manage, review, recommend, approve, administrate and direct the project through successful completion. 15- The “Architect of Record” is the “Project team Lead Representative”

 

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