Also at last night’s council meeting, Johnson and his staff responded to Hammer’s article.

Johnson took a minute to question the article’s sourcing:

“In most instances, when there’s an article written about an issue, my experience has been that the author will often contact the person whom the article is written about, i.e. myself or perhaps other members of staff to get a response or at least to get input on it. I’m not aware of any call regarding this item.”

Basically what Johnson and city engineer Butch Simmons told the council is United Maintenance Group did extra work that was approved by city staff and complained when they did not receive payment. The problem was neither the city nor UMB had documentation for the extra work. The city staff did not issue a change order, hence the memo from Johnson stating the city had “no recourse or solid ground on which to base a claim against the charge of extra work performed by the contractor, and in the sprit [sic] of keeping a good working relationship with the local contracting community I recommend this payout.”

No numbers other than the original $30,959 bid was mentioned. So the way I see it, the $35,000 Brown requested was for the extra work involved in removing concrete from the sight. But that wouldn’t explain why the original bid was bumped another $16,000 before the need for extra work was discovered.

Simmons also pointed that UMB was inexperieicned and difficult to work with. It’s also not a sign of professionalism when it takes almost a year to come up satisfactory documentation supporting work that was performed. It also appears that Johnson and his staff subjectively determined that UMB’s documentation was indeed satisfactory, which is not a comforting thought. This is all indicative of problems MWBE programs can cause.