Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hickenlooper's Good Ol' Boy/Girls Club Fumbles Justice Center

First, a comment from my prior post on architect Steven Holl withdrawing from the Justice Center design team:

Anonymous said...

Look what happens when instead of assigning an EXPERIENCED engineer or architect to be the City's Project Manager, and letting the EXPERIENCED hands in the Dept. of Public Works handle the project, the Mayor's Office grabs control of it, and hands it over to a political hack who IS NOT AN ENGINEER OR ARCHITECT and who probably has not even built a doghouse in his life. No offense to Mr. Mejia, but I submit he's in over his head here.

Every damn administration at least since Pena has tried this approach and every damn time it's blown up in their faces. You'd think they'd learn.
Yeah, well, could we really have expected more? Indeed, from Pena to the Hick, we see the usual suspects showing up time after time after time on boards, commissions, as "special assistants" to the mayor. Makes one hark back to the old hymn (which, surely, is Hick's Kumbaya mantra. Okay, all together now...) :

May the circle
Be unbroken
By and by, Lord, by and by
May the circle
Be unbroken
In the sky, Lord
In the sky.
Nope. The circle continues. The Good Ol' Boy/Girls Club persists as goose poop in the park; something that we just can't seem to excise from the oval temple of hucksterism on the third floor of the City and County Building.

Incidentally, if you've got the time, you might want to just take a look at the folks Hick placed on the Justice Center Task Force (you can read their conclusions also). You'll have to drill down a bit to see the folks appointed to each of the three subcommittees. Yes, indeed, there are some good people on those subcommittees. There are also quite a number of the "usual suspects." I mean, does Hyatt, Brownstein and Farber (Farbes) have to sit on every committee, task force the Hick appoints? Probably, yes, given the winky-wink relationship between that law firm and three successive city administrations. Surprising, the only "usual suspect" missing is Susan Barnes-Gelt. Go figure!

Ain't politics grand!

The Rocky Mountain News provides a copyrighted story this morning: Justice center design in air - Full City Council will meet after nationally noted architect's exit

You can access the story here (not sure how long they keep the stories available.)

I've got lots of questions pursuant to this morning's News article, but something that jumped out at me was that James Mejia, the mayor's "Special Assistant," coordinating the project, stated that because of the accrual of interest on money raised for the project (GO Funding - General Obligation Bonds) they've got $394Million to spend on the project instead of the amount provided originally for voter approval, $378Million. Hmmm... Can they do that? Can they spend more than what the people voted for? And, indeed, if they can, Steven Holl--the architect who told the Hick he could take this job and, well, you know--said he was over budget by only $4Million. If they've now got $16Million more to spend on the project, then what gives? Who's jammin' who here?

P.S. Lee Driscoll, CEO of Wynkoop Holdings Inc. (Mayor Hickenlooper's restaurant "blind trust") is a member of the Finance Subcommittee of the Justice Center Task Force. Driscoll was, if you recall, put on the spot after the assasination of Detective Donny Young by Raul Garcia-Gomez who was (besides being an illegal immigrant) a dishwasher at the Cherry Cricket--one of the Wynkoop restaurants--at the time of the assasination. After the assasination, Driscoll was tasked with determining how many of the Wynkoop Holdings employees were illegal. They came up with 107, current or former employees. Said Driscoll, when he had to terminate the employement of those illegals: ""Dealing with these immigration issues is the first time in my life I'm ashamed to be an American." This according to Mike Littwin writing for the Rocky Mountain News on May 4, 2005.


Anonymous said...

If you haven't already, you should read the review of the new art museum in today's New York Times.

George said...

Indeed, I have. Will post it verbatim. Thank you.