The "Villages' Connect Oregon 'I confirm....' " Grant Fiasco:
Uh-Oh, Not Good, Not Good at all
May 6, 2014
In the very late meeting Minutes of April 1, 2014:
"George Wilson made a motion to formally approve the application. Judith Norvall seconded the motion. Vote: 6 yes, 1 abstain(board member was not on the board at the time of the email)."
Yep, not only did Mr. Wilson vote
for the his own grant proposal, he also made the motion!
5 months after the Vice-Chair "I confirm"ed to the State, that they had approved it.....
...and only after that Susan Corwin brought it up.....
No pressure, no pressure at all!
but, of course, according to my Public Records Request, they never saw the proposal!
Voting for a "pig in the poke" to represent the community!
With great effort, I managed to acquire the apparently secret "ConnectOregon" Grant request submitted, allegedly, by the "Villages at Mt. Hood BOD".
I see why they decided "the stinking community don't need to see this" and all I can say is:
Uh-Oh! Not Good, Not Good At All.
Grant Request was Submitted
It is clear that ODOT thinks this grant request was submitted "on time" by Nov. 27, 2013.
From the PDF of "submitted grants"
||Villages at Mt. Hood Board of Directors
||Villages at Mt. Hood Bike/Ped Master Plan
||Develop .. plan connecting .... establish a "cycling destination" brand,
...blah, blah, blah (edited for space and clarity)
A couple of "minor" problems:
- there is no record that the "Villages at Mt. Hood BOD ever saw or approved submitting this, that I could find. A vote of at least 4 members is required and in the minutes up to Nov. 27 (or even March 31, 2014), while there was pompous bluster by the "submitter", there was never approval.
Note: Since Mr. Wilson was the grant recipient, he must, of course, recuse himself.
- I doubt the community never saw or approved this grant submission in Town Hall.
- the County never reviewed nor approved this grant submission
- the BCC never saw nor approved this grant submission (and their approval is mandatory)
So, it would appear that submitting this was a bit "improper", which, from someone who claims to have been with the Villages since near formation, would seem to mean either total incompetence or, perhaps, less than honorable intent.
A Copy of the Grant Request From the County
Knowing the grant actually was submitted, I requested a copy and received a copy from the County. The indication was that had been "dumped" on them with no request nor explanation..
Hmmm, not good, not good at all.
- Page 22, the *only* expense is "Applicant Staff Costs - Direct $85,000"
which seems to mean the "Villages of Mt. Hood Board of Directors", or the person actually signing the form, seems to intend on pocketing the money?.
=> For a BCC Advisory Board to intentionally do this is....
- Page 6, the $17,000 "match" was stated to be "Contracted Services" from the "TAP Committee" available "month 11, year 2013".
I very much doubt the TAP Committee has committed such Lodging Tax funds or has "contracted" to do a bunch of work for the applicant.
=> looks to me like the submitter was outright deceitful.
This is most "unusual": apparently lying about someone else's money and then saying they will put it all, $85,000, in their personal pockets since they have no staff or employees or even are a legal entity.
Not good, not good at all.
...and then there is the "Certification"
The ODOT folk do not want to be on the hook for phony trash submitted by shysters trying to abscond with state funds, so each submission has a CYA "certifier" signing off on it. The "Certifying" pledges their word, position, organizational funds, that the application is correct.
ConnectOregon V Program Application 2013-2014 by George Wilson
I certify that The Villages at Mt. Hood BOD
supports the proposed project, has the legal authority to pledge matching funds, and has the legal authority to apply for ConnectOregon V
funds. I further certify that matching funds are available or will be available for the proposed project. I understand that all State of Oregon rules for contracting, auditing, underwriting (where applicable), and payment will apply to this project. I certify that I have read the Sample Draft Agreement
and will sign the Agreement
Now, this appears to be not good, not just minor "not good"
- supports the proposed project,
- has the legal authority to pledge matching funds, and
- has the legal authority to apply
but big league
"I'll tell you stories just like my hero, Bernie Madoff, so give me $85,000"
- the "The Villages at Mt. Hood BOD" is not a legal entity:
it is an ad-hoc construct created by the Clackamas County BCC as an "Advisory Board" to allow the Community to bring issues of concern to the BCC
=> I note that this point had been made very clearly to Mr. Wilson back in 2006 when he was promoting an "8000 person amphitheater" as he blathered about fund raising while he beseeched the BCC to give him use of millions of dollars worth of land.
- the group calling themselves "The Villages at Mt. Hood BOD" would seem to have no "legal authority", period.
- I could not find a public record that the "BOD" in any way "supported the project" as of 11/15/2013 or even as of 3/30/2014;
=> talk: yes; vote of a quorum with Mr. Wilson recused: no.
- There doesn't seem to be any public record of "the community" supporting this project
- I suspect neither the BOD, as a group, nor Mr. Wilson, as the 'certifier', bothered to have expert County staff review and approve the Grant request or even making the request, as befits and would be required if the County is to be the fiscal agent
- I suspect neither the BOD, as a group, nor Mr. Wilson, as the 'certifier', have gotten BCC, the actual group with legal authority to commit to the Grant, to approve applying for the grant.
- I suspect neither the BOD, as a group, nor Mr. Wilson, as the 'certifier' can "certify" the matching funds are available or will be available.
- I suspect neither the BOD, as a group, nor Mr. Wilson, as the 'certifier' understands any of the State rules on contracting, auditing, etc.
- I suspect the BOD, as a group, or Mr. Wilson, as the 'certifier', may possibly have looked the Sample Draft but would cheerfully sign it to commit the County and pocket $85,000.
and how long will it take to fritter away $85,000 of
"The project management team will coordinate with....."?
- start on 8/1/2014 and done on 9/30/2014 - 60 days
After completion, "who will assume responsibility for continued maintenance"?
- Villages at Mt. Hood Board of Directors/Mt. Hood Bicycle-Pedestrian Coalition
Two non-existing entities:
=> best kind of commitment for the future: they don't legally exist!
......and the source of funds for continued maintenance and operation?
Is this guy real?
Has he ever even "managed" his way out of a paper bag?
Or is he trying to be the "Poster Child" for
"Dunning-Kruger effect" and
"bullying from atop Mt. Stupid"?
Jumping the Shark?
Now, personally, I consider this to be
jumping the shark
Knowingly affirming what seem to be blatant falsehoods to attempt to acquire $85,000?
Not good, not good at all.
I suspect that not only does
Oregon Ethics Law about use of position,
Oregon Public Meetings and Records about the process,
the Clackamas County BCC about ethical behavior of someone on an advisory board,
have something to say about this fiasco, it would seem that
the District Attorney might view this as having some elements of "less than honest behaviors",
not just a "little mistake", but, especially for $85,000,
as an "interesting attempt to pocket County Tax funds".
The Villages Chair?
I brought this up to the Villages Chair and my interpretation of the response was:
"talk to the hand"
I guess with $85,000 on the line, obfuscation is in order.....
...so who will they try to toss "under the bus"?
Now, I am sure the "big talkers/no walkers" will, like
Marmot Road fiasco
the attempt to use County legal for a phony SLAPP in 2013
the attempt to use County legal for a phony SLAPP in 2009
the notorious and infamous "8000 person amphitheater" proposal in 2006
killing US 26 pedestrian path project
the "they" (someone else) caused these "little glitches",
make declarations of "pure as the driven snow (on a Portland street corner?) and
"they should have known/stopped me/done it for me/etc
as he attempts to toss folk "under the bus" to make good an escape.
the notorious Amphitheater, it was another community member,
the lost Town Hall donated signs: "pay me to replace them"
for the 2013 bogus SLAPP, it was the "former liaison",
for the Marmot Road Fiasco, it was County Roads Department
so my expectation is that we will see a whole lot of "shucking and jiving"as a certain Certifying Weasel tries to blame someone, anyone.
=> I wonder what lies will be told?
....and, "yes", I fully expect Mr. Amphitheater will take my name in vain:
"Oh, that Susan, if she hadn't said anything, we coulda got that $85,000 and
produce crap like we did with the Town Hall signs
when we, hee, hee, 'lost' the donated ones...."
They weren't totally evil,
nor were they particularly virtuous,
but their incompetence, deceit, snake oil, and intimidation
made them the Villages of the Darned