Folks I must say I am disappointed by the media coverage of today’s showdown at the Jefferson Parish Council meeting between the politicians and General Contractor Joe Caldarera as they choose to focus the faux battle between the culpable politicians and the General Contractor that has schooled them in the ways a seasoned construction contractor can take advantage of the array of fools the Broussard administration and the Parish Council put in place to oversee the debacle. Sheeba Turk and the Channel 4 gang, rarely seen at the Yenni Building are today on site at the proverbial scene of the crime on Airline couching today’s council meeting as Calderera “defending his honor”. What a joke but it fits in a 2 minute segment which is why it is on the TeeVee. I did not think Manuel Torres did it justice this morning either over at NOLA.com though his previous report on the topic along with those here and here are very good.
So what is the smoke and mirrors scenario the politicians and Joe Caldarera are trying to set up today? Simple, the council is on the verge of giving Parish Attorney Deb Foshee the authority to declare Caldarera in default on the JPAC contract. She is negotiating a final settlement to the project with Caldarera and that authority would give her additional leverage over Caldarera in negotiations, which are close but not quite there. Caldarera does not want Foshee to have that authority so he is showing up to to Peacock and Prance in “defense of his honor”. With this whole bunch there is no honor, only shark fins.
The bottom line is Delay Claim Joe seems to have a certain fondness for parking his equipment on site and if I had to guess is passing along that costs as part of his delay claim. To hear Caldarera tell it he is being super magnanimous which, in a more rural environment here down south would be termed “Pure D Bullcrap”. To hear Chris “Mini-me” Roberts tell it, the council was the victim of bad advice, conveniently ignoring the fact the Legislative Auditor, among others has pinpointed Robert’s own council aid Deano Bonano as having a major role in the taxpayer funded boondoggle. Tim Whitmer, who recently was subject of several glowing reviews submitted to the court before his sentencing for Broussard era felonies to which he was party was also instrumental in the disaster along with current Councilman at large Elton LaGasse.
Fact is there is plenty of blame to go around and I’d assign about 40% of the blame to the council members who ramrodded this project when it commenced, with the other 60% going to Aaron Broussard himself, who ultimately made the call to begin construction and issue a notice to proceed despite the fact everyone knew the design and plans were deficient. That ill fated decision along with a gaggle of others made by the same group of megalomaniac incomps is the reason the structure is years late and double the original estimate.
If my theory is right though, there is more than 100% of the blame to go around because the old saying pigs get fats, hogs get slaughtered comes to mind as we gotta hammer Joe Caldarera’s delay claims. How were they calculated and do they include “sweeteners” like idle equipment and along with equipment and utility costs for the holiday light display he put up back in 2010? The devil is in those details and I think people at the state level are getting hip to those concepts.
The bottom line is there will be lots of noise at today’s council meeting.