This is the first big ‘project scenario’  change line item I  started asking questions about in 2008:

No photo description available.

Contract is between Chippewa Valley school ( Barton Malow manager) and DPW

[A>K>A the term Drain commission is used in the Change Order; I am sternly corrected in my first FOIA to the DPW in October ,2008 ]

for drain work under Seneca Middle school:


No photo description available.

The change order for $55,470 additional storm piping seen on the December 2005 monthly summary is not ordered by DPW [drain commission]

as shown by my 2 FOIAs and highlighted in green dated December 8, 2008.The Change order comes, strangely, the month after the Application and certificate dated November 1, 2005 for payment is made . The certificate itself points back to the months prior, circled in yellow, stating that NO changes were made to the $168,366 dollar project.








Did we get extra pipe is that someone claims was ordered by the DPW[drain commission] or were we double- dealed?

It’s a $55,470 dollar question.



Johnny Cash…best song ever. Fits this current topic; one I  had not posted about before, but here it is. There are some of the same types of questions surrounding this scenario as the others.

FIRE WALL Change orders:

Sequoyah Elementary school, Dakota 9th Grade Center and Seneca Middle School,

All 3 schools planned for the 2004 bond;

Sequoyah drawings probably started in 2004 for Sequoyah,construction plans approved in about 2005, construction most likely completed in 2006. Dakota 9th Grade and Seneca Middle drawings probably started in 2005, started construction in 2006 and completed in about 2007.

On May 15, 2006 Barton Malow and Wakely Assoc. present information about fire rated walls for Sequoyah Elem. and Dakota 9th Grade center to the Building and Site Committee meeting.

It is stated in the minutes that “About 2 years ago this [specs] was changed” [which would have been about May 2004.]

1.) Notice in the meeting minutes  Barton Malow or Wakely & Assoc. do NOT  say is that changes to fire rated walls were ordered by any MI State agency (such as Bureau of Construction Codes etc.).     [The compliance letter from Sequoyah on July 21, 2006 only mentions beams at doors B120/D100 not shown in detail.]



2.) Why would the State of Michigan have approved plans that were not up to the current fire rated wall codes?  Why weren’t the plans just corrected to code and resubmitted to the state? The ‘Typical Construction Notes’ document shows that  the Sequoyah architectural  plan was in progress by at least 1/17/2005, almost a year after Barton Malow and Wakely and Assoc claim that the fire rated wall specs were changed (In about 2004 – See above)








3.) Using the Sequoyah change orders starting in June 2006, and the firm date for state approval on September 4, 2006, why did we pay out for change orders for a building whose plans were not yet approved?







4.) Why did only 2 of the 3 schools have a firewall issue? …    Both of these Wakely and Assoc. designed schools Sequoyah Elementary and Dakota 9th Grade Center “had firewall issues”.       

Seneca Middle school, the French and Assoc. designed school DID NOT have “firewall issues”. 

It’s a $385,965 dollar question.


Occam’s Razor

August 27, 2019

So who is  William of Occam? Actually Occam (or Ockham) is a town in England where William of Occam was born. William lived from about 1285 to 1349, a philosopher and a Franciscan monk. In the 800-plus years since Friar William laid down his maxim, logicians have turned it into a rule: Occam’s razor simply states that of any given […]

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Manthey Farm purchase and Bond money discussion

February 5, 2019

Macomb Daily Article 2-11-2019 tells of some of the history of the Mantheys, and my quote at the end. https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macombdaily.com%2Fnews%2Flocal%2Fcouple-leaves-acres-of-farmland-to-chippewa-valley-schools%2Farticle_f266530c-2d75-11e9-8207-f739a4aa935f.html%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR2ude0VC-HWOeLBzGIQPLIvlWDRKhx-MYQNn4_zi0tA6eeNRszyY3rzkTI&h=AT2-LslnkCm-Pd4X4w9qSEWvVu5yP_jjzDL1HMEiN6XMBzzjxVqXnu8QrrCQKifd5-ludnoJH-0hKd-WNV73990q8V06Tmbtf4AUMqEkNfUihCttwuuo-Ry24jUSZUGw3l17aRyAkFHX6-iebzDH47zsd4OoWpBlIZn4VlOt I taped the 2-4-2019 board meeting-some rather important parts anyway… gotta love cell phones. If this is so exciting for the Chippewa Valley residents of the district, why not tape and broadcast their meetings? I […]

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Country wide Investigation-using fear to sell school bonds

January 30, 2019

  Chippewa Valley is not alone. I am quoted in this Real Clear investigations report about School districts around the country using fear of potential violence to sell bonds.     By Steve Miller, RealClearInvestigations The Chippewa Valley school district in suburban Detroit didn’t retreat in 2017 after voters overwhelmingly defeated its proposal to borrow […]

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NEW! All the World’s a (Wyandot) Stage.

December 12, 2018

UPDATE: NEW info Added – A line taken from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”. The Wyandot Middle School stage was the focus of quite a few change orders in July 2006 and again in January 2007 relating to it’s “enlargement”. Roughly $278,000 in change orders.Why are these questions still  relevant years later? There have been  recent instances  […]

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Bond -a -POOOL00ZA!!

August 24, 2018

We have now added $97 million dollars to the existing $477 million dollar debt. We will await the promised website to track the “spending”. Forget viewing the meetings. They will never do it themselves. You  have to get in your car and ride down Cass. Ave. to the board office to see  the meeting for […]

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August 23, 2018

Let’s look at the 2018 Audit by Plant Moran of Chippewa Valley finances: A $ 35 million dollar difference from when the Ballot was prepared. November 6th 2018 ballot proposal $442 million dollars of debt.       An article from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.   https://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/59-percent-say-no-to-school-tax-hike-18-months-later-its-back [One parent was bothered that Chippewa Valley requested that […]

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If this Bond Does Not Pass…Education will still go on……..

August 22, 2018

What happens if the 2018 Chippewa Valley bond does not pass? We will still have safe and strong schools. Here’s why: The Michigan 2019 K-12 School Aid Budget just passed includes a funding increase of between $120 and $240 per student. This budget also sets aside $58 million for school safety.  This includes money for […]

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MI DEPT OF TREASURY (didn’t want us to know)

August 20, 2018

Why would the Michigan Department of Treasury want to keep the Chippewa Valley bond application a secret from the voters for 4 months? They denied 2 of my Freedom of Information Act requests  while they had a document fitting the description of my request in their possession.The Treasury has done the voters of this district a […]

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It’s Going to Be an Epic [MRA] year.

April 3, 2018

An Epic year. November 2017 something interesting happened. I received a phone call from a research firm inviting me to an event. It was to test if voters would support a bond (or repackaged as a sinking fund) if placed on the November 2018 ballot.       I scoured the meeting minutes looking for any discussions […]

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Out of Order Change Orders Part II ~Fire pumps Plural

January 22, 2018

More spread sheets arranged by Company and Site[ Again, Not alleging any wrongdoing by any named Companies; just asking questions] This company has many change orders out of sequence ; duplicate numbers: 2 –#6’s, 2-7’s,2- 8’s, 2-9’s           The  electrical company in the following spread sheet has one major change order out of […]

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Seneca Middle School Storm Piping [ Drain Commission Vs DPW ]

January 11, 2018

  Back in late 2008 after spotting this Change order in the December 2005  summary, a change ordered by the “Drain Commission” for the sum of $ 55,470.00, I submitted a standard FOIA to the DPW (AKA drain commission) looking for the name of the inspector and any other info on this.   I received […]

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Dirt and Pipes

December 10, 2017

Dirt: It seems some of the 2004  bond project sites had really bad dirt; unstable and improper. One would think soil testing would have gone on by the engineering firm/Barton Malow before any project was begun. Boiler plated  language is really apparent here on this spreadsheet: BadDirt   ———————————————————————– Pipes:Change orders relating to gas pipe on top of […]

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O-O-O- Extra Manholes-O-O-O

November 16, 2017

Extra manholes. Did we pay for one extra of each highlighted size?  The contract was between the Department of Public works and the named company with Chippewa Valley listed as the developer.     supporting documents.  

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Out of Order Change Orders

November 10, 2017

Just asking questions and my Disclaimer: In no way do my comments/observations  posted on these informational spreadsheets allege or accuse the companies listed of any wrongdoing. These spreadsheets consist of company specific change orders pulled from the monthly  summaries approved by the CV board. We can assume the numbers to the immediate left of the change […]

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7 Reasons Why Not.

September 15, 2017

It seems ‘bond’ was the very last topic discussed during the (Board Workshop) meeting that took place on August 14, 2017. The minutes . Is the plan to come back for less money (say 65 million, so it sounds less expensive) in February, 2018 when they think the voters aren’t watching? The glossy flyer sent out pre- election by the […]

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Back to Business

May 4, 2017

Thanks to all who got out to vote. Now that the May 2, 2017 tax increase has been overwhelmingly defeated, we can get back to the business of tracking where some of the 1/2 billion dollars has gone. Even with every tactic the school board and administrators threw at this proposal, the savvy voters still weren’t buying […]

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2017 BOND PROJECT SHEETS a.k.a.Dream a little ($89 million) Treasury dream…..

February 4, 2017

NEW!  READ the Tuesday May 2, 2017 Ballot HERE:       CVBallot52017 It  has very precise wording as mandated by a change in the law that happened  based on Chippewa Valley’s bad borrowing practices. Financial experts have crunched the numbers  The .5 mills will not be enough to pay off the $ 89 million dollars on […]

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$472 Million Reasons to Vote No………..

January 22, 2017

      The Chippewa Valley school district in Clinton Township, Michigan, has a $472 million debt, and has spent $257 million dollars in the last 12 year for “construction” and “tech “updates. Now Chippewa Valley Schools wants to borrow $89 million more  and stick it to the taxpayers yet again. They want to hold a general- […]

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November 29, 2016

UPDATE :  The Chippewa Valley school board has just voted YES  on the Resolution to Approve Application for Preliminary Qualification of Bonds. Here are two sets of documents relating to the current bond proposal and previous bonds: 1.) These show that they will  borrow [ scan0026] $31,543,200 from the State, and other various financial documents. Will they shop for […]

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