|Photo from BCI website|
In the discussion before the vote, Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) said the contract, as it was, should never have been signed in the first place. Acknowledging that corporation counsel had changed since the City entered into the agreement in December 2009, Friedman said the City should have known that it could not meet the 30-day payment expectation and pointed out that the interest rate specified in the contract for late payment was "unheard of"--"eight times the statutory limit for municipalities."
Alderman Cappy Pierro (Fifth Ward), who was aide to Mayor Rick Scalera when the contract was signed, said he blamed it all "on the engineering firm and the person who got sick." He defended the action saying, "We almost lost $6 million [in stimulus money]. Things were done very hastily because we had to switch engineering firms."
Before the Common Council voted on the settlement agreement, Council president Don Moore asked the aldermen and the public to consider "how much the infrastructure of the city has benefited from the federal stimulus plan." The Council then voted unanimously on the resolution to enter into the settlement agreement.