Minority firm wins contract for UC2B work

Minority firm wins contract for UC2B work

CHAMPAIGN — After putting forward an "alternative" bidding process, city officials and community members are hoping that a $1.6 million contract with a minority-owned firm will open up more job opportunities for the city's underserved neighborhoods.

And the company's owner says he knows how important the job is.

"We know that if I don't do a good job, there might not be an opportunity behind me," said Michael Kennedy Jr., owner of Power Up Electrical Contractors. "It raises the stakes."

The St. Louis-based contractor will be installing underground broadband fiber connecting homes to the main infrastructure in Champaign's underserved communities where 40 percent or fewer residents have Internet access.

City officials were not allowed to consider the locality of a business in awarding the contract per the rules of the $22.5 million federal grant used to fund the Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband project. But they did tailor the request for proposals to give an advantage to companies that made high workforce diversity pledges, said economic development manager Teri Legner.

"The kinds of pledges that they gave us for the different components of the work were just amazing," Legner said.

That includes an overall workforce diversity pledge of 52 percent, including 84 percent for the portion of the work where broadband fiber will be connected to eligible residents' homes.

"Workforce diversity" refers to how many minority workers are on the job. The numbers provided by Power Up are pledges, and in response to the job description, bidders were required to show that the pledge can be reasonably achieved given the racial makeup of the available workforce.

In evaluating bids, city officials based 75 percent of their decision on the actual price of the bids and 25 percent on the workforce diversity pledges made by bidders.

Power Up came out of the process with the winning bid.

That is important "to really not only help with getting the technology out but also to get jobs out to that same community," said city council member Deborah Frank Feinen.

Some regular attendees of city council meetings have been persistent in their push for officials to do more to find minority- and female-owned businesses and to provide jobs for underserved neighborhoods. When council members unanimously awarded the contract to Power Up last week, the vote was met with applause from audience members.

"It was definitely humbling," Kennedy said. "I didn't know it was a historic occasion when we won the contract."

In recent years, the city has made efforts to attract bids from minority- and female-owned businesses, but to this point, many of the contracts have been relatively small. The magnitude of this contract and the purpose of the work have officials hopeful about the results.

Feinen said she hopes it shows to other firms "that the city is going to open the bidding opportunities as wide as possible and give everybody an opportunity to be involved."

Kennedy said the project could create as many as 20 to 40 jobs locally. He said Power Up also is signing with local subcontractors: Rantoul-based Southern Belle Electric and HVAC and Champaign-based Volo Broadband will be involved.

"The hope is that local people will not only have jobs during the duration of this grant but will learn skills that will be needed as the build-out continues throughout the city," Feinen said.

As far as the "alternative" bidding process which city officials employed for this project, Legner said, at least parts of it could be incorporated into future requests for proposals. She said officials plan to evaluate the process to figure out what worked and what did not.

Kennedy said his company was well-equipped to respond to the project description and the bid qualifications sent out by the city because it was not too different than what he typically sees coming out for government projects.

But he now is well aware of its importance locally.

"You're happy and you want to do a good job on all your projects," Kennedy said. "But I know how critical this is for the whole community."

Comments

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ronaldo wrote on June 12, 2012 at 8:06 am

I can't help but wonder how much of OUR taxpayer money would have been saved if the project would have been bid with the standard bid process - low bidder, period.

I'm not really into paying more so that some feel-good politicians can bolster their self image with a select few.  If this process is repeated, I'd fully support any firm filing a discrimination lawsuit against the city.

 

cretis16 wrote on June 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

A lot of money RON..this is the new world...doesnt matter the cost,as long as one select group of people get prefered status.  Why force race into the bidding process? Put out the bid, and select the most cost effective bidder.

Mark Taylor wrote on June 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

That's right. White people have been discriminated against for too long in this country!!! WHEN WILL IT END???!!?!?!11?

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on June 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm
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I know you're just being facetious, and that it's still cool in some circles, but state sanctioned racial discrimination will eventually be regarded as a bad thing.

Mark Taylor wrote on June 13, 2012 at 9:06 am

I know -- I'm with you. White people have it bad enough already without THE STATE ganging up on us too. If only we'd elect more white people to office and get more white people in positions of power in society in this anti white racist nation, then maybe, finally, the interests of white people would be fairly represented.

I can dream, can't I?

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on June 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm
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South Africa once mandated skin color discrimination to protect its minority race.

Mark Taylor wrote on June 16, 2012 at 10:06 am

You're ding dang right, Robert. Affirmative action is JUST LIKE APARTHEID. Can I call you Nelson?

LET MY PEOPLE GO!!!!

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on June 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm
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I've gotta hand it to you: Prejudicial, state-sanctioned race discrimination is hilarious.

 

Just think how much funnier Richard Pryor & Eddie Murphy could have been if railing against The Government.

Mark Taylor wrote on June 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Nah, I gotta hand it to you -- you're absolutely right to equate centuries of slavery and racial oppression with the horrendous suffering white people have had to endure due to affirmative action.

It's a one to one ratio of suffering. Centuries of slavery and racism have been totally wiped out by a couple decades of giving minorities a fair shake. They just don't understand how bad we white people have it, do they. Dang their minority privilege, dang it all to heck.

bwa555 wrote on June 13, 2012 at 11:06 am

Before everyone gets too worked up, it should be noted that Power Up was awarded the project based on LOW BID.  The city's criteria were that low bid accounted for 75% of the evaluation.  However, it doesn't really matter because Power Up was more than $1,000,000 lower than the next bid!!!  Slow down, take a deep breath, this was a win-win.  The taxpayers got the lowest bid (by a ton).  Now sit back and see how well they actually perform.

Mark Taylor wrote on June 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I don't know what you think you're doing by bringing facts and reality into the discussion. The commentators here clearly want to talk about how much those people are discriminating against oppressed white people in this country, again, irregardless of the facts. Your evidence against that is not helpful!!!

bremax wrote on June 12, 2012 at 10:06 am

No doubt.  I wish we could all drink from the "blacks only" drinking fountain.

Mark Taylor wrote on June 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

I know, right? White people, especially white men, are the most persecuted group in this country. Nothing in our history compares to the prejudice and discrimination white people face today. WE SHALL OVERCOME!!!

TEA PARTY!! WOO HOO!!

rsp wrote on June 13, 2012 at 2:06 am

Bremax, it's 2012, anyone can drink out of any fountain they want to, so if you want to explore you go right ahead. You don't let anybody stop you. 

MSJ66 wrote on June 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

"Alternative bidding process"? "Workforce diversity"? "Diversity pledges"? It all sounds like discrimiination to me. Furthermore, when did it become necessary to provide internet access to everyone? Taxpayers already providing rent, food and cell phones to the "underserved" now my hard earned money is going to pay for rigged bidding (meaning more expensive) broadband because of political correctness. Do what the rest of us do when we desire things, get up off your butts and go get a job so you can pay for your own wants. Although now with free internet there will be another reason to not go and seek employment. Internet access is not a need.

Nice Davis wrote on June 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm

UC2B isn't offering anybody free internet. They are installing high-speed broadband infrastructure with public funds because private firms uniformly fail to upgrade the old copper wires in rural and poor areas. Individual households will have the choice of paying for internet service from any service provider willing to lease space along the cable.

 

You can learn more about UC2B here: http://uc2b.net/urbana-champaign-big-broadband/open-access/

 

If you have a problem with our city government building a value-adding infrastructure investment in response to market failure, at least try to get your facts straight.

constantly amazed wrote on June 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm

That is for the rest of us, please refer to the handbook page for the info on service in the “underserved areas”.


http://uc2b.net/handbook/


Who chose the “yellow zones”?



  1. The yellow zones represent 11 Census Block Groups from the 2000 census. In theory, the homes and residents in any given census block group were similar to each other in 2000. The 11 Census Block Groups that are eligible for UC2B FTTP services were determined by a door-to-door survey in the summer of 2009 that found these areas to have a less than a 41% rate of broadband adoption. These 11 Census Block Groups met the federal qualifications for free fiber installation. This high-speed fiber installation would normally cost roughly $3,000 for each home or business.

What is the cost and commitment?
Before fiber will be installed into your home or business, you will need to agree to pay for the ongoing UC2B service. The base service is $19.99 a month and provides 5 Mbps of symmetric Internet connectivity and 100 Mbps of symmetric local Intranet connectivity to organizations around C-U including Parkland, the University of Illinois, schools, churches, libraries and local governments.


What if you are not in a “yellow zone”?



  1. Be patient.

  2. Many of the people behind the UC2B grant application want to ultimately bring UC2B fiber to every home and business in the community. We need to make the subscribers in the 11 original Census Block Groups and the Anchor Institutions work first. Then we can focus attention on how best to expand the system to the rest of the community. The fiber rings that UC2B will build throughout the community will make it easier to expand the FTTP system in the future.

  3. In the meanwhile, local schools, public safety organizations and social service agencies will all benefit from UC2B fiber regardless of where they are in the community.
RussellG wrote on June 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm

What is an "under served neighborhood"? Under served? Go serve yourself! The tax dollars from all of the working folk isn't enough to support you and your inability to control your reproductive system? I'm sorry.

"But they did tailor the request for proposals to give an advantage to companies that made high workforce diversity pledges, said economic development manager Teri Legner."

-Are you serious? Why? I thought we worked for years and years to not have any separation of any races? Now, not only is our government clearly separating these races...they're favoring them too! I know our local government has horrible priorities and all, but come on folks. This is awful.

"It was definitely humbling," Kennedy said. "I didn't know it was a historic occasion when we won the contract."

-Because it isn't!! Oh look, minorities doing labor jobs. Never would have guessed that.

"Feinen said she hopes it shows to other firms 'that the city is going to open the bidding opportunities as wide as possible and give everybody an opportunity to be involved.'"

-Oh yea, it sure looks like that is a bold faced lie. Earlier you said it 1/4th of your decision was on making sure you hire minorities. Meaning, if a company with only Caucasian Americans could do this for less, you wouldn't hire them. That sounds more crooked than Urbana's police department.

Nice Davis wrote on June 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm

What other city services should be funded through user fees proportionate to how much an individual uses them? Fire? Police? Roads? Libraries? Public education?

 

Taxes are by their very definition redistributive. My taxes subsidize users of services that I don't use very much, but other people subsidize my above-average use of other services.

yates wrote on June 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Another Obama freebie at taxpayer cost. Four more years please.

areader wrote on June 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm

In employment circles, I agree, the WHITE MALE is the minority!!!!!!!!  So what about them in their 20s, 30s, 40s etc.who return to school and work (and try to find jobs) to support themselves/or their families in some cases . . . are they STILL the last ones to be selected even they are the most qualified because of other MINORITY QUOTAS? Yep, the white male doesn't have a chance . . .  


This entire program is rigged and discriminatory against "non-minorities" from the word "go"!  How ridiculous!

rsp wrote on June 13, 2012 at 1:06 am

So they agreed to have 25% of the workforce be women, african americans, hispanics, native americans, asians,etc. leaving 75% white males. You're right, the positions for white males are in short supply. 

Mark Taylor wrote on June 13, 2012 at 9:06 am

Well, we used to be guaranteed 100 per cent. But, now that that's no longer true, as this case proves, we shouldn't be doing it in this case.

Perfect logic.

str wrote on June 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm

The use of the word "alternative," in what appear to be square quotes rather than a direct quote, is extremely problematic. Perhaps the author can clarify what was "alternative" and where this quote came from. I'd like to blame this poor writing style for the unbelievably disturbing and racist comments that have been flourishing below, but I'm afraid it doesn't take much for the white citizens of C-U to spew this kind of vitriol at least bit of prompting.

 

Disgusting.

Patrick Wade wrote on June 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm
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Thanks for your comment. The word is a direct quotation of Teri Legner, the city's economic development manager.

It was an "alternative" bidding process in the sense that it was designed specifically for this project. It was so different from the city's standard process that administrators sought city council approval of the alternative process in February, before the request for proposals was released.

Hope this answers your question. If you have any other questions or comments, please don't hesitate to let us know.

areader wrote on June 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

The fact that the minority group was selected IS DISCRIMINATORY against other groups!  I don't think that's real difficult to understand and I'll speak for myself--my comments are not racist.

Independent Thinker wrote on June 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I currently pay $40 per month to ATT for internet service.  Does this mean that these low income areas are going to get free internet?  What kind of garbage is that?


I'm all for giving minorities a chance to do good work but their bid should be the lowest period.  Why pay a higher price just to say you hired a few more black contractors to do the job?   Doesnt make any sense.


If you are a champaign resident, please vote out everyone on the city council that approved this money wasting process.;

novanut wrote on June 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

This IS government at work today.If you are white pay up you must be in the 1%.I for 1 will vote em out.

rsp wrote on June 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Nobody is getting free internet, it will just be cheaper. Around $20 a month is what they have been talking in the past. You think it's not a necessity in this day and age? Do you realize how often teachers give kids homework where they are told to do research on the internet? So kids can be employable in the future? How many extra expenses do you think a family can take on before it's too much? Childcare, school supplies, someone is sick, a car repair, the list is endless. But you people are probably right. They are jusy lazy, low-lifes looking for a hand out while they breed. But you're not racist.

ClearVision wrote on June 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

The "kids need internet to do homework" argument is a red herring. The cities of Urbana and Champaign already provide free computer use and internet access at the high schools and public libraries.

rsp wrote on June 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

How about the other kids? How much time do you think they can spend at the library? And how many computers do you think they have? So if they have two kids they should just skip dinner while they wait for the people looking at facebook to get finished?  Aside from the fact that they may not be able to afford the transportation to the library every time they need to go. Since the school ride is only good for just after school. So I guess if they fail in grade school it's all their own fault then since there is so much opportunity out there. Where is the red herring?

dw wrote on June 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Having done a presentation at and had a child attend Booker T. Washington (the local Champaign Unit 4 STEM magnet school) the internet sucks.  You can't actually use Google Docs on it online because it is so slow.  Not to mention the state of the computers (it's not unusal for grants to fund the equipment, not the salaries/benefits of people to take care of them and keep them in shape).  Which is why you'd want to be safe and use Google Docs/Cloud storage in the first place.

The idea that only a high schooler would need internet access is a common generation gap misconception:  for example a primary/elementary student with access to this application to practice on from home:

   www.bigbrainz.com

Is going to do MUCH better than one who doesn't.  How is a first and second grader supposed to get all the way down to the public library?  Many of the book publishers include online games and content to help make learning the information more attractive.

Have you actually tried logging into a computer at the Champaign Public Library?  It's not an easy/pleasant experience due to overbearing security software -- if you haven't paid your library fines, you're cut off (while last I was in the Urbana Free, anyone can pretty much walk right up to a computer).  How is a stressed out child from a low-income family supposed to go up and tell their guardian "I can't use the computer at the library because I have fines"....  yes, they *may* be dismissed if the child mentions they can't pay, but that fact (if it is indeed a fact) is not advertised.

cjwinla wrote on June 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm

 

Imagine being a taxpayer in this City for years and never seeing a black person working on a construction site. There is no remedy for the good old boy network where a few firms bid and they use their friends/relatives etc as the workers never giving minorities or women an equal opportunity other than to build requirements in for diverse workforce. On a weighted basis anyone can bid lower, make less profit, and still keep their good old boys. In fact this project came in under budget using this bid process. It is a great deal for the taxpayer to make all of our citizens accessible to the value of the internet because of increased productivity and education.  

Inclusion is about people in relationships that honor and nurture diversity in all its forms. When we have the courage to see each other's gifts, we are strengthened. One of the most valuable gifts is the rich diversity in each of our communities. However, diversity does not just materialize. We need to reach out and welcome diversity consciously. When we do, we are all richer. When we don't, our live experiences are narrow.

We should all be striving to have a diverse workforce because it grows the community both socially and economically. 

Economic Inclusion is encouraging the maximum practical participation of minority, female and local business enterprises in all aspects of an economic development project. This includes contracting, supplier procurement and the procurement of professional services

 Economic diversity is the key to  strong, growing, sustainable economy . A sustainable economy enhances a community’s standard of living by creating wealth and jobs for all sectors of its community.  Encouraging the development of new knowledge, processes and technology is essential  to ensure a climate for economic inclusion. There is a link between economic diversity and sustainability, and economic diversification can reduce a community’s economic volatility and increase its real activity performance.

The demographic changes of our society lead us on a path of economic inclusion and for all of you who want to stay set in your ways and protect the good old boy network well I suspect you will be a relic of the past in the not so distant future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I-L-L wrote on June 12, 2012 at 11:06 pm

You've never seen a black construction worker? Seriously? That's just rididulous so no more to say about that.

 

You talk about seeing other people's gifts whch is also ridiculous. Its a construction job. I'm sure they're workers are great, but are they the cheapest? That's the issue. I could care less if the people are neon green if they are the cheapest bidder. How would you feel if the city had similar bidding but said that the more white workers used the better because the inclusion of whites in these neighborhoods would help diversity education. Pretty silly idea right? But "economic inclusion" makes sense to you? Tell me how giving the work to a St. Louis firm is helping anyone here. If we wanted to make the most sense we would have made it limited to local employers. Why didn't we? Because that would be illegal...unlike the discrimanatory method they used here. The city doesn't care where the minorities are from just as long as they aren't white.

 

Ridiculous. Waste money so that we can look like we are looking out for the oppressed. What it comes of to me is that it is more of a handout. The implication is that the minorities could not get the work otherwise. That seems pretty offensive to me. The good old boys have nothing to do with being the lowest bidder. If they are they are. Good for them. If not, hire whoever is the lowest. But don't patronize minorities by using a system that minimalizes their talents while also dismissing the economic interests of everyone.

rsp wrote on June 13, 2012 at 1:06 am

Do you know why it is so hard for minority companies to get big contracts? Any clue? Other than your "poor white people didn't get hired rant"? When you are talking about these really big jobs you're also talking about equipment, which because they have been denied jobs repeatedly the minority companies have usually been unable to accumulate, unlike the other guys who have had all of the contracts steered their way. They are just as capable of doing the jobs, but there has been a history of shutting them out. The playing field still isn't level. We all pay the price for that and so will our children and our grandchildren as long as we keep our heads in the sand instead of working together to change things. This is one of those things that can change things.

I-L-L wrote on June 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

There's the problem...when did I rant about "poor white people"? My entire point was that saving money should be the driving force in the bidding process. Race should not be a factor at all.

 

And do you honestly think that a minority business owner is struggling due to them being a minority? They own a business right? It would be reasonable to assume they have millions of dollars in assets. They could be the son of a millionaire and have little to no problems with money. You are assuming they are struggling because they are a minority. That's a problem. People are accusing others of sterotyping while doing it yourself. Just because people are a minority does not mean they are inherently disadvantaged in the construction world. In fact, it could be argued that the typical bidding system is the fairest process there could be. Base decisons on money....because in this economic climate the only color officials should be concerned with is green.

rsp wrote on June 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Why would it be reasonable to assume they have millions? The key word there is assume. Maybe you should take some time and ask why in the past have all and I do mean all of the major contracts gone to companies that were owned by white men. The deck has been stacked the other way for a long time. Is it fair that some companies were built on racist tactics until they are so large that nobody can compete with them? What is fair? Continue the "good-ole"-boys" club? Or insure that others get a chance that they didn't get before. 

sameeker wrote on June 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Is it fair that non whites get race based scholarships and special grants and financing through the government for their businesses?

Nice Davis wrote on June 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Yes. Only someone blinded by a lifetime of privilege would think otherwise.

Cstraight wrote on June 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Wow!  I'd be willing to bet my check that it peeves you off to see affirmative action OR equal opp. rights or the fact that WOMEN (also considered a minority in the bidding process) to be "afforded the chance" to have first dibs on contracts huh?

You talk about money being the only determining factor that "should" be considered, but you and EVERYONE else commenting here knows good and well that that's not how it works and never has; because if it was oh so fair, then they wouldn't have to put measures like this in place. 

It's sad when people just cant be happy for a small company to get the chance to do something big. Guess your just naturally a "hater".

Oh and I'm sick of people talking about free handouts and my taxdollars blah, blah, blah! Contrary to what you may have been raised to believe, the majority of people who are on public assistance work TOO and if you don't want your few pennies (cause that's literally what it amounts to) out of your check to aid the needy MOST being parentless children in this country, then MOVE to another country. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on June 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm

The race issue can go on, and on.  The financial issue is the unfortunate issue.  It is too bad that the $1,600,000.00 contract could not have been awarded to a company that is more local so that the majority of the money could have been spent in the local area.  There will be 20 to 40 temporary local jobs, and some local contractors; but the majority of the money to be spent on the contract will be spent in another area, not here.   

rsp wrote on June 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm

And the same people who complain about a minority company getting the contract also complain about certain people needing to get off their behinds and get a job. Nobody is ever completely happy. I think we have got to the point where we look for what is wrong with something instead of trying to find some good where we can. 

cretis16 wrote on June 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm

People given a chance? This is people going to the front of the line by virtue of race or gender. Isn't that a racist idea? Hey, the answer to racism is not  to pick a different group of people to discriminate against.

cjwinla wrote on June 15, 2012 at 9:06 am

No one was given a pass to the front line in this process. Every firm had a chance to bid, white/black/purple could bid at a lower margin of profit if they did not want to have any diversity in their workforce and they could have won. They chose not too. Power up's  bid was below budget !! The contract is with a black owned firm for the first time in the City's history, they had the lowest price, and the most diverse workforce. That's a win / win for everyone involved! 


Noone was given anything ! What cracks me up is people think it is totally acceptable to have all white companies with all white work crews  work government projects through outdated bid processes and don't believe there is any discrimination in play. Drive around this town and look at the construction crews, THERE ARE NO BLACK/LATINO WORKERS ON THE CREWS ! We pay taxes, we have qualified workers, yet the good ole boys keep the minorities out ! minorities are 22% of the City's population and it is time to get our share of the government  contracts through "reformed" processes that are inclusive. It does not cost taxpayers one dime to do that and our community is better because of it.


The greed and hate that exists in these comments are sad but I realize that the good people of our community do not feel this way for the most part and the idiots who have no clue what they are talking about are small in numbers.

sretooh wrote on June 16, 2012 at 12:06 am

I’m the guy that generally doesn’t read “comments” to stories, nor leave them, but today I am breaking that trend.  I’ve not had a chance to voice my opinion about this CU UC2B project, and now my lid has boiled over.

Let’s look at the facts:

  1.  Not one of those “underserved” areas is really “underserved”.  They have the same solutions available as does the rest of the town; choices by Comcast (cable) and ATT (dsl) for Internet access.  So what makes them “underserved”?  What is the differentiating factor?  Perhaps because they house some of the most financially challenged people?   So, to be “underserved” means to be “poor” and/or unemployed?  Let’s also ponder this, if they can’t afford to pay $15-$40 (dsl) to $40-$60 (cable) do we really have faith they can pay $19.99 reliably and consistently to sustain the business model that UC2B will need to survive?  Really?  That’s not the target audience I want my business built on (customers that don’t or can’t pay their bill).  That’s actually a doomed model.
  2. This continues from #1 above.  Did you know Comcast offers a pretty fast cable internet solution for folks that can’t afford regular price (based on if your children are on free or reduced lunch)?  This is $10 per month.  It provides 3mb/s download and 1mb/s upload.  This is more than fast enough to get stuff accomplished online:  http://www.internetessentials.com/
    So, we really didn’t need 22.5M of tax payer money to bring highspeed Internet to “underserved” Champaign and/or Urbana, now did we.
  3. So uncle Sam, for as long as I can remember, preaches to us about “capitalism”, and how such a good thing it is.  But what we all seem to have over looked, is they say one thing but do another.  I believe it to be hypocritical that they’ve given 22.5M in taxpayer money to directly compete with private companies that have built their infrastructure to deliver the same services they will have to directly compete with.  How does this promote or endorse capitalism?  I think it doesn’t.  And the government has a really good track record when it comes to handling money and/or running a business, don’t they.
  4. Deliberately award a contract to a “minority” owned business-- that’s questionable.  But let’s dig deeper….  Then to allow that contract to be subcontracted out (perhaps because they can’t perform all the work in a timely manner) to other business that are NOT minority owned  to perform some, or all of the work is kind of unethical, don’t you think?
  5. And I’ll save the best one for last.  So when this 22.5M project gets built and when the money runs out, and when they need more money to operate in 3 years, where will that come from?  Let me tell you so there is no surprise in 2015… It’s my belief that the cities of Champaign and Urbana will approve a tax upon the residents to support this endeavor.  So with your property tax bill, you will have a tax line item for the UC2B network/project, just like you have for the MTD, etc.

So, in short, I'm not a supporter of government, but I think Schweighart was right when he voted NO on this project.

Geonz wrote on June 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I'm really glad UC2B is happening.   Yes, I am more than willing to pay taxes to have a community with good services that enhance education and better access to opportunity, even if this one isn't happening in my neighborhood. I'm saddened by people ranting with their fingers in their ears and wish they'd have a chance to see the world from others' perspectives.

cbrads334 wrote on June 19, 2012 at 8:06 am
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It's obvious that some people spend way too much time watching Fox News and listening to the likes of Rush Limbaugh.

What amazes me the most is that these same people read the newspaper, although they do seem to pick and choose what they want out of the article, rather than taking in the facts of the story.

Grow up, persecuted white people.  You complain about the poor and minorities taking everything that's yours away from you.  You should really be concerned about the 1% and corporations who are thieving from you on a daily basis.  They steal more of your tax payer monies than the poor ever could.

As a disclaimer, I'm white, now retired, but employed my entire life and a lifetime tax payer.