* I tried restraining myself, but I just gotta say, this is probably the most stupid reaction to the “Statehouse doors” controversy I’ve yet seen. From Rep. Dwight Kay’s website…
Do you think the Illinois State Capitol should have copper doors valued at $670,000? Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) thinks they should be sold. Rep. Kay recently introduced legislation to auction off the outlandish doors to the highest bidder and use the revenue to pay unpaid bills or reinvest in education. […]
Rep. Kay’s resolution (HJR48) orders that the new copper doors be removed from the capitol building’s west side entrance to be auctioned off or sold to the highest bidder. Rep. Kay added, “we can have beautiful doors appropriate for the capitol for an amount less than what was spent on copper doors by the administration.”
The resolution actually goes further than that…
RESOLVED, That we urge the Architect of the Capitol to direct the revenue from the sale of the copper doors towards Illinois’ public education system or to pay down unpaid bills;
So, who might be in the market for custom, made-to-fit, copper-plated doors? Maybe scrap dealers. And then we take the few bucks we get, put it toward schools or bills and then spend even more money to put up some doors on the western entrance?
* Meanwhile, from a Chicago Tribune editorial…
The General Assembly “skipped the requirement of justifying why the investment was a higher priority than the needed improvements to our water, roads, public transit and education systems,” says the Civic Federation’s Laurence Msall.
From Msall’s official bio…
Msall was the Senior Advisor for Economic Development for Illinois Governor George H. Ryan. Msall was responsible for the oversight of eleven of the state’s economic development and infrastructure-related agencies including the Departments of Commerce and Community Affairs, Revenue, Transportation, and the state’s housing and other development authorities
Yes,. and there was no waste at all in George Ryan’s Illinois FIRST capital plan. Nope. None. Not even the stained glass windows in a suburban parking garage.
* In other news…
The architect in charge of a $50 million renovation project at the Illinois Capitol is defending his work in the wake of criticism from Gov. Pat Quinn, saying Friday that the governor was “completely out of line.”
J. Richard Alsop III has come under fire for portions of the project Quinn has deemed “excessive,” including three sets of copper-plated doors that cost nearly $700,000, as well as expensive chandeliers and light fixtures of robed maidens. Earlier this week Quinn said Alsop needed to be “reined in” by the board that oversees the architect’s office, a comment Alsop said was “unwarranted.”
“It’s completely unfair,” Alsop said Friday. “We were given a direction. The scope was agreed to long before I got here, money was appropriated long before I got here. We did the best job we could with the resources that we had.” […]
Both Alsop and the board also sought to place some of the responsibility back on Quinn, saying all contracts were vetted and approved by the Capital Development Board, an agency that reports to the governor’s office.
“I think there is a misunderstanding about the way the process works here,” Alsop said after the meeting. “This office isn’t solely responsible for the project that happened in the complex and I think it’s important that people realize that’s the case.”