Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.

Dear editor,

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas Wausau taxpayers.  

Christmas is arriving a bit early this year for one Wausau business courtesy of the Wausau City Council. Let me explain.

Back some years ago the city made a deal with a company called Collaborative Consulting in which the city ponied up a grant of $200,000 with the understanding that Collaborative Consulting was to create 200 jobs within 5 years. This total was never met. The closest the company ever got to 200 jobs was 159. In fact, at the end of the 5-year period, the company employed only 103 employees.

Now, any reasonable person would think that the city would have taken action to recoup its $200,000 bucks. Unfortunately, at this time the city’s economic development director, one Mr. Christian Schock, never followed up with any attempt to hold the company to the agreement. Having had the displeasure to work with Mr. Schock during my four years as an alderperson for the 11th district I can simply say that I am not surprised. The last time any one person caused as much damage to a city as Mr. Schock was when General Sherman marched his Union troops into Atlanta during the Civil War.

To further complicate matters, Collaborative merged with CGI, who has advised the city that they had no idea of the $200,000 grant and of the 200 jobs requirement. This seems a bit unusual as most companies when acquiring another company do what is known as due diligence. This process requires a careful examination of the acquired company’s assets and liabilities. One would think that an obligation in the amount of $200,000 bucks would jump right out at you. Evidently it did not.

Now CGI is pleading ignorance of the obligation and the city council is, dressed in their red suits and white beards, crafting a deal that will let CGI off the hook for the entire amount. I told you previously that Christmas was arriving early this year. 

Where I come from a deal is a deal. If Collaborative Consulting did not live up to their obligations they should have been called on it. If CGI failed to do adequate due diligence when acquiring the liabilities of Collaborative Consulting, that is their problem.

I would urge every taxpayer who feels a deal is a deal too, not jump in bed and cover up their heads, but to contact their alderperson and have them explain why not collecting $200,000 of taxpayer money is a good idea.

Respectfully,

Dennis R. Smith, Wausau