February 8, 2010

Consultant had no role in Dickert campaign;
Review of city's no-bid contracts underway

Some are suggesting a consultant in line for a $40,000 contract to rework the city's cable-access TV station worked on Mayor John Dickert's campaign.

A review of Dickert's campaign finance records and interviews with high-level campaign officials suggest Sandy Petrykowski, vice president of the Racine-based Soura Films, had no role in the campaign.

Petrykowski and her husband, Hossam Aboul-Magd, did not donate to Dickert's campaign and neither was a paid member of the campaign staff, according to the finance records.

Two campaign workers who worked closely with Dickert in last year's campaign said in separate interviews that Petrykowski wasn't involved with the campaign. One of the workers is still close with Dickert, but the other has moved on to other jobs and is no longer attached to the mayor.

Both said Aboul-Magd filmed extensive footage of Dickert on the campaign trail for a documentary about the race. None of the footage was used in campaign spots and the documentary has yet to be edited, they said.

"She didn't work on the campaign, she didn't volunteer and she wasn't paid," one of the workers said.

The campaign worker who is no longer close to Dickert said the issue wasn't a matter of the mayor giving a campaign staffer a job. It's a matter of the mayor giving a friend a no-bid city contract worth $40,000.

"That's the real story," the campaign worker said.

City ordinance requires departments to request bids for contracts over $25,000, unless contracts are for "professional services." The CAR25 consultant contract is classified as professional services and is not required to go out for bid.

Alderman Terry McCarthy has asked City Administrator Tom Friedel to review the city's policy on bidding out contracts and to consider dropping the exception for professional services. That review is under way, McCarthy said.


  1. Ok, Guys....You really need to research a bit. There are published photos of her videoing the Dickert campaign, one specific photo of her in the middle of Dickert as he wins the election! SO SHE WAS INVOLVED! This whole thing just reeks of favoritism and paybacks. No Bids? And a personal friend of the mayor and his staff? C'mon people wise up, we are much smarter than this horse crap, and deserve much better to represent this city, I'm embarresed and shocked by this whole thing!

  2. http://gallery.pictopia.com/journaltimes/gallery/S1007036/photo/8712397/?o=0

  3. Read the story ... they were filming documentary footage that's never been seen. It wasn't used in the campaign.

  4. Hahahahaa....Ok. Are you serious? I suppose I could walk out my front door and get trampled by a heard of wild giraffes. C'mon people be smarter then this, read into this and use your best judgement. This is just a ridiculous move on part of the mayor's office.

  5. There goes Dustin, letting his personal feelings get in the way of being a real reporter again. The only time you see Pete or Dustin jump on the blogs to defend themselves or others, is if it is someone they personally support.

    A lot of people saw her at the election party - she was happy and rejoicing, not exactly an impartial observer.

  6. "Petrykowski and her husband, Hossam Aboul-Magd, did not donate to Dickert's campaign and neither was a paid member of the campaign staff, according to the finance records."

    How long has it been in the can for and still not edited? Why not? I thought she was the pro from Dover IMHO nothing more then a UNPAID Campaign worker.
    FYI Kelly Marcott a former worker at CAR 25 shot a 100 min + documentary in many locations to include three states and held a full time job in less time then the Dickert "Film", that is not done yet.
    Racine Post just because you choose to believe what the Mayor tells you keep checking I think the wool is being pulled over your eyes.

  7. So she was not a paid campaign worker. WHAT THE?.....I have helped on countless campaigns and have NEVER been paid!

    Not being paid to work on a campaign has no significance whatsoever!

    Dustin to even use not being paid as a campaign worker as a defense is absolutely ridiculous!

    Wow, this gets more and more unreal.

  8. Look, folks, we were just as skeptical as you were about this deal. But we looked into it and not one person involved with the Dickert campaign said Petrykowski volunteered or worked to get the mayor elected.

    Here's how this appears to have gone done. Petrykowski and the mayor were friends. The mayor wants to revamp CAR25. He knew Petrykowski's background and wanted her for the job because, well, he knew her.

    It's not unlike former Mayor Becker hiring Rob Weber as city attorney. Weber was Becker's neighbor, but he was also a qualified attorney.

    It'd be more scandalous if Petrykowski didn't have such strong TV credentials. But the contract is headed for further review and we'll see how this plays out.

  9. Mr. Block

    Almost anyone can get nominated for an Emmy.
    "The mayor wants to revamp CAR25." Do you think it needs fixing?
    Why might the Mayor what is wrong with it?
    Why 40K for yet another no bid contract vs say support staff

  10. Anon 9:44, so how many Emmy nominations do you have? LOL

  11. Glenn H Loschenkohl2/09/2010 11:40 AM

    A perfect example of why government is challenged in getting things done. Seems easy to bash with no basis and under the cloak of anonymity. What is your agenda? It certainly does not appear to be about "doing the right and best thing for this community?
    If the mayor is required to have each and every decision made in conference then nothing would ever get done. This issue was agreed upon during budget. End of topic. If you'd take the time to look at the consultant's qualifications it would be clear to you she has all and more of the qualities required to grow CAR25 to the next level. The issue is not and should not be where did she come from, but are her qualifications in line with the positions needs. She has a wealth of experience not normally seen in these parts. Clearly a view that could benefit our little corner of the earth. Get your head out of the sand Anonymous. Stand up and be counted for who you are or keep your jaded opinions to yourself.

  12. Glenn H Loschenkohl, BS.

  13. Becker hired Robert Weber because the person they had originally chosen for the job developed brain cancer and died unexpectedly. They were left with a position that needed filling quickly.

    And UNLIKE the CAR25 consultant which is in my opinion, a frivilous use of money and a position that is NOT necessary, a City Attorney is crucial to the operations of the city.

    Poor comparison Dustin.

  14. "Then go read another website. Seriously, we won't miss you."

  15. Sure a couple of Dickert's pals say something and everyone falls for it. They are Dickert's pals. They worked for him just like the camera lady.

  16. Glenn H Loschenkohl2/09/2010 1:34 PM

    Anonymous. Clearly, I hit the nail on the head if all you have to say is bs to me. You obviously have an opposing interest that will not stand on it's own merits since you are unwilling to idenify yourself and stand behind your venom. Shame on you for trying to blow up a process you cannot support in the name of democracy.

  17. Most people do not post their real names for a variety of reasons. It does not mean their post has no merit.

    And actually Glen, I read your post and completely disagreed with it. (No I am not the one who wrote "bs".)

    The $40,000 was NOT agreed in the budget to go towards a consultant - it was intended to go towards CAR25 for equipment and manpower in the office which is desperately needed.

    When it comes to spending money and creating new positions, YES the mayor DOES need to bring it to committee and every move he makes should be absolutely transparent and scrutinized.

  18. Two of Dickert's guys covering for him. Real objective.

  19. PLease tell me how you can justify spending 40k for a part-time position to do a job currently being done? Please anyone?

  20. Could not find the mayor's mother to vouch for him? Only talking to two campaign guys is just sloppy.

  21. Convicted Murderer2/09/2010 3:58 PM

    My friends think everything that I did is ok too. Just ask them.

  22. My idea for the first feature film is a documentary about the missing 10 year plan.

    Scratch that. Make it an action/adventure movie like Indiana Jones. Give Dickert a hat and a whip and then make him run around Racine looking for the lost plan.

    Hey, at least if we are going to be lied to, then we should at least get entertained.

  23. For what it's worth, I'll say it one more time. There is no evidence that Sandy Petrykowski worked on Dickert's campaign. It just doesn't exist, likely because she didn't work on the campaign.

  24. Hopefully you are consistent and defend ALL the lies posted on your blog, not just the ones that you favor.

  25. Dustin,

    I'd just give up. Wayne Clingman is going to continue to post about this regardless of the evidence. The three other bloggers that comment have already made up their mind and will repeat their baseless claims endlessly.

    Some will even write these talking points on their palm and gather with fellow palm readers around bonfires, smoking tea leaves. Typical Saturday for these losers.

    At the end of the day, the only thing that can save us is kelly 4 congress. I just hope that day is filmed and aired on CAR 25 for all of Racine to see. There will be statues, monuments and street name changes.....and possibly a parade.

  26. So she shot video of Dickert's campaign run for mayor, THEN SHE WORKED ON DICKERTS CAMPAIGN! PERIOD! And weather she got paid or not should not matter, Is this really morally the correct thing to do? Is this the smart fiscally responsible thing to do? Is this the fair thing to do to our city and it's residents? I think not and I think Johnnie Boy should be tossed out on his ear!

  27. Petrykowski was involved in filming Dickert during the 2009 election campaign. This is all we need to know. Folks, we've got to use our brains and read into this and use our better judgement to figure out this mayor is pulling a scam on the city of racine citizens, it's not right and not fair!

  28. "But he(Dickert) said the city does not have the funds to hire an African American liaison officer"
    But we have 40 grand for a no bid contractor for CAR 25?

  29. Just wanted to put it out there that I think Spangenberg is the voice of morality for Racine.

  30. Does anyone know how many of these jobs or contracts he has given his friend?

  31. 11:00, 3 for sure!

  32. 1. Mark Eichorst $20,000
    2. Sandy Petrykowski $40,000
    3. Tom Friedel $100,000+
    4. Greg Bach (Secretary and former campaign worker) ?

    That is probably pretty close to $200,000 of tax money, that was never bid out, going to friends of Dickert.

    Add the Hispanic Community Center too. Anyone have any more?

  33. $200K is a lot of money, not however when your taking it from the tax payers and giving to your pals.
    As the rest of Racine is going to hell City Hall is jumping! Party!!

  34. An email from the Cable Commission

    Our recommendations are to reallocate a portion of the 2010 budget line item under Professional Services (currently set for $40,000, which is more than 1/3 of the total budget) to address the immediate equipment needs for the channel (estimated $15,000), to hire a part-time assistant to help with day-to-day duties that a contractor cannot legally fulfill (estimated $9.600), and to establish a clear outline of deliverables, responsibilities and timelines for any consulting or outside programming production (remaining amount). This will allow for more accountability and transparency, while serving both the public and government needs. Currently CAR25 handles all productions (within time and budget constraints) for the City and all departments from Police & Fire to Health & Human Services, however the consultant would allow for additional programming that would serve our city and its departments.

    Our only concerns are the lack of funding in the 2010 for the much-needed equipment (the additional 5% of the franchise fee was instead allocated to professional services), and for the disappointing results of a similar past outsourced project. As you may know, a couple of years ago, the City of Racine hired consultants to produce videos highlighting Racine. This money (approx $25,000) was not allocated from the CAR25 budget. The videos produced were barely used, and quickly became outdated. We want to make sure that any production developed by outside consultants has greater longevity than this past project, and fits within the budget and needs of CAR25. Any projects related to photography, film, and production must have clear inputs and outputs, and adhere to strict policies regarding rights to coding, content and intellectual property. Each project should have its own budget and timeline, and will need to be managed closely. We recommend a budget of $15,000-$20,000 for 2010 consulting/programming, broken up into several main projects, which one or more could be open to multiple bids, and if these projects are more successful than the past project, we can potentially allocate more to consulting & programming for ongoing projects in 2011 and beyond.

  35. Add the cost of benefits, health care, etc., and the cost to taxpayers is MUCH higher than $200,000.

  36. I think this is a pathetic way to run the city, this mayor should be ashamed! And what else do we not know about! It is morally WRONG to be giving friends jobs, especially 40k for part time work! This makes me sick!

  37. Too bad 3/4 of you idiots voted for Dickert because he was the "sexy pick" as I've heard people say. You fools should stay home next election and let the intelligent people vote with our brains and not our hearts.

    This is the same reason Oshama got into the White House, idiots using their hearts and not their brains while voting.

  38. "Come to Racine, it sucks so bad that we don't even have a hospital."

    Our new slogan I like to see Mr. Racine spin that, or the not really campaign worker "Consultant"

  39. Hey 3:19....You got me! I do feel a serious case of voters remorse! I admit I voted for this idiot and I do feel like i was suckered! I wish I could do something about this horse sh-it! Next time I will try an use better judgement, this mayor is a LOSER