Sunday, January 23, 2011

Answers from Calvin Williams Jr. on Guilford County's Website Deal

Would you be willing to submit to a polygraph
concerning questions on your business dealings with Guilford County?

"I have no problem submitting a polygraph.

Who nominated you for a board appointment at A&T?

I was first appointed to the Board of Trustees in a ex officio role in 2004 - 2005
when I was voted Student Body President by the students of North Carolina A&T.

Commissioner Alston did not serve on that board with me.

The Board in question
is the ICEEB (Interdisciplinary Center for Entrepreneurship and E-Business) Board
within the School of Business at NCA&T.

I was nominated to that Board by the organizer, Dr. Thaddeus McEwen,
a past professor in 2005.

I stayed on that board until last year when I resigned
to dedicate more time to my company and future academic aspirations.

Please detail your website programming credentials.

I began programming when I was 12 years old.

I learned how to make basic websites through a WYSIWYG browser called Netscape.

I began making websites for friends and my local church.

Then in high school, I took AP Classes and learned C++. When I applied to NCAT,
my AP credit transferred and I skipped several classes, so I have always been a geek.

My programming languages are HTML, XHTML, CSS, PHP, Perl, C++, Flash Dev,
and many others.

When I started my company in 2004,
I realized that it would be best not to be the best programmer at my company.

Therefore, I began to develop relationships and acquire some of the top talent that I could find.

Please specify the entirety of your relationship
with Commissioner’s Chairman Alston.

The relationship between Commissioner Chairman Alston and I
pertains only to the ICEEB Board, with no exceptions.

Please state for the record whether or not your have ever called Mr. Alston
your personal “mentor”.

My definition of a personal "mentor" is an individual who invests time with a mentee,
examines their progress, sees opportunities and helps them achieve them,
and corrects them when they make mistakes.

By my definition of a mentor,
Commissioner Alston and I neither have nor have we had that type of relationship.

Have you had any interaction with the County Manager?

The County Manager was involved in one or two design presentation meetings
where the County approved our work.

What were Mr. Alston's reasons for providing more time?

During the contract,
we spent many man hours of work that were outside the scope of the contract
(moving content, re-naming PDFs, etc),
therefore we requested more time to work on the actual programming of the project.

If Guilford County only paid for portions “acceptable to them,”
why do the preceding two passages contradict each other, and why is there a billing dispute?

There is not a billing dispute but a misunderstanding of the scope of the project.

During the course of the project, we spent many hours working on requests
that were outside the original scope of the project
(moving content, reformatting content, and re-naming PDFs).

Therefore, the deadline of the contract was extended.

When it became apparent to both parties that we were not going in the direction we wanted to,
we agreed to close the project.

Deliver the work that was completed to date
and not bill for the remaining portion of the purchase order.

Who are “we”?

We is XMG.

"We" are the individuals that make up XMG.

In this project, we had a project manager, creative director, lead developer,
and designer working actively on the project.

If as you say everything was hunky-dorey
when you turned it over to Guilford County
then what were all the "system bugs" the News & Record referenced?


I did not say that everything was hunky-dorey
when we turned over our code to Guilford County.

I said that we delivered the source code that we completed to date
and that we did not seek to collect the final payment of the purchase order.

It was an unfinished purchased order."

Calvin Williams Jr.
Note: Mr. Williams verbally explained that Guilford County's IS department
made the initial contact with XMG,
meaning that Mr. Williams was solicited by County staff,
as opposed to the opposite set of circumstances in recent real estate contracts.
George Hartzman
Please put any other questions for Calvin in the comments.

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Don Moore said...

I think Calvin has been open and honest in this. The County is the culprit here.

Good job with the questions and Big Thanks to Calvin for being forthcoming with the answers.

triadwatch said...

agree don

George Hartzman said...

"No one is asserting that Williams got "paid off" after the meeting with Alston. His company had already been paid the money that they'd been paid months earlier.

The meeting was to determine whether they would be paid any more, would do any more work and/or would be able to finish the project to the county's satisfaction.

The county is now saying they approved the work they paid for but without it having been finished and with the bugs in the stuff that they do have it might not be salvageable.

It might be correct to say (as commentary) that Alston's meeting could have had the effect of making the county attorney and SI director decide to give him more time and put the "walk away" deal on the table rather than going to court to recoup some or all of the money paid to that point.. Alston has said he intended the meeting to forestall that possibility as he didn't see the point in the county going through that if it could be resolved in another way.

But he demonstrably didn't influence the actual, initial payout -- at least according to all the principles in the negotiation and the aftermath."

Joe Killian