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Just A Thought 3-5
I think I need a finder's fee
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What happened to finders keepers, losers weepers?
Isn’t that a legal term? The definition says “Used, often humorously, to assert that whoever finds something by chance is entitled to keep it.” One said, “This proverb is of dubious ethical merit.” Oh statement, why do you doubt my ownership of $70,000 and even reduce the assertion to moral values?
Here’s my less-than-legal conundrum:
On Tuesday night, I received the numbers pertaining to the proposed renovation of McMinnville Civic Center. I said, and I’m quoting here, the project would be $6,066,350. I have that in writing. Well, I was also given a breakdown of certain costs, such as first floor, second floor and additional items.
I assumed that if I added the breakdown up, it would come up to the total amount as stated. It did not. My numbers were $70,000 more, a total of $6,136,350. I double checked my numbers and recalculated. Again, I was $70,000 higher. Before potentially making a fool of myself, I checked a third time. Again, my calculation was $70,000 higher.
I made a couple of phone calls and McMinnville Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord contacted HFR Design, the firm that provided the number to the city of McMinnville. After they recalculated, it was determined I was right – words every woman loves to hear. I said woman, but let’s be honest here. Doesn’t everybody like to hear that? Oh, well, back to the subject at hand – my $70,000.
Apparently someone has transposed some numbers or something along those lines. Whatever the case, the breakdown was correct but the total was wrong. Thankfully, the embarrassment isn’t mine to endure. Sorry about that guys.
I offered a quick, easy remedy. Rather than alerting members of the McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen and rather than admitting that a mistake was made, give me the $70,000 and no one ever has to know. Call it a finder’s fee.
Don’t worry, I was kidding (unless they wanted to do it). I’m sure some city officials would probably take the time to add up all those numbers just to see if they matched. Maybe not. Now, we’ll never know. The company met my “joke” with a return jab and that ended my efforts to transfer that transposed amount into my personal checking account.
As you would probably guess, given that my professional life is spent spreading sunshine all over city and county government, my forte isn’t being shady. Don’t you love the word forte? Let’s make that the word of the day. Find a way to use it and throw it in there. “I’m sorry, but making dinner is not my forte.”
Despite how this turned out, I feel this situation needs public opinion. Should I get to keep the $70,000 that I found under the principle of finders keepers, losers weepers? Send your comment to my email address. Your assessment on this situation is very important to me, unless you disagree.
Reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at