Consultants recommend bond oversight and ethics training for administrators Schools & Kids, posted by long time parent, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm
The Contra Costa Times wrote an article on the Pleasanton School District Oversight Committee Findings. The headline for this article is "Consultants recommend bond oversight and ethics training for administrators."
Key points in the article:
"refinancing construction bonds cost taxpayers and additional $9.2 million in payments and interest."
"The $6.8 million was used to build facilities, but the review was unable to pinpoint which specific projects benefited."
If you watch the board meeting you will see other things being talked about including even more potential problems in refinancing of other loans and the assumption of 3,000 more housing units in Pleasanton will need to be built just to pay off the existing loan. They do not address what facility additions would be need to accommodate the students from 3,000 more housing units. Seems they are glad to take the money but are not planning on spending it on new things.
Posted by Ron, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on Sep 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm
PUSD has painted the community into a corner with debt that has no repayment source but more housing. While schools are already full they will be supporting new growth that will negatively impact the quality of life at our campuses. They will not be able to use the money to relieve the higher enrollment because they already have a huge growing debt. They will be advocating for more housing even though it is not in the best interest of the community.
Posted by local, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Sep 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm
As for the schools being overcrowded, I heard the board talk about that. The schools were originally supposed to support no more than 600, max 650 students at the elementary grades. We have schools well over 700 now where they are having to overflow some of those kids to other schools. And the schools that are impacted now (Lydikson, Donlon) are the closest schools to the Hacienda Business Park, where the city is planning on placing most of the new high-density housing.If most of those additional 3,000 new housing units are in Hacienda, what will happen to those schools? It does not look like anybody is planning for the future.
Posted by steve, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Sep 15, 2011 at 6:20 pm
Future? Who cares about the future when there's so much past to rehash. Let's initiate another investigation, with consultants and oversight committee, to shed more sunlight on the practices of almost a decade of ago. Makes sense to me.
Posted by local, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Sep 15, 2011 at 8:46 pm
The District's motto is "Building on the Past.. Preparing for the Future". I guess "Building in the Past" means they will be using the same techniques in the past. It seems nobody at the district acknowledged that what was done in the cashing-out was wrong or that they even owed the taxpayers an apology. The consultant and the committee were quite clear this was an illegal activity. The only remark was from the superintendent saying that now that we have investigated this, we should not spend any more time discussing it. The district gave the certificates of appreciation to the citizen's committee BEFORE they even heard the report. Who knows if they will implement any of the best practices recommended. Most of the board was silent on the recommendations. Some of the board members ignored the report and profusely thanked staff for their time. One board member was very critical of including the financial information in the staff reports saying it was a waste of paper. He obviously does not think the taxpayers have a right to know how their money is spent.
Posted by Observer, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Sep 16, 2011 at 12:19 am
What happened years ago we will be paying for for many years to come. As long as the same culture exists it will happen again in a different form. The consultant was the only one who acknowledged the wrong doing and tried to implement suggestions for change.
Posted by Colleen, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Sep 16, 2011 at 6:45 am
Ya gotta understand something about people like steve/Mike/Amy. It doesn't matter that the current School Board is different from the one that was investigated by the high-priced consulting firm and the dubious oversight committee. When you have a witch-hunt mentality, one lynching is never enough. It has to be done again and again and again.
Posted by local, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:08 am
The current board is not even admitting what was done in the past was wrong. Until they acknowledge what was done was wrong, we should expect they will do it again. Even the current administration could not produce a report of where the money is being spent, even for the period of this current administration/board.
Plus the problems with the other facility loans that were spoken about at that meeting were done by the current board. That was a refinance that cost the district at least another $5 million. That sounds real fishy. Refinancing a loan and now that loan costs $5 million more.
Not sure why you thought the committee was dubious. There was a mix of supporters of the parcel tax, non-supporters of the parcel tax, a representative of the PTA, and a person who was on the original oversight committee. That sounds like a pretty diverse group of individuals. Colleen, you sound like somebody who does not want to question anything our government does. While ignorance is bliss, I am glad that there are members of the public who are paying attention.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm
I feel that one effective investigation would suffice.
I define effective as producing an answer to where the money went and who authorized payment.
What you call a witch hunt, I call a reasonable expectation of accountability and oversight regarding public funds, which I feel is especially important in light of the district's recent attempt to convince the public that it needed another 100 bucks from everybody to avoid the Apocalypse.