Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Spend-A-Thon!

Vanilla after vanilla school board agenda.  An occasional spark, here and there but generally Dr. Feelgood style happycrappy.  That's the way school board business has been for several months.  Then.... just as many folks will be [very happily with absolutely no reservations whatsoever] celebrating the joys of Saint Valentine with their significant other...BAM! ZAP! WOW!   School board got that Boom Boom Pow!  

Just seems a tad fishy that all of a sudden we have this jam-packed agenda for both FTT and the full board...on a night where many folks have reservations elsewhere.  Really! Really, JohnE?  This meeting couldn't have been moved up a day...or the agenda covered at another meeting?  Really?  The board continually cajoles community residents for showing up at board meetings instead of appearing first at the committee level.  Did you folks even LOOK at that FTT agenda and all the multitude of big ticket items being discussed?

These are some of the hot issues that will be discussed:
Kobussen Contract (School Board)
Isn't this interesting!  First this appeared as an "addendum" to a $10M contract.  Now it's termed "revisions".  Addendum? Hah!  The only reason for this "addendum:" is that the original contract was prepared and signed without the original --critical-- addendum which determines transportation costs.  Is that what we get from $35.00+ per hour staff?  Board member John Welke was the only board member that requested a critical legal review of the revisions.  Welke rightfully questioned if the district had the authority, based on the original contract language, to solicit other, less expensive carriers for the 4K program.
 “The contract is ambiguous. If the District does not get prior consent or agreement from Kobussen but acts unilaterally, Kobussen could object and assert that contracting with another vendor constitutes a breach of contract. Thus, unless the District has prior agreement or approval from Kobussen, then contracting for transportation from another vendor could expose the district to litigation with uncertain outcome”.
---SPASD legal counsel Bill Fahey on whether the district could use other options for 4K transportation
Contract Extension for District Administrator Tim Culver
This is a waste of time.  Legally, by failing to act prior to January 31, 2011 (at least nothing was ever done PUBLICLY), the contract defaults to an extension through June 2013.  The big question what aren't we seeing?   What decisions have been made behind closed doors regarding Culver's 6 contract proposals?
New HR position
Perhaps 'nuff said...but is this the time to add administrative new staff?  And is this ONE individual going to really effect change where 3 years of intra-district efforts have not?
New baseball stands for Summit Field
The situation report doesn't appear to 1tell the whole story.  We hear from reliable sources that the reason for spending $70K on new bleachers (hell..we haven't even used the original "new" ones yet!) is that the view from the ones we bought is largely blocked by the above ground "dugouts".  Apparently somebody had the brilliant notion that if they call 'em "dugouts" they must be below ground and therefor wouldn't block views from the grandstands. Hmmm...whodathunk?  Genius!    Now, of course, somebody wants to spend $70K MORE of the $900,000 leftover from construction.
Ashley Field
Like the Twilight saga...this story just seems to keep building.  Now the pricetag is up to $1.7M.  Of course they at least determined that at $2.3M, it would cost too much to make changes to the new high school field.  Is this school board incumbent for re-election David Stackhouse's swan song?  Is he looking for HIS legacy?  How about we all stop looking for our own leg-acies and start trying to get an academic LEG UP on other school districts?
District Office remodel: $70,000
OK...enough with the fat cat office remodel, eh?  We already have gold name plates on doors fro cry eye!  When does it stop!
Secured Door Access
Here's an item that at least makes sense...securing the buildings for our students.
Our Particular Favorite...New Diving Boards. they only cost $3,400.  So we should just do it, right?  EXCUSE US!  We BOUGHT--and had delivered over a year ago--- brand spanking new diving boards that even the district says meet WIAA standards.  Except....and this is give us a drum roll for effect...the diving boards aren't the "preferred ones" used for competitions.  So...the threat is that if we don't replace them, we may not be able to host competitions. So...let's just replace perfectly good, brand new diving boards...right?  We don't freakin' think so!  You want new/better boards?  Then make a stink with the contractor who purchased the ones we have.