Saturday, December 15, 2012

Time to Blow the Ballast Tanks

Time to blow the ballast tanks and resolve the issue
of field and fieldhouse usage for camps without paying.
This one has been dragging for six months now.  It's pretty clear that at the very least, coaches camps for football, and both girls and boys basketball were held this year as they have been in the past.  These camps are not free.  The coaches use school district facilities, allegedly without paying for them as required by board policy KG.

We reviewed district records of checks and deposits for all of 2012 and most of 2011.  We could not find any indication that these "camps" reimbursed the school district for cost of the fields.

Y'all remember how bad this summer was?  By many accounts, the football fields were in severely stressed state, yet the GridIron camp and Joint Sun Prairie-Waunakee football camps (a)bused these fields.  How much damage was done to these fields?

The problem is that we could find no record of any invoice submitted to those running these camps.  Based on cost per athlete and the number of participants, a significant chunk of change was collected.  Where did the money go?  We'd hate to think that a large portion of it goes to lining the pockets of coaches.  There MUST be rules or even law against that!

To his credit, school board VP John Welke has asked the questions, or at least started down the line of questioning, at public meetings.  Yet we've heard not one peep.  In late September, we heard from one of the coaches, who indicated that all coaches were informed of an intent to bill them for field usage.  Did that ever happen?  If not...why not?  Who authorized use of these fields/the fieldhouse without payment as required by Policy KG? In short...

Who ordered the Code Red?
Who ordered the Code Red?

Someone must have said..." problem...go ahead and use the fields; we'll waive the fee". Right?  hat would clearly be the code red.  But who ordered it? It sure looks like a duck, and seems to quack like a duck.  There are very few individuals with the access to bypass the system and facilitate usage of district fields and facilities at no cost.   Note that we didn't say "authority" to do so, because we can't find any wording in policy KG that gives ANYONE the authority to waive field/facility usage fees.

Meanwhile, we are hearing unconfirmed reports that other groups within the district are being charged for facility usage when Policy KG would make them exempt from paying the fees.  Why would we be charging groups who meet the exemption criteria but NOT charging the groups that do no?  What in the tarnation is going on here?

This issue has been running silent and deep for far too long.  It's time to blow the ballast tanks, get this one to bubble to the surface and answer the burning questions.  Here's hoping that happens soon.