In advance of the Board meeting, I wanted to point out a couple of things, some of which Charlie and I have pointed out in the past.
One, just to let you know, the speaker list is NOT full so you can call up and still get on.
Two, staff has a bad habit of waiting until the very last minute - particularly on Intro items on capital issues - to fill in the blanks. They like to leave "placeholder" notations. That might be okay on Friday but not on the day of the meeting. This is a public entity and the public has a right to know what the budget is and who is doing the work within 48 hours of a Board meeting. This "last minute" fill-in stuff is a disservice to the Board for their oversight work and to the public.
Three, continuing on putting items with blanks on the agenda, I note that while JSIS's request for approval for their funding of IAs seems to be complete, the one from McDonald does not. The wording of the document:
A signed “Request for Advance Commitment to Expend” form must be received by G&FC
before approval can be given. Only the principal/program manager can make/sign this request.
Included on this form is the school’s commitment of how the expense will be covered if funding should not materialize or the agreement is rescinded by the funder after a position has been staffed or an expense has been incurred. Forms without this information will not be approved. (emphasis theirs)
As I pointed out to the Board, why make a rule if you are not to follow it? McDonald's form needs their principal's signature on it to be approved tonight. Otherwise, the Board should vote no.
What is quite the surprise is to see the Wilson-Pacific item amended. Well, not that it was amended but that staff seems to be changing the history of this project's budget.
Here's one of the major changes to the W-P BAR:
To reiterate, this does not change the project budget. Escalation was always assumed and
included in the project budget and the shifting of funds occurs completely within the
In my wrap-up of the Board meeting two weeks ago, I pointed out an exchange between Director Carr and Eric Becker of capital projects. There was an escalation in the architect's fees and she wanted to understand the issue.
Director Carr carefully talked Eric
Becker through this issue. He said that the change to this contract
was "solely related to budgeted escalation."
So far so good but then he said "the previous contract was negotiated with no escalation." Director Carr said, "I get that but my question is was it assumptions or is it absolutely no escalation?"
Mr Becker said it was not having escalation and then having it.
Director Carr pressed him, "We won't see this repeated?" and he said, "It's fair to assume it's one time unless we have 'odd events.'" She asked why the escalation was NOT there to begin with and he said he wasn't here when the budget was negotiated.
And yet now, the W-P item says that escalation "was always assume and included." I know what Director Carr said and I took careful note during the exchange.
I wrote to the Board and urged them to correct this error. Rewriting of district history should not be allowed. Ever.
(And I don't want to hear any tortured explanation about me not understand. I've seen this before and so I know exactly what it looks like. It looks like someone either doing CYA or trying to rewrite district history. Either way, no.)