Thank You, Lynne
From her column:
The latest state audit of Seattle Public Schools didn't tell me anything I didn't already know: The district is stuck in a culture of lax indifference when it comes to taxpayers' money.
Despite the last decade's phalanx of highly paid budget and money managers overseeing the district, few inroads have been made in transforming this culture.
Interesting to note:
The shoddy reporting and bookkeeping gets worse. Employees charged $250,000 in gas, not necessarily a problem considering the size of the district and the many employees who travel between schools. But employees are required to note how many miles were driven between fill-ups so usage can be tracked. Few did so. Some scribbled in one mile, others took wilder guesses. They might as well have written "none of your business."
Officials also cannot explain why in a 30-day span, nearly a quarter of fuel purchases charged to district credit cards occurred between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Auditors look at personnel records and found no employees working at those hours. Kennedy wonders if the gas pump time clocks were off. That would be some coincidence.
Here's a bit of my comments from the Comments section:
The most damning part of the audit, however, is this:
"The State Auditor found that the School Board completely failed in their duty to enforce laws and policy and completely failed in their duty to oversee the superintendent."
That the people who are elected to watch over the district aren't really doing that job is deeply troubling. The Board has issued no real statements on the audit and their silence is troubling. Their legally defined duty is to oversee the Superintendent and yet they are not.
I started this statement by saying the Auditor's office is frustrated. You can hear it in Lynne's written voice that she is frustrated. I'm sure city leaders and business leaders are frustrated. We are all frustrated because no matter how you feel about the Superintendent's public engagement or her initiatives, we would all hope for at least a well-managed district. She brought in staff she had in her previous post and so you would believe that is because she felt they would do a good job. Don Kennedy, the COO/CFO, is directly responsible.