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Sunday, January 30, 2011

This Week's Meetings

As I reported before, tomorrow is the day when the district has their "Construction Management Exit Conference" with the State Auditor's office. This is an audit of the capital building program known as BEX (Building Excellence). I believe it covers the last 3-5 years.

I've said repeatedly that this is important because:
  • this audit has taken the Auditor's office two years to get through (not normal at all)
  • that on the first reading of the audit more than a year ago, members of the BEX Oversight Committee starting talking about how to cover themselves
  • and because Garfield went nearly double over its original construction budget (the early published number was $60M) and it costed out at about $120M. That is not a sign of a well-managed project or program.
  • we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars at a time when we have a huge backlog of capital work
I want to be clear that we have gotten a lot of building done under the BEX program. But, like many things in the district, I don't think it received the careful oversight it needed and this may be yet another Bat signal the Auditor's office throws up for someone elected to pay attention.

My only caveat is that the Auditor's office has had to tread carefully so I have some concern it might have gotten watered down.

The exit conference is tomorrow, Jan. 31, from 4-5 p.m. at JS HQ auditorium.

I suspect some members of the media will be there so I won't be covering this on my own.

Wednesday, Feb. 2nd
Yet another Work Session on the Budget - this one a short 4-5:30 p.m. one because of the Board meeting at 6 p.m.

The School Board meeting agenda is quite light so I would hope if you have issues/concerns about the Transportation Plan and/or budget, go speak up. Sign up tomorrow morning by calling 252-0040 or boardagenda@seattleschools.org.

There will be an Ethics Program Update by Noel Treat, a briefing on "the potential ramifications of the Transportation Service Standards on the NSAP" and approval of the principals contract.

Thursday, Feb. 3rd
Another Community meeting on Transportation. This one is at Hamilton Middle school at
6:30 p.m.

There are no Director Community meetings this week.

10 comments:

The Real Arnold said...

Hi,

The District calendar website says this:

Facility used: Auditorium (1005 1st Floor)

This is the large room where regular board meetings are held.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks Arnold, that's a change from Friday.

Anonymous said...

That's odd. Why would the SAO have to handle this bunch of scofflaws with kid gloves? I say, book 'em, Dano.

Scoffer

Melissa Westbrook said...

Scoffer, I understand that due to the number of outside parties involved (all the various management and construction entities, subcontractors, etc.), the SAO had to be very careful what they said.

joanna said...

I am trying to figure out why Maureen who I believe reads and posts here posted clearly untrue information regarding transportation on CD News and attributed her understanding to Charlie: http://centraldistrictnews.com/2011/01/30/budget-transportation-and-policy-effects-dominate-part-ii-of-kay-smith-blum-meeting

Charlie Mas said...

Oh! How I wish I could be there! I have to be at work this afternoon for a scheduled meeting at 3:00 that is sure to run until 4:30, which means that I couldn't get to the JSCEE before 5:00.

Whoever attends this meeting, please report on it in detail.

Chris S. said...

Joanna, are you referring to her comment that option schools are not affected by this plan? That is my understanding as well, since Charlie starts out his post:

"...students assigned to attendance area elementary and K-8 schools will be eligible for yellow bus transportation if they live within ..."

The key is attendance area the modifier, which excludes option schools. Remember K-8 and option school are not synonomous. TOPS is a K-8 but is not an attendance area school. Come to think of it, the grammatical structure of the sentance does contain some ambiguity...

If the plan applies to Option schools NOW, we need to know ASAP. Charlie?

WV says I need to be "upersure"

Maureen said...

Joanna, I just posted a clarification. I think we just weren't understanding each other. I'll check back later to see if what I posted sounds right.

Chris, it does not apply to Option schools, unless what was presented at the Board meeting and is posted has been superceded in the last week.

Charlie Mas said...

Mr. Bishop has been very clear that transportation to option schools will continue to be available to all students within each option school's middle school service area. In some cases (Pathfinder, Salmon Bay) yellow bus transportation is available to all students in an adjacent middle school service area as well.

Anonymous said...

There is still no information about bell times and which schools are part of each tier. Isn't this part of the Transportation plan that should be out for comment? It's difficult to know how the new plan will affect our family when the details haven't been posted.

-?