Friday, November 02, 2007

District Transparency & Accountability

When I requested “any and all” environmental reports under a FOIA request for the District’s New Administration site, I expected more than one document. I was emailed by Marla Miller after my initial request because she wanted to dispel “rumors about contamination.” She informed me that the Test Pit on parcel C with elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s) had been remediated. Knowing environmental regulations, I knew they had to coordinate with the Department of Ecology (DOE) to a prescribed process. But why did I not receive a report on the remediation or the two previous assessments of the property conducted in 1991 and 1998?

Then I realized the question was not where were the reports, but why did they not send them to me? The answer is lack of transparency. Marla Miller does not believe that the business operations of the District should be scrutinized. Since when are the operations of a School District “top secret”? After all, they aren’t conducting matters related to our national defense. They are just exercising poor judgment at an astronomical cost.

So I looked to the DOE for answers. At first they were convinced the site I was looking for was Raskin’s property north of the site, called Center 5000. After reviewing the report I sent them they determined it was a new site that had never been reported. Assigned the tracking number ERTS 601404, DOE will investigate as described in the above link. So now I am at the conclusion that the District does not believe in transparency or accountability with regards to state and federal environmental law.

For some reason they do not want to inform us nor be accountable for their poor decisions. Instead they use their time and waste tax dollars to hire law firms like Duncan Fobes to create a show with smoke and mirrors to distract from the issues at hand and wear down those who seek the truth.

It did not work for the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz, nor will it here.

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