Any appraiser will tell you finding the true market value of a piece of property is part art, part science. Human beings do the work. They have to inject their personal opinions and analysis into the ultimate finding. But when we came upon a transaction where the Edmonds School District paid $2,300,000--70% more-- for a piece of land than their own appraiser said it was worth in the market place, it seemed as though more science and less art needed to come into play.We found that when 2 appraisals are that far off, a government body entrusted with public funds will typically hire an appraisal review, or insist on a 3rd independent appraisal. What was the property worth, exactly?
Back to the art and science of it all. What is clear is the stewards of taxpayer dollars in this case did not follow standard practice to make sure they were getting it right.
Mark Zandberg said:
An incredibly alarming story. Thank you for your effort in bringing it to our attention.
February 11, 2008 5:50 PM
[This entry was actually written by me.]
The story portrays the Edmonds School District as ignorant of property appraisals and land value. [The District had qualified staff at the time and access to great consultants and lawyers, Marla just decided to over-rule everyone else's position.] The viewer is left with the impression that district officials were careless about the expenditure of taxpayer funds. Nothing could be further from the truth. [Your truth, I suspect] The core real estate transaction was the negotiation for the purchase of a piece of property well publicized as desired by the school district. Public/government entities must reveal the plans they have for projects creating a challenging marketplace negotiating land purchases. [Read board policies. There are plenty of ways to negotiate from a position of strength, like the fact that no one else was waiting to buy this property] The story fails to reveal the core issue of this transaction. The district wanted to centralize maintenance, transportation and administration in one location. The seller knew that, and kept pressure on the district to pay a higher price. [No, the seller kept pressure on Marla, once she was separated from the herd. Ask for copies of all communication between Raskin and Miller and you will see.] Simple exploration of surrounding area (core downtown Lynnwood) would have revealed shocking prices for the sale of property that connects to the redevelopment of Lynnwood. [Like the long line of developers seeking to buy the Old ESC site or ground lease the current bus barn. You need to keep up with a story before you manufacture supporting evidence.] So let me get this straight, KING TV says the district paid too much. [They actually said the District "may have overpaid millions". Reading without retention is unfortunate.] So, would KING TV beat on the school district if the district had used emminent domain to force the sale of the property at a lesser value? I think KING TV is simply trying to make a story where there is no story. [I suspect King 5 knows a scam when they see one. They have been winning awards long before Marla started handing out district money to friends and associates.] Reality in real estate is if you want something, you pay! [Duh, but if you are the only one in the store and the item is damaged, you may have more bargaining power if you actually use it.]
February 11, 2008 5:56 PM
How fitting that Mr. Zandberg would be first to comment on the story. [I may have known it was coming.] His reputation in this subject area is WELL KNOWN! [You don't know anything about me, but thank you for your interest.] Now it makes sense how KING TV got duped into running the story. You would think a major local new station would have the saavy to check out the source of idiotic observations! [Idiotic or not, King 5 investigated the issue for six months and arrived at their own conclusions. Their work clearly had an effect on you.]
February 11, 2008 5:59 PM
Charles Henry said:
Why in the world would the largest school district in Snohomish County let an unqualified and inexperienced person like Marla Miller negotiate a land deal? She has wasted millions of dollars that could have been used to benefit students. What else is going on at Edmonds School District?
See esd15.org for highlights.
February 11, 2008 6:00 PM
[I did not write this entry, but I think I know who may have.]
gary noble said:
Well, David, at least he published his full name. What have you got to hide? Where do your loyalties lie?
February 11, 2008 6:04 PM
[I suspect Gary Noble did not write this. He would not defend the path of taxpayer advocacy.]
mark zandberg said:
Sounded to me like King 5 did their homework. David's arguments make no sense. It is probably less than two miles from the current adminstration site to transportation and maintenance. Is a $2.8 million overpayment justified for "centralization"?
The real story is where are Raskin's (the seller's) ethics? He took advantage of a poor, old, school district with administrators who should have hired experts. But wait, they did, and ignored their experts, because Raskin wouldn't lead them astray! Shame on him and the school board. I'm voting no in the election.
February 11, 2008 6:13 PM
[I did not write this entry.]
David Hill said:
Amazing - simply amazing. And people do not believe in conspiracy theories. Look at all the wonderful support for this story. [Lemmings, or perhaps just a band of Marla's friends waiting for their turn at the trough.] Centralization is bad because it only eliminates two miles? [Not sure where this came from, but if you are already in the center, any adjustment toward centralization may not take you far. The growth is in the northeast quadrant and that two miles is in the wrong direction.] Gary Noble is asking for my last name? I happened to KNOW Gary Noble, [most people at the trough do] and posting in his name making comments he would not make, are clear evidence of the malformed minds that are involved here. Gary Noble has been one of the targets of these idiots. [So, you can't read board policy either? How have you managed to construct these sentences on your own?] This whole thing is a contrived game of malcontents who have contributed NOTHING of value to the Students in the Edmonds School District! [Perhaps our collective contribution is not feasting at Marla's trough. Read about the Piano Scam.]
February 11, 2008 6:41 PM
Has anyone noticed how small the property space is?
February 11, 2008 7:03 PM
[Do you mean before or after the District distorted the property boundaries for their $6,000 parent letter?]
What about the people that lost there jobs over this mess? Nick & Marla should loose their jobs over this! How can we trust anyone in the district or board members! What about the cover up at the warehouse, porn & leave reports. Mr Penney should loose his job to!
February 11, 2008 7:04 PM
[I believe Marla and her friends decide when people have to leave.]
Now, THIS is the kind of investigative journalism that KING should spend money on. Not stupid idiotic stuff about cars running red lights. I know that news media is traditionally scared of looking too deep into state, local governments and related administrative "irregularities" because they don't want the door slammed shut on them when its interview time about some mundane topic like a pothole not getting fixed on I-5. They want their calls returned. Show some guts you guys. Believe me, advertisers might like the idea of local media bravado with intelligence instead of Greg Forman standing in front of a wind storm at Ocean Shores.
February 11, 2008 7:33 PM
[There are other networks. Of course, I have my favorite.]
lars lindgren said:
Thank You Marla Miller for making children the lowest priority. Make sure the winery in Woodinville gets all the bells and whistles. You directly and negatively impacted my family. Please resign effective yesterday. We need a new beginning.
February 11, 2008 7:50 PM
[I did not write this entry.]
david hill said:
Sorry David, Gary Noble is not your friend. Are you the aromatherapy guy?
February 11, 2008 8:16 PM
[I did not write this entry.]
Editorial: These are just the first 12 comments. There were at least 21 before the site was taken down. Running a blog is not an easy thing. At esd15.org, we get a significant amount of material that we cannot post.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
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"His reputation in this subject area is WELL KNOWN!"
This is a very revealing statement. If this writer does not know you personally, he must be getting all of his information from others. This means that others are talking about you.
Since this writer claims to be a friend of Gary Noble, and such a crowd cannot have many friends, his knowledge of you is tainted at best.
Just as criminals tend to not like cops, these purse-snatchers think you're a snitch.
Just my two cents.
Yeah. Whistleblowing is a difficult career choice. Certainly no one in the "in" crowd would follow that path. Too much like having morals and knowing right from wrong. Fewer people to party with, too.
"David Hill" is the husband of Stephanie Hall. He apparently knows Gary Noble, which explains how his wife earns $60,000.00 for doing zilch. Does she know what email is yet?
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