I attended the last [Edmonds City] council meeting but didn't stay very long. I was under the impression that the presentation by the Edmonds School District might be a little more informative. Boy, was I mistaken.
As many of you may have already noticed, the District's 2008-2013 CFP does not include Student Generation Rates. Such information is vital in obtaining an objective assessment of enrollment trends. Without them, it is essentially a guess as to the direction enrollment is heading.
Student enrollment is important to evaluate because it determines the level of financial support from the State. The District's recent budget problems have much to do with the fact that their board adopts the Capital Facilities Plan without discussion, questions or even reading the document. Unfortunately, this recent CFP demonstrates a further weakening of planning priorities and it is unfortunate that elected officials do not place much value in what was once an important document.
Please take a few minutes and read about many of the other questionable decisions made by our school district.
Your assessment of the ESD does not match mine; I am very well acquainted with their operations and I believe that they have a highly competent and diligent management team. I will not comment on the School Board Members, as I have no personal knowledge of any of the members.
I have previously not heard of the term "Student Generation Rates". If it refers to "Student Enrollment Projections", that data is in the CFP.
Thanks for bringing your concerns to us.
[Name Withheld, Edmonds City Council]
I totally understand your position regarding the management of the District. The Old Woodway Elementary transaction probably defined your impression. However, if you remove yourself from your elected perspective and look at the transaction objectively, you will see that every taxpayer in the District suffered, except the residents of the City of Edmonds.
The site was declared surplus and made available for purchase. Developers were encouraged to make an offer for the site - all 11.2 acres. I personally met with many developers, in my private capacity, to drum up interest in the site. Those developers indicated that they could not make an offer on the site because they did not have the expertise or staff to demolish an old school filled with hazardous substances.
Burnstead was deemed to be the highest bidder for the entire site. Then, after Burnstead was selected, the site was divided and Burnstead was offered the vacant half. I know for a fact that many developers would have jumped at the chance to buy a vacant piece of land near Woodway, but they never had the chance. In the real estate market of 2006, the District could have gotten a lot more for that vacant half. Of course, the unsuccessful bidders are probably rejoicing now.
I remain convinced that this tactic was employed to artificially deflate the value of the site - especially the half eventually purchased by the City. As a resident of Edmonds, I am happy for the City in getting such a great deal. As a former employee of the District, having worked there for six years, I am terribly saddened by the obvious fleecing of district taxpayers.
Thank you for your response and thank you for your service to our community.
Sorry for my belated response, Mark. But, I thought I’d let you know I appreciate that there is a ‘watchdog’ for the district. Every government needs one. I came across your blog some time back so I knew generally about some of what you’ve been up to. Keep at it.
[Name Withheld, Edmonds City Council]
I don't agree with many aspects of your information but I sure enjoy reading them and look forward to additional information. I have [found] the information to be helpful and informative.
[Name Withheld, Edmonds City Council]
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Reaching out to our community leaders.
Posted by ESD15.org at 8:56 PM
Labels: District Leadership, ESD15.org
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Boy, am I bummed out! I am not surprised that one form of government (the City council) does not know the members of another form of government (the ESD board). I,m sure they will get to know each other very soon though. The City and ESD Board are going to be in competition for your dollars soon.
I feel confident that the City's budget is a prudent calculation based on firm facts and figures with competent review by the mayor and his staff. The City Council will read the budget in detail, question the data provided and make adjustments as needed. I am not so sure I can be as confident that ESD #15 management can take a budget provided by competent staff and review it without screwing it up. Then on top of that present it to a board that consists of good people and a couple of bobble (Marla) head dolls. The ESD #15 Board will ask no questions, make no changes to the budget. They will approve it with little thought. We need to support a change in the Board.
As the news media reported today, teachers will not be getting pay raises from the state this budget cycle. This is just the beginning for declining school budgets I predict. We have not heard much about school budgets because I suspect that until the state budget is finalized the budget fallout in our school district is yet to be determined. If the schools take a hit they will be pushing for a tax increases or sell off more of our districts (our kids) assets (property) to cover their losses. Let's see what that $ amounts to.
If you take recent government agencies cut backs as an example you could extrapolate that ESD #15 may take a hit of 5% to 10% That equates to somewhere around $5M to $10M this year. Add the $$$$ that the City needs and guess what, they collectively may want close to $200 from each of us. Note: these figures are guesses on my part and are here only to show, by example what could happen.
Well, it appears or at least there is the potential that the City of Edmonds and the ESD #15 will be on the on the ballot at the same time with their respective hands out for more of your money. From what I have seen in the past local tax increases taken to a vote are orchestrated by our government so as not to give the appearance of competing for your dollars on the same election cycle. How do we build our confidence with the ESD#15's ability to manage our dollars?
Let's make the 09' voting cycle a little more interesting than just giving more money to the District. We can not allow certain Board members to continue to demonstrate support for poor management decisions that eat up our kids education dollars and are steadfast in reducing the property assets of the district. Let us recall a couple of School Board members who's seats are not up until 2011. Then elect a Board that will support the removal of the superintendent and top management. We all know that only the Board can fire management.
What about all the kids and staff that were exposed to asbestos at that old Woodway Elem.
Does anyone care about THOSE!/kids people.
The Edmonds School District doesn't care about kids, they care about their pay checks.
Leaders, what leaders do the district have.
Can we all say R.I.C.O Act!
Edmonds school district and The City of Edmonds.
Mark, talk about how top heavy the district is on management.
Salaries too, just a reminder.
I feel for all that hide behind the district and the city of Edmonds curtain. The curtain is about to be lifted and expose all that hide behind it.
Overtime! Talk about middle and upper management not writing down sick and vacation time.
I would like to see that one.
I think Mr. Sir. Nickest would like that one, so would the taxpayer.
Remember, Its only the money that people are stealing from the KIDS.
Taxpayers, You think the jails are full of criminals, just go down to your local ESD HR Dept and ask who turns in thier sick/vacation time. Stealing taxpayers and kids money.
We need change NOW, not later!
It looks like the City of Edmonds endorses this blog. Way to go. You have my vote.
Custodians, need to work Christmas eve and Christmas day too. You got to love this guy.
Do the custodians get double time for working on the paid holiday? Union where are you!
Call each site on Christmas day to wish your favorite custodian a Merry Christmas. How many of us will actually work on Christmas eve or Christmas day? Sorry Bob. Not I!
For heavens sake! Even the liquor stores are closed on Christmas Day--why on earth do custodians need to work on that day?
And they are trying to bait us on this new overtime policy. This should be some kind of invite. There won't be be any overtime issue here. I'm just gonna enjoy Christmas at home.
Let's go rat huntin' at Martha lake for some Christmas fun. The district neglected the old building so long that it turned into a Motel. Subsuquently burned to the ground, and the district had no back up plan for a new home for all the rats. I wonder about the origin of the fire? Screw it, lets go shootin'.
SEIU is in bed with the District. Just look at the contact that was just signed for 5 years.
I can't believe any union would bargain a 5 year contract. SEIU should layoff several of their field repres. They don't need them;they don't do grievances so what is their job? The district won't need all that HR people either because they have no contracts to bargain for 5 years. Sounds like layoff time for those district employees also. SEIU has screwed the employees once again.
Happy Holidays to all of the readers of the Blog!
A little known factoid about old Martha Lake. Guess who carrried the financial burden of the demo after the fire? If you guessed it was the insurance company, you would be wrong since the policy had lapsed and was not renewed. Yes folks, the taxpayers paid for that one.
Well now that becomes a widley known fact. Funny how I don't have lapses in all my personal insurances. How stupid does the administration of the Edmonds School District have to be to allow an insurance to expire??? You people are complete idiots running our business of kids. Not just running it, but running it into the ground. MORONS!!
Boy do I learn a lot from this blog. Guess tax payers pay for a lot of things including fully funding the education of each and every student. We need a bailout for our educational system but what would the districts do with bailout money give the adminstrators a big fat raise. Cut from the top for 2009!! Start now!!
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