Monday, July 30, 2007

Where did I put that pesky cell phone?

It has been brought to my attention that I am somehow still reaping the benefit of a District cell phone account. Sure, I keep the District's phone on my hip so I can still get calls from developers and former co-workers asking where to find certain files. Maybe I get a thrill out of being ripped from my nightly slumber several times before dawn. Maybe I secretly wish for Technology to review my assigned telephone account and see the numbers of all of the powerful people with whom I communicate.

I don't have a District telephone and I don't have any need for a District telephone number. I value a full night's sleep and enjoy deciding when and with whom I communicate. Besides, the need for a District cell phone stopped when I was forbidden from communicating on behalf of the organization or offering constructive guidance. What other purpose would an employee have for a District telephone than to communicate on their behalf?

I would recommend someone talk to the Telecommunications Specialist. After all, that's where such devices are turned in.

Party of Two

The lengthy list of candidates clamoring for the position of Planning and Property Management Specialist numbers only two. The position either comes off as something no one in their right mind would want, or the economy has taken off - and we all know the latter isn't true.

Maybe prospective applicants were confused and started looking for employment opportunities at Unfortunately, we are not currently hiring.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Public records requests and operating expenses

Dozens of people have been asking the same question - Did the District respond to my request for information? Simply put, yes. While I have the official response for the single document I requested, I have a lengthy list of other documents to request. The issue at hand is whether the fees associated with the requests constitute a legitimate expense for

As my readers will readily recall, the District has graciously (pun intended) offered to reimburse my expenses associated with the maintenance of Seeking all documents relating to property transactions, for the benefit of my readers, would be an expense I would expect to recapture if the District buys Such expenses would constitute an investment in the site and therefore reimbursable under the parameters described by the District's legal counsel.

Once a qualified legal opinion is rendered, I will make the requests and bill them to Sadly, the District may ultimately pay 10 cents a page for the very documents I am requesting - if ever ceases to serve as a conduit for progressive change and falls into the hands of the District.

Additionally, defending myself against silly legal claims from Perkins would also qualify as legitimate expenses associated with maintaining One could argue that I should assemble a throng of the greatest legal minds on a contingency basis.

Mark Zandberg, Moderator
Former Planning and Property Management Specialist
March 2001 - June 2007

Every home needs a driveway

Working for a school district doesn't require a lot of split-second decisions where countless lives hang in the balance. Sure, you might have to make a decision that could impact the educational goals of every school in the district, like paying $3,000,000.00 more for a piece of property than what it is actually worth, but generally no one dies or loses limbs. It isn't life and death stuff but it is important. One such important decision was whether to tell a homeowner that he can actually keep his driveway.

Several years ago, a homeowner next to Brier Terrace Middle School was granted perpetual rights to use a portion of the school's driveway to gain access to his home. It was signed by the superintendent at the time and did not have a termination date. The document was slipped into the District's property management files and hadn't been touched again - until recently.

When I found the letter, I immediately took it to my supervisor and asked what should be done with it. Afterall, the District was on the offensive and demanding that the homeowner blow a new driveway through his neighbor's rose garden, where the original access easement was identified but never developed. Upon seeing the document, my supervisor (who still works for the District) told me to "Bury it".

That doesn't seem fair. The homeowner bought his home with the understanding that access was granted through what looked like a public street. The only hiccup was that no one bothered to record the document and make the access official. Would a diligent public employee bury the document and continue to force the homeowner to install a new driveway through the neighbor's rose garden, or reveal the fact that the document exists and allow a superintendent's letter to grant the access promised so many years ago? For me, the choice is obvious and an easy one to make since I no longer work for the District. I choose to respect the wishes of a previous superintendent.

Dear Ms. Miller,

On behalf of my client, I hereby request an official copy of a one page document, prepared and signed by the superintendent at the time, granting perpetual use of Brier Terrace Middle's driveway for the purposes of a single family residential dwelling. The single page letter will be found in the second drawer of the property vault file facing the entrance to Brian Harding's cubicle. It will be among the Brier Terrace Middle files and may still be in a file with "Kuhn/BTM" or "Kuhn Easement" written on the tab.

If you need help finding the document, please let me know. I would be happy to assist.

Thank you.

Mark Zandberg

Friday, July 27, 2007

Not all staff are potty-trained

There was a time when the District was much more advanced when it came to custodial inspections. We would routinely use a black light to identify problem areas that were in need of greater attention. Of course, the health of building occupants was the highest priority and reducing sick days for staff and children helped the organization perform their mission more effectively.

While the standard of cleanliness has remained as high as always, the technique for identifying problems seems to have slipped to a more primitive approach. Designees now go out to schools to urinate on bathroom floors and return the next day to confirm that it has been cleaned. Surely, they have better things to do with their time and urine than to create more custodial issues for under-staffed facilities. Such practices have no place in the Edmonds School District.

The information contained in this blog has been verified by staff but it still constitutes an allegation. This blog welcomes any official response to this allegation and will post such a response when received.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


In the District's great haste to dispose of all memory of my existence, they deleted six years of documents living on my hard drive and the back up server. Rather than just change the password, like most companies on earth, they changed the password and then deleted the account.

Gone are all of the lease agreements. Gone are all of the use agreements. Gone are the countless letters to contractors, vendors, developers, County officials and the general public. Gone is any evidence that progress took place in Planning and Property Management. Perhaps this is the new management approach; let the new hire re-define their role and re-invent the position.

Sadly, it will take at least six more years to get to that stage and I doubt any replacement will have the stamina to last under the current management model.

Of course, an intelligent public servant with business continuity training would have every document backed up three or four layers deep. But, to provide needed documents may expose me to further legal action from Perkins Coie. Which, of course would generate more legal bills. Maybe it is more affordable to have staff re-type everything from paper copies.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Muddled management

I once attended a public forum where a candidate was trying to land the job of his lifetime. It was one of those jobs that was just way out of reach and completely foreign to the candidate, but he showed up anyway and dazzled no one - except perhaps himself. It was obvious to everyone that the position required a geat mind, a cunning sense of political strategy and diplomatic prowess. The candidate had a heartbeat - so he was infinitely qualified to fill the position in middle management. He landed the job and hasn't worked since.

It is common knowledge among employees that middle managers, hired under certain regimes, have absolutely no charisma, intellect or initiative. They serve as "yes men" and never step in the way of their master. Their job is to laugh at their master's jokes, spew forth support and affirmation when directed, and gather tidbits of information when no one sees them lurking. They carry their collected data back to the lair and wait to be told what to think, feel and say. They have no will of their own. They have no real purpose at work but to thwart progress and wait to take a bullet for their master.

The era of public service by public servants is seemingly behind us. Public servants were once born into their industry and served without regard for income or perks. They worked without fatigue to serve their community and never slept until every opportunity was harnessed for the benefit of the public. Today, public service is rapidly becoming infected with thoughtless dolts, fashioned from incompetence and sloth. They seem more interested in maximizing income and minimizing productive hours of service. They seem to pop up without warning for some kind favor performed in an earlier episode, or for unfaltering and enthusiastic support of anything suggested by their superiors.

Worse still is that this new trend is a result of an utter and absolute absence of management at all levels. The people at the top cannot manage staff so they hire stooges that will never question the directives of their superiors. In return, the stooges hire imbeciles that will never threaten or challenge their superiors. The end result is a mass exodus of human resources. Through frustrating and intellectually starving qualified staff, all initiative is driven from the premises and individuals must shift their priorities toward something away from the office. It is a shame but without great management, staff potential shrivels up and withers away.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Flying in the Bug-Sniffers

Shortly after one of many meetings between the custodial union and District 'leadership', paranoia took a foothold. It wasn't the sort of paranoia one encounters in their normal, everyday life. It wasn't the sort of paranoia that can be quickly explained and dismissed. The District was so bewildered by the use of one of their expressions - by their opponents - that they were convinced ESC offices were bugged. Not bugged as in full of cockroaches and other insects, but full of hidden listening devices.

Don't ask me where the District found the crusty old men they flew in from Arizona. I was just directed to meet them at the ESC one Saturday morning and escort them around the three offices selected for de-bugging. They instantly protested, claiming they only had time to do one office. I immediately called my supervisor, who then called his supervisor, and I was told the highest priority was to scan and clear the office over the loading dock at the ESC.

The couple of curmudgeons then opened their collection of antiques and started the snake oil sales in earnest. They waved what looked like a coat hanger in the air while a metallic fossil in a beat-up old suitcase started chirping without rhythm. They lifted ceiling tiles and peered into the plenum. They crawled under desks and tables and looked behind books and posters. After 30 minutes and a rather boring overview of their counter-intelligence careers, they packed everything up, declared the room clean, returned to their rented car and drove back to their hotel.

I suppose the escorting of bug-sniffers around the ESC falls under "other duties as assigned".

Blood from Turnips

The financial situation with the District must be far worse than I originally suspected. They apparently can't afford to pay the administratively-approved fraction of my accrued vacation days and 25% of my sick days. My last day was June 11th and six weeks later they still haven't cut a check.

Give me a call and we can set up a payment plan or maybe I can just deduct the total from my property tax obligation - of course, I'll need a letter for the County Assessor.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bush or Brossoit?

He was whisked into office by the narrowest of margins and to the dismay of the majority.

He seems to have the educational credentials but lacks the depth of intelligence necessary for his position.

There are individuals in his administration that play him for the fool and make all the real decisions without his involvement.

He is up to his earlobes in a mess over which he has absolutely no control but is convinced that success is just around the corner.

He comes from the south, where people speak with funny accents and have a disproportionately high number of people living in trailers.

Quality of life has plummeted under his administration and people are leaving their jobs in droves.

Large sums of money are continually funneled to multi-millionaires through crooked schemes and contracts.

Yes, Grace Stanton of Perkins Coie, the answer to every question is Bush, of course!

Enrollment projectiles and other weapons of war.

For the few among us that are not aware, the Edmonds School District spends considerable time tracking student demographic trends. Since a considerable portion of funding comes from the state and is based upon actual enrollment, the District eagerly attempts to determine how much money they will get in the forthcoming budget years. One of the key instruments used to capture and promulgate this information is the Capital Facilities Plan, which - as established in previous blogs - nobody actually reads.

While previous budget analysts and planning specialists have worked hard to predict actual enrollment patterns, other elements in the District used figures entirely of their own imagination. The purpose for this is to artificially adjust enrollment upward to manufacture budget shortfalls when staffing needs to be trimmed back or programs need to be cut altogether. In doing so, administrative priorities can be kept on track and any fallout from disgruntled personnel can be attributed to diminishing birth rates and a shrinking kindergarten class.

The CFP has been showing a gradual and irrefutable downward trend with a subtle upswing only taking shape in 2011, at the earliest. Why would anyone, in their right mind, plan on anything other than a shrinking financial contribution from the State of Washington? Clearly, certain departments have fallen from favor and need a makeover, though the results would be unfit for even the sleaziest of talk shows.

The manipulation of data and the orchestration of "unanticipated cutbacks" smells like old sushi - particularly on the heels of irresponsible property choices and misguided leadership priorities. Far too often, public servants misinterpret data, manufacture crises, and spoon feed imminent financial peril to elected board members, who then gobble it up without regard to what squirts out of the other end. Regrettably, the public is always in the firing line.

Mark Zandberg, Moderator
Former Planning and Property Management Specialist
March 2001 - June 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

District issues popular among Chinese

I just added the unique hit count from my server. It seems the Chinese are tracking current events in the Edmonds School District - and it explains some of the strange comments I have not been posting to the blog.

I wonder if a certain principal from Brier is the one checking in from Turkey.

As time permits, I will update the count in the lower right margin.

Remember to grade District leadership and - in the blog - we actually can assign a failing grade.

Mark Zandberg, Moderator
Former Planning and Property Management Specialist
March 2001 - June 2007

Daybreakers give pavilion to city.

Apparently, people just can't resist giving property to the City of Edmonds. Moderator

"The Daybreakers Rotary Club band pavilion has changed hands.
In a well-attended ceremony last weekend, club president Marla Miller gifted the pavilion over to Mayor Gary Haakenson.
It had been a long time in coming.
In 2005, as part of the worldwide Rotary Club centennial, the fifty members of the Daybreakers asked what sort of project the group could build for the city. Arvilla Ohlde, who was then the city’s park director, identified the need.
The Daybreakers went to work. It wasn’t always easy.
“This project took longer than any other that we’ve ever done,” said Tom Ohrbeck.
The group got a lot of help."

Read the rest in the Edmonds Beacon.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Your Incident Commander lives on an island.

Imagine that it's 4:33 am and a 7.6 earthquake just struck the region. The District's vast resources are being assembled in an instant and the best-trained people on staff are enroute to the Emergency Operations Center. But wait, where is the Incident Commander? He lives on Whidbey Island and has no way to get to the mainland because the ferry system has shut down pending a comprehensive evaluation of terminals. Like everyone else, he rushes to his telephone to take control of a rapidly developing disaster, but the telephone lines are down. Cell phones are jammed. What training he might have taken the time to acquire is now unavailable to the District in their time of need.

Who among the District's leadership has successfully completed the training necessary to lead the District through this turbulent time? Who among the many assistant superintendents has completed incident commander training? These are the individuals that will keep our schools safe and determine if they can be reoccupied. Their evaluation of District sites and structures will prevent further harm and hardship. How many of the District's assistant superintendents have attended even one training session in the last three years?

Is the District ready for an emergency? Are they ready to take the lead? Or will they rush to their predetermined location and tuck themselves neatly behind first responders?

Just curious.

Mark Zandberg, Moderator
Former Planning and Property Management Specialist
March 2001 - June 2007

Take Site 6, please.

Every City needs lots of parks. Parks are where people go to play and frolic in the sunshine – when the sun actually shines around here. Parks are a mechanism whereby cities can demonstrate that they actually care about the people that live there. Parks are those warm, friendly green squares on zoning maps that help mayors and city councilors get re-elected. Who doesn’t like parks? The City wants parks and doesn’t want to spend lots of money getting them.

The Edmonds School District likes parks, but it isn’t mission critical to construct parks for neighborhoods – though playgrounds perform a similar role and offer physical education opportunities for schoolchildren. The District likes schools and schools have playgrounds but they have no business constructing parks.

The District had a piece of swampy land they called Site 6. It was a rather large piece of land but had no real use or value in the school construction business. It just didn’t have enough firm soil to build anything society would call a school. It did have a value, but it was limited to the three or four houses that could be built there – of course, they would be houses with a considerable moat.

Along came a land conservancy on a mission from Snohomish County; to identify and acquire open spaces for the benefit of residents living nearby. The County had a sizable sum of money to spend and agreed to buy Site 6, if the appraised value did not surpass what was in their wallet. Anything above the amount in their wallet would have to be covered by the City of Lynnwood – the eventual owner and caretaker of Site 6, the park.

An appraisal was commissioned and the result came back nearly $40,000 greater than the County’s $600,000 allowance for the purchase. The site was large and one would naturally conclude that the City would happily part with $40,000 or so to acquire a site valued at more than $600,000. But this is Lynnwood. The City then asked the District to adjust the manner in which they had their appraiser define a wetland buffer and presto, change-o the appraisal came back just under $600,000. The City of Lynnwood had to pay nothing for their park, the County spent all of their allowance and the District handed over more than $50,000 for the pleasure of doing business with the City.

Isn’t it great when public agencies work together? But why does the District always look like the mentally-challenged sibling buying a shiny nickel for a dollar?

Mark Zandberg, Moderator
Former Planning and Property Management Specialist
March 2001 - June 2007

The Cedar Valley Shuffle

In March of 2001, I arrived in the midst of an on-going negotiation between the City of Lynnwood and the Edmonds School District. The City had agreed to enter into an interlocal agreement (ILA) with the District to expand their gymnasium at Cedar Valley Elementary and the City was to pay the additional costs for doing so. It seemed like a great use of public funds; the District gets the advantage of a larger gym for their students while sharing maintenance costs and the City gets exclusive access after hours without having to buy land, build infrastructure or put in parking to endow its residents with a great facility.

Here’s the kicker: The entire negotiations were hanging for months around the parking situation. The City of Lynnwood agreed to pay for all of the additional square footage of the gymnasium (less than one third of the total square footage) but did not want to pay for all of the additional parking that was required under their own city ordinance.

Sure, you might be a common, average person and think, “Well why doesn’t the City just waive the requirement or grant some sort of Conditional Use Permit for the school to have fewer parking stalls?” A common, average person might just think that. I did, for a while at least.

Then I started thinking that maybe the City wanted the District to consume their site and expand Cedar Valley’s footprint to prevent other development opportunities from happening. I also started thinking that maybe the City wanted all of the additional parking for their own use but they were just too cheap to pay for it. After all, Lynnwood seems overly interested in businesses and less interested in their residents. Cedar Valley started looking like a great venue for some serious City programming. The sort of programming that generates the money they love to collect.

Under relentless pressure from my supervisor, great strides were being made in convincing the City that the additional parking that was triggered by their additional square footage in the gym should actually be covered by them. The Parks Director was starting to see things from the District’s perspective. It was made abundantly clear and Lynnwood’s City Council was on the cusp of approving payment for the parking.

Then District leadership stepped in and put an end to the discussion. One could only surmise that the District had grown tired of counting money. While District leadership might have been trying to get a good seat in the City’s pocket, they actually ended up stuck to the bottom of the City’s shoe.

Mark Zandberg, Moderator
Former Planning and Property Management Specialist
March 2001 - June 2007

Nobody reads the CFP!

Since starting with the District in 2001, the Capital Facilities Plan for the District predicted an overall decrease in enrollment. I might be the only person that ever read the CFP because it was part of my job to update it every two years and usher it through the approval process with the Edmonds School Board and Snohomish County Council.

The County Council never read it because the Edmonds School District didn't qualify for student mitigation fees (decreasing enrollment). The School Board never read it because it wasn't illustrated, there were no interesting characters, story lines or speech balloons and it was longer than 5 pages.

While I was working with objective data-crunchers on student generation rates (SGR), I was perplexed by the County's somewhat bewildering outlook and explosive population growth slated for the County as a whole. Through lengthy discussions with the County's long-range planners, we collectively decided to water down their figures because they were based upon a demographic evaluation from 1990 and no longer applicable. Their data had always been included in the CFP but it was a separate line on a graph. It depicted a trend that was completely different from what we were seeing on the ground.

My concern started when a particular budget analyst left the District. Her methodology in forecasting student enrollment was the closest thing to reality that I encountered. I relied heavily on her figures and blended them with the student generation rates to get a good sense for where the District was heading. When she left, the level of detail and sensitivity to population changes left with her. Student generation rates then took top billing and yielded the best forecast model for demographic trends.

If anyone wonders how an unexpected dip in enrollment can have such a profound impact in District funding, just ask for a copy of the most recent Capital Facilities Plan. You will clearly see that no one should have been planning for more students.

Mark Zandberg, Moderator
Former Planning and Property Management Specialist
March 2001 - June 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Every move you make...I'll be watching you.

Dear Mark:

We note your acknowledgment of the District's ownership of the content that was formerly posted at the web site.

We disagree, however, with your assessment regarding ownership of the URL. In fact your statements continue to support that you clearly registered the URL as an agent to the District and in your capacity as its employee (regardless of your "reasoning" behind the registration). It is unfortunate that you remain unwilling to transfer property that belongs to the District in return for reimbursement for your out-of-pocket costs, which you have to date failed to disclose to the District.

We will continue to monitor the situation and your use of the URL. In the meanwhile, the District fully reserves its rights and this correspondence is being made without limitation on the rights or remedies of Edmonds School District No. 15.


Grace Han Stanton
Perkins Coie LLP
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4000
Seattle, WA 98101
ph: (206) 359-6483 fax: (206) 359-7483

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The District wants your wool socks.

Grace J. Han Stanton, esq.

July 8, 2007

Dear Grace,

Thank you for your letter dated July 6, 2007. My response follows.

It is my understanding that all District-related imagery and documentation, created or coordinated while employed by the Edmonds School District, has been deleted from my server.

Regarding your second issue, I am more than a little disturbed by your choice of words to quote from my previous letter. The portion you selected ("reduce the amount of time") appears to suggest that I was interested in saving my supervisor's breath and not the real purpose for registering the domain. I was interested in protecting my ears, and the ears of my co-workers. "With all of the calls being received, it made personal sense to shorten the address and reduce the amount of time spent filling our work environment with background noise." If the District decided to expend funds in keeping the administration building a chilly 62 degrees, I would have worn a sweater to work, or perhaps wool socks. Such a measure would have been taken to protect myself from being cold or getting sick.

Your argument opens another topic worthy of being mentioned at this time. During my first several years of employment with the District, I seldom submitted mileage reimbursements for the District's use of my truck. I frequently moved cubicle panels, boxes, parts and pieces from one District site to another. One could naturally conclude that the absence of mileage reimbursements would suggest that my vehicle actually belongs to the District. Am I to expect the District will be making a claim for its title? Perhaps the mistake in all of this was in not charging the District for use of my domain in advertising the properties they had available, because somehow the absence of a bill encouraged the beneficiary to assume ownership.

"Ms. Miller believed the District was listed as the owner of the domain name" reveals that she is either totally detached from web development at the District or choosing to abandon the memory of unfavorable conversations. I notified the District Web Content Specialist prior to registering the domain and then immediately after doing so. District staff was aware that I registered the domain and that I controlled its use. I was reminded frequently that the registration and use of was nothing the District wanted at the time or was interested in obtaining at some date in the future. My registration of the domain was viewed as a nuisance. If I registered the domain on behalf of the District, why would anyone oppose its existence or consider the act of doing so to be something unacceptable?

Believing something to be true does not actually make it true. If that was the case, the world would be an entirely different place and we wouldn't be exchanging these letters.

I look forward to your response.

Mark Zandberg

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Let's keep our emotions in check.

Dear visitors,

While I am grateful for your resounding support and enthusiastic encouragement, I must ask that you reign in the emotions a bit. I cannot post all of the material I am receiving. Though very interesting, some of the information goes beyond our collective interest in improving the District and its performance. Try to keep it civil and upbeat. Try not to include personal attacks or declarations of individual incompetence.

If you seek to write a full post, you may email it to me at, otherwise it can only be relegated to the status of a comment. If you are worried about revealing your name or sharing your email account, I can set you up with an email address ( and can offer my personal guarantee that your identity will be held in confidence. I do not work for the District and they have no power over a community forum dedicated to improving how public resources are allocated for the benefit of our children.

For those of you that still work for the District, my thoughts are with you.

Mark Zandberg, Moderator
Former Planning and Property Management Specialist
March 2001 - June 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Notice the request is for "official" copies.


First, let me assure you that I will not be mentioning anything about That matter, as requested by Grace Han Stanton of Perkins Coie, LLP, will be handled through her. This email is sent to you as the District's public records request designee.

I am writing to request an official copy of one email sent by Marla Miller on Sunday, June 26, 2005 at 12:47 PM to 'Mike Raskin' with the Subject: RE:ESD Purchase. I also seek an official copy of his original message to 'Marla Miller' dated Saturday, June 25, 2005 at 5:15 PM.

For future reference, am I to request emails individually, by date and time, or as an entire collection. I have 84 requests for email messages on this topic and would like to know the format in which you prefer to receive them.

To save time and paper, you may forward them to

Have a great weekend.

Mark Zandberg

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Squeezing out a good one.

Constructively terminating honest and competent employees

The Offense:
a. As a resident of Edmonds and a real estate agent, I naturally became irritated by my City being sued for not buying more than half of a public school site. While I was an employee for the District, I am a resident of Edmonds and I am a licensed real estate agent and within my rights to express an opinion in the Edmonds Beacon. I did not state that I was writing on behalf of the Edmonds School District.
Here is the letter.
Here is the response from the District.

b. At the same time I was expressing my opinion in the smallest newspaper in the region, a co-worker of the same classification was expressing his opinion in the Herald and Enterprise on two totally different - though more inflammatory - topics.
Here is the Herald letter.
Here is the Enterprise letter.
The District's support of author.

c. I was continuing to defend public property against neighboring residents and their delinquent children, dumping large quantities of oil on public land, cutting down trees and digging deep trenches for unauthorized vehicular racing.
Here is the email to the County Sheriff.

Impartial Hearing:
I was called into a meeting where the outcome, in typical fashion, was already decided without regard for reason or evidence.
Here is the invitation.

I was directed to not prepare any communication on behalf of the District without supervisorial review.
Here is the Letter of Direction.
Here is my response.

Here is the impact on emergency response.

Attempt at Compliance:
I attempted many times to obtain approval for communication but my supervisor continually refused or "played dumb". My supervisor's supervisor also refused to review my attempts to communicate and "reiterated" the terms of the letter of direction.
Here is a sample.

Here is another.

I continually expressed concern about being gagged and that it was inappropriate use of public funds to have an employee unable to do his work and have supervisors waste time reviewing mundane communications.
Here is my response.

I was invited to another meeting where we were to discuss what was and what was not subject to review by my supervisors. The meeting was apparently not intended to define intent with regard to communication but to determine what the state auditors knew of real estate transactions. The meeting focused only on what I felt about the Old Woodway Elementary transaction and if I thought it was handled properly. I was reminded that I had warned Marla Miller, more than a month before the deal was struck, that she was poised to give away millions of dollars.
Here is my original email.

Essentially, I was unable to perform the work I was hired to do. I could choose to stay with the District and continue to receive a paycheck without actually working (gift of public funds), or I could immediately acknowledge that I am no longer able to do the job I was hired to do and confirm that I was constructively terminated. I could have gone on vacation for three months, but it would have required me to lie and lead people to believe that I was coming back to the District when a productive job was no longer available. I was not going to steal money from the public or lie for a paycheck and I believe that no employer can force an employee to do so.

On June 7, 2007, a full four days before my planned last day of availability for the District, my voicemail, email and access to my assigned hard drive were terminated - rendering June 11, 2007 a day of volunteer service.
Here is the exchange of email.

Financial Impact:
Honesty costs more than $8,000.00 in salary, benefits and retirement contributions, due to the loss of accumulated vacation days. The loss of a great career in education has yet to be quantified.

The District continues to spend public funds on legal fees.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I'll show you mine, if you show me yours.


Please correspond directly with me on this matter and refrain from directly copying anyone at the Edmonds School District going forward. I will pass along any communications you have to them. I will be discussing your response with my client and will advise of next steps. Please advise if you are represented by an attorney in connection with this matter, so that I can correspond directly with him or her. I will assume you are not represented by an attorney in this matter until you or your attorney specifically advises me. Thank you.


Grace Han Stanton
Perkins Coie LLP
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4000
Seattle, WA 98101
ph: (206) 359-6483
fax: (206) 359-7483

Do not read this if you plan to sue me.


I await your response and shall not communicate directly with your client regarding this topic. I cannot guarantee they will not read the blog.

Thank you.