Saturday, October 20, 2007

"The District does not retain copies of checks paid."

My request to the District was for " copy of the most current, fully executed use agreement between Powerful Partners and the Edmonds School District and copies of checks paid since 2003."

On Saturday, October 20, 2007, I received a non-responsive package from the District. While Duncan Fobes (Attorney for the District) claims that a copy of a fully executed use agreement is contained in the package, it is an agreement that lacks a signature from the District - therefore not a "fully executed" use agreement. They should have covered fully executed agreements in law school.

Also mentioned in the cover letter was something of concern. "Please be advised that the District does not retain copies of checks paid." In more than six years of service to the District, I never once neglected to photocopy a check I received. All checks received from tenants were photocopied and kept on file - at the direction of District management. This statement now makes me think that all of my time making photocopies of checks was time wasted. Additionally, current District staff should cease making copies of checks they receive - lest they violate this newly expressed District policy.

The District was kind enough to include a document that I did not request. Perhaps they thought it strengthens their case. The document is an "Operating Agreement between the Edmonds School District and Powerful Partners and Communities Working Together". On page three of this document it clearly states that:

This Contract is independent of any other contract between the parties and is not intended to relieve Powerful Partners of financial obligations owed to the District for extraordinary labor charges (such as custodial services) and uses of materials, supplies, services and equipment (i.e., copying, printing, telephone) attributable to Powerful Partners. Full payment for those obligations shall be due from Powerful Partners upon submission of an appropriate billing for such by the District.

So, where then might be the evidence for anything resembling rent or payment for services?

The last page of the District "response" to my request includes a summary of reimbursements for goods and services outside of their use of space in the District's administration building. They include food services, printing, transportation, sub reimbursement, and grant reimbursements. Rent is not included on this list.

Since the District no longer keeps copies of checks received, and apparently hasn't done so since 2003, my next request will be for copies of the B-129s that accompany all processed Powerful Partners checks heading to Business Services. This should be a painless request as no such copies exist.

The entire response will join the others on the Public Records Repository.


Anonymous said...


They have copies of checks attached to the form used to process incoming checks.

You are correct in assuming the report you received is only for reimbursements over and above the use agreement.

No "rent" checks from Powerful Partners exist. If they did, they have several ways to prove it. They could show you an Accounts Receivable report showing payment, they could show you the documentation you already requested, they could show you a bank statement.

How about if you ask for all of the transactions FROM the district TO Powerful Partners, including supporting documentation? Might have even more interesting information.

How disgusting! I think the auditors would be quite interested in the generous gift. How do we let them know?

Anonymous said...

Nick, you and your cohorts act so self righteous and hurt about being on the recieving end of so called anonymous comments, rumors and accusations. Yet when a named individual asks you an honest question, you sit back and thumb your nose at them. Thumbing your nose requires all your fingers. What I think of you and your high road takes only one.