Sunday, November 04, 2007

Taking the partner out of "Capital Partnerships".

There was a time when the Planning and Property Management Specialist managed the Capital Partnership program. While some may have a problem with a General Fund employee working to support Capital Fund work, the practice made sense and upheld the concept of a true partnership. The District made some sacrifices and the partners normally contributed their personal effort in working to see the project end successfully.

Numerous times, parents and volunteers would surrender their weekends unloading trucks and assembling play structures. Many of these parents and volunteers took time away from their jobs to work on these projects. The motivation was, in part, to keep costs down and transfer funds that would have been expended on labor for Maintenance staff over to the play structure side of the equation and allow for enhancements that would be enjoyed by children for years to come.

Now, with the shift of these partnership programs to the Capital Projects Office, a management fee will be passed along to the project - half of which will have to be picked up by the partner. This directly translates to fewer playground components, smaller play structures, essentially less of a project and more of a subsidy for district processes.

Just so you know, the last round of Capital Partnerships did not expend all of the allocated funds. There was approximately $150,000.00 left on the table. More than enough for another round of projects. My sense, however, is that there will not be another round and that the balance will be folded into the Capital Fund for the management of the last few projects from the previous round. For the schools that were planning to compete in the final round to have their projects funded, I am sorry.

In future, prospective partners should look for the devil in the details. When a levy or bond includes funding for partnership projects, make sure that all of the ear-marked funds are assigned to projects and that hefty "management fees" are rejected.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More like "Putting the crap in "Crapital Partnerships".

This is offensive. I won't vote for them again. Not only did we have to compete for a small amount of money in earlier rounds, we never got funding and still our kids go without.