Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wishful thinking is one thing, and reality another.

What is so terribly difficult to understand about the free ride Powerful Partners has been getting? Let me break it down for the few stragglers in our community. I know we would all love to think the District has our best interests at heart, but sadly, this is not the case.

I have recently heard that people believe money was donated by private parties to Powerful Partners for payment of rent in the ESC. While it may be true that Powerful Partners may claim that these donated funds were for the payment of rent, and they may go as far as to claim as much in their tax returns, but this does not change the actual lack of payment to the District. No money has ever been collected by the District, from Powerful Partners, for the payment of rent in the ESC.

Imagine if you decided to rent a beautiful apartment overlooking the Sound and the lease required that you pay $2,000.00 a month. Imagine what would happen if you decided to give all of your money to the homeless and not pay rent at all? What would you expect the landlord to do? The landlord expects to collect $2,000.00 a month and instead hasn't been getting a single dollar. Would you think the landlord would continue "renting" the space to you? Sure, giving money to the homeless might be an honorable cause, but you are giving away money that should be going to your landlord.

You could wash your landlord's car, run errands for him on the weekend, or provide other professional services, but it doesn't remove your obligations under the terms of your lease. You have to amend the lease to accommodate such a change in terms.

In no way am I suggesting that Powerful Partners in not a "noble" program, but the evidence shows they are being "shielded" from the obligations under the terms of the use agreement. Also worthy of mentioning, is the fact that the District agreed with the purpose of Powerful Partners and offered a "use agreement" as opposed to a lease. The use agreement meant that Powerful Partners only had to pay for actual costs incurred by the District. There was no "base rent" and no opportunity to make a profit at the tenant's expense.

I can appreciate that people might be offended by my reference to Powerful Partners as Power Parasites, but if an agency does not pay their share of expenses, as the use agreement required, they are living off the charity of their host - a host that is supported with public funds.

It is also worth mentioning that I specifically requested any and all evidence that demonstrates that Powerful Partners actually paid anything toward their rent obligations. The District responded by claiming they do not keep copies of checks and that it was my responsibility to collect the rent. While still employed with the District, I complained numerous times to Marla Miller about this non-payment and she always assured me that she was working on it.


Anonymous said...

Very well written. There is no question that powerful partners had good intentions to help kids. But there are several other non-profits providing service to the Edmonds School District not receiving all of the benefits of having a school board member as president (along with an assistant superintendent and principals on the board of directors).

One good example is Clothes for Kids, who used to use school district facilities, but were directed to remove themselves by Marla Miller.

Look in the RCW's under "Gift of Public Funds". said...

I am not sure of the complete story about the reason why Clothes for Kids left the District.

It is my understanding that they did pay something when they were using space. I was new to the District when we were asked to relocate them.

The site selected for their use was the old boys locker room at Former Woodway High School. I agree with the position that Clothes for Kids had at the time, that the site seemed to marginalize their customers. They would have to go to some out-of-the-way has-been school to pick out used clothing.

Anonymous said...

A pity, many more of our students made more use of Clothes-For-Kids than other programs. But then, the director of that program was not on the school board.

Anonymous said...

Just what services, space, equipment and district salaries are spent or provided for Clothes For Kids? Who in the district corresponds with that organization?