Friday, July 18, 2008

The accomplice to corruption is our own indifference.

Capital Facilities Plan was adopted but wholly ignored by the Board and district management in planning for student enrollment. Student numbers dropped significantly, as predicted by the CFP, but no adjustments were made to prepare for this drop and the District was left with a very large budget deficit.

● During the resulting “budget crisis” of more than $5,000,000.00 the District
approved large raises for all district administrators with a net increase to payroll in excess of $550,000.00 every year. At the same time, departments within the District were tasked with making substantial cuts to their operating budgets.

● The Edmonds School District spent
$5,600,000.00 for a property that their own consultants reported as contaminated and their own appraiser placed a value of just $3,300,000.00. The final purchase price was every penny of the appraisal supplied and paid for by the seller. No review appraisal occurred and no negotiations were conducted in an effort to reduce the total of $5,600,000.00.

● In violation of Board Policies 1260, 6810 and 9200,
Gary Noble serves as a member of the board while his wife teaches at the current Lynnwood High School. Gary Noble was an outspoken proponent of building a new Lynnwood High School in what is currently known as Bothell or unincorporated Snohomish County. This new construction is taking place without regard for long-term planning which suggests that enrollment is trending downward.

● In violation of Board Policies 1260, 1270 and 9200,
Pat Shields started a pet project called Powerful Partners and agreed by way of a lease to pay rent for prime office space in the District’s administration building. Not only has rent never been paid, their tax records show that the value of the space was described as a donation. Public assets cannot be donated.

● In violation of Board Policy 1245 and 9200,
Bruce Williams was allowed to seek re-election for a seat on the Board despite having moved from his director district long before the filing date to become a candidate. The Superintendent lied numerous times in claiming that Bruce was just “modernizing” this second residence while maintaining a presence in his primary address that was used for filing purposes. However, Bruce had a restraining order filed against him by his wife, making it impossible to live at the address where he was claiming residency. Bruce Williams resigned on September 11, 2007.

● The current Warehouse Manager, also the husband of an employee in Human Resources, was found to have downloaded a huge amount of pornography on a District computer during working hours. The District's version of an investigation was conducted and despite irrefutable evidence, the District did nothing to address this misconduct. This manager has since created a hostile environment for staff assigned to his location.

● The current Payroll Manager recently hired her sister from the clerical sub list and then processed a salary modification moving her from the standard rate of $10.50 an hour to $18.50 an hour. No justification for this action has been provided. Investigation in progress.

● The District entered into numerous interlocal agreements (ILAs) with local city governments and then
refuses to collect payment. Over the last several years, invoices have been sent to the City of Lynnwood and the City of Mountlake Terrace only to have their obligations waived by the Assistant Superintendent.

Marla Miller also struck a deal with Seattle Piano Gallery that has been characterized as a “scheme” by legal counsel. Marla agreed to lease 14 pianos to avoid procurement processes. She did not competitively bid the acquisition of these pianos but just handed more than $76,000 to her friend and owner of Seattle Piano Gallery, Arnie Tucker. At the end of the one year “lease”, Mr. Tucker was to sell the 14 pianos and refund a portion to the District to defray their initial investment. However, before the end of the lease arrived, Marla provided a check to Mr. Tucker for just under $40,000.00, the threshold for bidding. This check was retained by Mr. Tucker and the District asked for it back. To date, those funds have never been collected.

● The District has also allowed staff to take vacations during contractual work periods while paying their salary and a stipend and not deducting the days away from work. Investigation in progress.

The District sold property to Snohomish County and City of Lynnwood for no less than 90% of the appraised value, as required by state law. However, when the initial appraisal was offered to the City, they complained because the City was receiving the property from the County, but only up to a certain dollar figure, anything more than that figure would have to be covered by the City. Staff was directed to redefine the manner in which the appraisal was performed. Essentially, the appraiser was instructed to view the wetland buffer in the most conservative manner allowed and then add additional buffers. This reduced the overall acreage available and reduced the value of the site. Approximate loss totals more than $50,000.00.

● The District has reported, through their legal counsel, that they
do not retain copies of checks, despite evidence to the contrary from current and former staff. The District has used this response to mislead residents in the District into believing that rent is being paid by municipal partners and other non-rent paying occupants in the administration building.

● The Edmonds School District routinely
hires managers without applications or interviews. One business manager was “gifted” his current position. One Assistant Superintendent was “gifted” her current position, though the title has been slightly upgraded.

● In response to an increase in public records requests,
district management has actively destroyed documents rather than provide them to the public. Several eye witnesses have reported seeing documents in specific locations and then the District hired a clerical substitute without training or expertise in the retention of critical documents to dispose of a large volume of materials prior to filling requests for them.

● The District is also
aggressively hiring totally unqualified people to fill key roles that may otherwise have objected to mismanagement. One recent hire earns $58,000.00 with minimal knowledge of Word, Excel, or basic email applications and will certainly never detect poor choices in property sales or acquisitions.

● The District has also allowed an
atmosphere of professional bullying to take root and flourish, resulting in an exodus of highly-qualified teachers and staff. When Nick Brossoit said he was going to change the Edmonds School District, we thought he meant in a positive way.

For more information regarding these issues and many more, please use the navigational labels in the column to the right.


Anonymous said...

I feel guilty just reading the list!

Hey, what ever happened to the people who were protesting the loss of playing fields at the old Lynnwood High?

Anonymous said...

Not only did he have Porn on his computer. He also took leaves with out turning his time. ( taking a free vacation on the tax payers backs/free ride) It is my believe that alot of middle management & upper management do not turn in their time to HR. I do know of one person that has got catch doing this free vacation scam. I think it was someones wife up at the Pornhouse/warehouse of love as many of you say.

I also question this thing called "EXEMPT EMPOLYEE" 30 hr work week & get paid for 40 hrs. Great deal if you can get it.

Anonymous said...

I don't feel guilty reading this blog:
Its all about putting people in their place.
Just watch the head of Food service this year.

Anonymous said...

Corruption! = SEIU 925.

Anonymous said...

Thats a great piture of a weak man.

Its a piture of a man that steals 200k a yr from the backs and feet of each and everyones kids in this district.

I ask myself every day how we all let this man walk around and steal food from our kids, right in front of all of us.
Were coming close to a new school year. Let your voice sing the new year in with some power of the light inside of your hearts.

Anonymous said...

I need some help finding legal advice can you point me in the right path?

Anonymous said...

If Nick is a "kid/student" advocate, why doesn't he take a cut in pay so the employees who work DIRECTLY with kids, EA's wouldn't have their hours cut. I have a friend who is a Para-Educator, who has worked for the District, and kids, for over 20 years, and her hours were changed/cut from 7.5 hours to 4 hours per day. Does this make any sense at all? I think NOT!

Anonymous said...

This economic rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Cutting hours for EA's means the money is going someplace else. Hmm. Look who got raises recently.