Fiscal responsibility

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 11:54 a.m. CDT

From William P. Baker


I'm more disappointed with each article written about the Creston School. The school board sets their sights on purchasing the AEA site for the new bus barn facility and makes a deal with the AEA to buy it without a public vote. Now they find out the site is too small for their needs because of an ordinance that they didn't know about until the site was purchased.

The new safe rooms they are building are mostly paid for by a federal grant, but the taxpayers will have to pay the remaining amount which isn't clear yet how much that will be after the "extras" are figured in. But a rough estimate is somewhere around $250,000 or more. Are the "extras" really needed? Or are they just embellishments that the school board wants?

Then there are the needed handrails and steps for the gymnasium. The hand rails will cost over $8,000 and the steps over $6,000. Was this the lowest bid or did the school board choose the contractor?

The administration salaries for the seven positions come to $909,000 with the new superintendent making $15,527 a month and a new position of school improvement specialist that has a salary of $122,000 for 260 days.

The school board seems to be very lax in their fiscal oversight and very free with spending taxpayer money frivolously for the "extras" that they want. Don't the taxpayers get a say (in) what the school board spend(s) our money on? Apparently not.

The school district got an email in October from a consultant with the Iowa Department of Education. "We've been sending you messages and telling you you can't do this. If you do it again, your modified allowable growth will not be allowed at all next year."

The article about the school district incorrectly planning for the dropout funds shows that either the person doing the paper work isn't properly trained for this task, or someone has dropped the ball regarding the emails sent to the school. Do the people reading the emails delete them? Do they forward them to the people that figure the modified allowable growth so they can correct the problem? Who is responsible for this mistake that should have been addressed before October of last year and apparently hasn't been resolved yet?

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