Earlier today, the district's former accountant Rob Singh posted this response to Douglas' statement, questioning Douglas' assertion that he and district officials handled everything in an aboveboard fashion:
Hi Steve, the spreadsheet put out by the district raised some questions for me.
To my recollection of events as the district accountant, the finance department was not involved with budgeting, cost projections, and similar matters until the sale of our last issue of bonds (early 2017).
We wrote checks for expenses related to the JH project, but served in no capacity in other matters until that point. Would you agree with that? I was asked to look at expenditures for the project in Feb or March of 2017 to see how much bond sales we would need to cover and noted at that time our bond issues would not cover the amount.
But according to district communication put out, the board knew that, correct? Because the board approved the 28.2 million dollar budget back in the spring of 2016 according to the power point. That has me curious why we weren’t asked to earmark the overage in our FY 2017 budget.
So if the board knew in spring of 2016 of possible reserve spending I would think a projection of those funds would be noted and allocated in the budget.
Why were we not asked to put the amount over bond proceeds in the FY 2017 budget? When I was asked to run calculations in Feb/March (the first time I was involved other than writing checks for the project expenses) I noted that we would need more funds in excess to our bond sales. I could be wrong, but I believe the “cost projection error” mentioned in your slide is likely to be this figure.
From my memory, this seems to be similar to the amount I calculated. My question is, was this 600k+ figure not included in the overall 28.2 million overall budget?
Why would there be panic and frustration if costs were still going to be under that amount of 28.2 million? Why wasn’t our budget amended to show that we would have to absorb that extra cost through cash reserves? We had plenty of funds to do so. That was never a problem. Those costs were absorbed without any detrimental affect to the budget or district reserves.
So why was the finance department asked to be quiet about the “cost projection error”? That was super uncomfortable knowing information and being asked not to discuss it as the board had put the message out that transparency was a key value.
Why was I asked to complete a journal entry in that amount that was reportedly for parking lot work that would reallocate costs to another account for that amount?
To do this I would have to move money from our general checking account back into our bond account. However there was no separate invoice or documentation that I am aware of to support this journal entry.
If there indeed was a separate project, I could understand the basis of such a journal entry. The lack of documentation stating that it was a separate project from the JH project even though it was in the overall construction specs and already paid for is what I was uncomfortable with and why I ultimately chose to leave my position at the district.
If we knew we were going have to spend more than what we sold in bonds, why was I asked to do this? Because it should have been apparent that we would absorb these costs into our overall district budget.
However, finance department was not informed that we would be absorbing these costs in our overall budget until the “cost projection error” was discovered.
When I left in early August of 2017, I was asked by a board member why I was leaving and described the situation outlined as above. This board member informed me he was not aware of the situation I described then and outlined again in this message.
So again why were other board members not involved and informed of the situation I have outlined? Were there not several meetings that just you and Brett Day on “behalf” of the board attended at Central Office regarding the junior high?
Why weren’t other board members present?
Did they know that the in-charge architect was asked to be terminated with working with the district?
That seemed strange to me and other staff that other board members were not party to that info. These are just a handful of my questions that have resurfaced by all the information that has been put out by the Turner Report, your fb post, and the district communication surrounding this issue this week.
These issues have bothered me for a long time and really influenced the timing of me leaving the district which was very difficult because of the supportive and rewarding relationships I formed with other district members.
However, there is/was such a culture of fear within the district that suffocates the wherewithal to bring up issues and concerns. How can growth occur in an environment like that? Im looking at this through my own experience, the Turner hit piece, and the recent district and seeking to reconcile those intersections. I hope I can get some clarification from you.
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