Monday, November 24, 2008

Journal reports; "APS Offices Can't Be Called Luxe"

There is plenty to be upset about in the report by Journal
reporter Jolene Gutierrez Kruger. link

Among them, several properties which were supposed to have been sold to cover the cost of the $12.45M building purchase, and the $7.2M in remodels, but which are still owned by taxpayers.

Most upsetting, is the story Gutierrez Kruger did not tell;
the story about the new APS board room.

1. Taxpayers still don't know the truth about the cost of the board room. APS big wigs, like COO Brad Winter have a two year long record of refusing to disclose the true cost of the room. I suspect that it was close to a million dollars.

2. Winter and others, have a two year history of refusing of offer any justification at all, for building the room in the first place. Not only does the school board have access to Smith Brasher Hall on the CNM campus, a site they used for years, but, there is a lecture hall in every high school in the city, large enough for board meetings.

It should be pointed out that when the board was actually rotating their meetings among the HS lecture halls, they were much better attended by stakeholders who had only to make their way to their neighborhood school.

Now that the meetings are at the Uptown digs, and begin during the work day, the only people attending board meetings are administrators who are still in the building at 5 o'clock.

3. Gutierrez Kruger also did not write about the other scandal surrounding the board room. At the time a million dollars was being spent on the yet to be justified new board room, students at Susie Rayos Marmon Elementary School were being rained on in portable classrooms that were being used to three times their life expectancy.

Worse still, Winter was part of a plan that ended fire safety inspections in schools, to save hundreds of thousands of dollars that were being spent to remedy fire code violations that were being revealed during those inspections. Hundreds of thousands of dollars that were then spent to pay for the board room.

Gutierrez' story in incomplete. Stakeholders still do not know the truth.

The leadership of the APS still refuses to name a time, a day, and a place where they will respond to legitimate questions, candidly, forthrightly and honestly.

They still refuse to simply tell the truth.

There is only one reason to hide the truth.
The worst thing that any public servant can do
is anything they have to do in secret.

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