Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"No individual to blame"; really?

The Journal editorial, link, begins;

"It should have been a no-brainer, but it wasn’t — for a very long time."
APS has what they call a "capital improvement budget"; a running account of the money the district has for capital improvements and a plan for spending it. Over a period of several years, the list of promised capital improvements grew $128M larger than the money available to pay for them. The Journal editors aver the imbalance was the result of lackadaisy; a lack of interest, vigor, and determination, listlessness, lethargy, laziness and indolence.

A "consultant" was paid six teacher salaries to find that cost overruns, funding of projects not on the master plan, and even a failed bond issue were not taken into account by APS leadership. Their excuses include; turnover in the office of the Chief Financial Officer, inability to use software upon which they spent millions of dollars, overspending, and poor accounting.

The buck stops squarely on the desks of the people we pay the most; a quarter of a million dollars a year, to make sure this stuff doesn't happen; Beth Everitt and now APS Supt Winston Brooks, and the person they put in charge of making sure this didn't happen; APS COO Brad Winter.

Yet Brooks, and the Journal would have us believe; no "individual is to blame'. In fact, the editors would like kudos to be given to Brooks and APS CFO Don Moya "stepping up and fixing" the problem rather than continuing to ignore it.

The editors write;
The administration wisely put new fail-safe provisions in place so this doesn’t happen again, including moving the master plan from operations to the finance department.
Well duh!

Why is it that we cannot expect that this would have been done already, and hold people accountable for not having done it?

APS Chief Operations Officer and City Councilor Brad Winter has had his hand on the tiller throughout this entire fiasco. We pay him $136,680 a year for the expertise and experience that should prevent calamities such as these.

He could have, and should have, put fail-safe provisions in place long ago and did not, yet "no individual is to blame".

At least according to those who really are to blame, and their Journal cronies.

photo Mark Bralley

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