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MDUSD Bond Oversight Committee to meet Thursday

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, September 19th, 2011 at 10:37 am in Mt. Diablo school district.

Here is the agenda for the next 2010 Measure C Bond Oversight Committee meeting to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the district office. Since it hasn’t yet been posted in the district’s website, I’m posting it below.

“Mt. Diablo Unified School District
2010 Measure C
Citizen’s Oversight Committee Meeting
Thursday, September 22, 2011
1936 Carlotta Drive
Board Room, Dent Center
7:00 p.m.

• Call to order

• Review/approval of minutes of June 16, 2011 meeting

• Introduction of new 2010 CBOC members

• Conflict of Interest Statements for CBOC members

• Annual report to the Board of Education

• Solar Project: status report

• Mechanical (HVAC) status report

• Technology Infrastructure: status report

• High School Projects

• DSA Certification Project

• Quarterly Report

• Staffing –discussion/action

• Other Committee concerns/topics

• Public Comment”

I didn’t receive any attachments with this agenda. Pete Pedersen told me in an e-mail that the Annual Report will be uploaded to an FTP site for the committee to access. He will also try to make it available for public access, he said.

Do you think reports to be presented to the committee should be made available to the public before the meeting begins?

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • anon

    In my opinion, this is Pedersen trying to hide the facts from the public so that he and Ferrante can continue to line their pockets.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I have requested copies of all attachments distributed to the committee, but haven’t received anything else yet.

  • g

    Yes they should contain Attachments. That’s why it’s called a “Packet”, not just a page.

    -Review/approval of minutes of June 16–hope they haven’t been altered to fit Pedersen’s likes and dislikes as the Power Point was.

    -Introduction of new 2010 CBOC members–Since choosing them was not on the March Agenda, I can’t help but wonder when the rest of the Committee veted and approved them. Surely they didn’t do it by email as Pedersen suggested they might. That would be a “Serial Meeting” and violate the Brown Act. They just suddenly appeared on a Board Agenda 8/23 (with false and misleading statements of fact)!

    -DSA Certification Project–Will they report how much it cost to go BACK to get Certifications on the dozen or so projects from the 2002 work that were either unfinished or just uncertified?

    • Staffing –discussion/action–OMG-Pedersen already has a “Squad”. Is he bucking for a full “Platoon”?

  • Mark Weinmann

    As a member of the Oversight Committee, when the meeting date was chnaged from its regular third Thursday of the month to the fourth due to the inability for MDUSD financials to be reconciled in time, we were told that we would have all materilas “no lather than Monday (today)…if not earlier.”

    I’m watching my inbox. Also at the last BOC meeting in August, we were told that we would have a chnace to see and provide inoput to our annual report from the BOC. Since I haven’t yet seen that, I can only assume it will not be presented. Unfiortunately, due to the last schedule chnage for this meeting, I will be unable to see what transpires on Thursday.

  • g

    There are a lot of Oversight Committee Rules being only met at a minimum, and Best Practices being ignored altogether. Some of these speak directly about letting the fox guard the hen-house!—–

    Our Oversight committees have been “chosen” by Pedersen, who only presents his choices to the rest of the Committee for consideration. Except when he apparently just bypasses the Committee altogether and goes straight to the Board for approval.

    “When bond oversight committee members are chosen by the entity they are supposed to oversee, they are much more likely to see their job as being a ‘fig leaf’ to cover the entity than to be an independent oversight force.”

    Michael Day, President, California League of Bond Oversight Committees.

    I reccommend the Oversight Committee read both of the following in their entirety!

    “Committee Operation Standards” at: http://www.calboc.org/publications.html

    and–

    http://www.lhc.ca.gov/studies/197/report197.pdf

  • g

    and By the way Mark Weinmann; the Committee isn’t supposed to “have a chance to see and provide input to our annual report from the BOC”. The Committee is supposed to CREATE the damned Annual report! Please read the links I provided above and suggest the same to the rest of the members.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Mark, were you provided with a link to the report? Pete Pedersen told me the committee would have access to it on an FTP site. He said he wasn’t providing paper copies because the committee requested that information be provided electronically. He said a PowerPoint should be available Wednesday.

  • Alicia M

    G #5 – I have provided CalBOC’s publication on best practices and requirements to the BOC in July. It is my understanding that on Thursday we are supposed to discuss this publication.

    I’m not sure how the annual report will ultimately be created, but I have the same understanding as Mark. I’m assuming that this will all be worked out this Thursday.

  • Alicia M

    G – #3 – My input that will be provided to the BOC by the committee will address certain DSA fees paid using 2010 Measure C funds resulting from uncertified prior projects. I believe the costs of DSA fees were reported to the Board on December 14, 2010, and amounted to $93,841. Also, I will address staffing. However, you should carefully read the State Attorney General Opinion’s 04-110, which states that bond proceeds can be used for project management staffing, including accounting and clerical personal. As a good internal control, however, timesheets should be maintained for those persons that work part-time on 2010 Measure projects.

  • Mark Weinmann

    @Theresa – End of day on Monday and no documents or FTP links have been sent to me so I can only assume that the BOC hasn’t received anything.

    @G – No need to point fingers. I know what my job is and I kn ow that wer are supposed to create the “damn report”. We had intended to do this by e-mail and other means and believe me I’m as upset over the lack of action as you. I’m on your side I think so no need to be that way.

  • g

    Mark, (everyone) when I comment in a blog, although I may address one person, I’m generally speaking to everyone who may be reading in hopes that I can impress an idea or influence an outcome. In the material I suggest reading, it points out that “most” committee members have little idea what their job really entails.

    In 2010 the San Mateo Grand Jury went so far as to suggest that all committee members and school Boards should be “required” to study the Little Hoover Report that I posted a link to in #5 above.

    You should notice that I generally speak to the legal issues of Brown Act and fiduciary duty, with an emphasis on the fact that the committee “appears” to be lacking in independence from Pedersen–and I feel very strongly about that.

    I have done a lot of research. I’ve studied all minutes and quarterly reports from 2002 to present. If those are accurate, it would appear that a majority never really speak out, never question, never demand the information needed to do a thorough job. When a question is raised or a request made the reply is “I’ll look into that”, and the issue never appears to be revisited. Of course the problem may be in the reporting, not in the doing. That is why I suggest that the Committee should be provided with its own Admin and tech, paid for by the District (not Bond Funds), and not Pedersen’s Admin. I speak for the “public”, and we have a need and a right to know.

    This Bond has been spending for 5 quarters. There are no quarterly reports posted yet. (you need your own Admin and tech staff to do that for you on your time and terms–not Pedersen’s) The 2002 minutes and reports were not posted for the public until 2009–when they started planning to make a run for the 2010 ballot! I don’t want that to happen again. Board minutes that refer to quarterly reports say little more than “so-and-so reported that everything is going well”, and there are no attachments there either.

    Do you see?

  • Anon

    Why is the fox Pedersen running the hen house?

    Seems to me it is time to throw the BOE and Pedersen in jail for failure to perform.

  • g

    Alicia, I really appreciate you being one step ahead! I am aware of Lockyer’s opinion. However, while he says an in-house management team may be paid with bond funds, he may not have intended to give an open ended invitation to create an empire ;) and in-house has promised to save millions. Even with Vanir on the 2002 works, Pedersen created a crew of at least 6 in-house people by early 2003 that cost in the neighborhood of a $million over 5 years, and still there were many contractor disputes, overruns, unfinished/uncertified jobs. And wow, the comingling of various funds made it almost impossible to know what was actually done from “C” “A” “55″ “deferred” etc. but, without thorough study, all gave an quick appearance of being accomplished through measure C. Somewhere in the neighborhood of a $Billion spent since 1998, and the roof still leaks.

  • Sue Berg

    G,
    I do not presume to speak for issues regarding 2010 Measure C as I no longer work for MDUSD. However, I was in the Superintendent’s Office from 2000-2009 and know from personal experience that information about the 2002 Measure C program was routinely disseminated during that time. It included meeting minutes, quarterly reports, the annual report (with an accompanying presentation to the Board by the committee chair), and a regularly updated web page. The program was a frequent topic of discussion at Board meetings as action was required on assorted projects. The management of the program, under Dick Nicoll and Pete Pedersen, qualified MDUSD for millions of dollars in state construction funding, allowing for the addition of many projects that would not have been done otherwise. And the tax rate that local property owners paid from 04-10 ranged from $41 to $49 per $100,000 valuation, considerably less than the $60 originally estimated.

    I know you have complaints with the current MDUSD leadership and I have no comment on that. But when I see you suggesting that the public was kept in the dark about the 2002 Measure C program or that it was less than successful, I am compelled to speak up.

  • g

    Sue, I readily admit that I did not pay any attention back then. I worked long-long hours out of the County until recently. As a person who has voted yes on every school bill I decided it’s now time to see what’s happening. When I look at the 2002 site, I see only indications that it was created/loaded in 2009. I see votes taken and decisions made (sometimes without a quorum). Board minutes have been deleted for anything prior to late 2006. A request has been made to initiate a new 2002 Oversight committee to finish and clean up from the first committee, and I am very frustrated that I physically cannot volunteer. I, like many, must depend on the written word.

    There is no question that a ton of work was done using a ton of money. While the committee can only watch, wait and wonder until after a job is done, they might consider their rights and the weight they can carry and make requests and suggestions, such as: replacing portables may not have been or be as important as replacing roof systems. Rebuilding pools may not be as urgently needed as security or tech and other modernization systems.

    And most certainly, they need to let the people know exactly what work is actually Measure “C”, and not make it appear that more was accomplished by this bond than actually was.

  • Theresa Harrington

    FYI, the agenda has been posted on the Measure C website, but there are no attachments or reports posted.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Pete Pedersen says the Quarterly Report is now posted on the Measure C website. However, I don’t see it on my computer. He said it has been sent to all CBOC members.
    He said John Ferrante is responsible for the Annual Report, so he has no handout regarding that.

  • Sue Berg

    G, again, I’m not commenting on the 2010 Measure C, although I would expect that just like the 2002 Measure C, when the Board is asked to take action on a project related to the program, the agenda item lists the funding source(s) that will be used. Sources used in the first Measure C included not just Measure C but also Measure A, the state construction bond, Deferred Maintenance, and, occasionally, a school site fund, depending on the nature and details of the project.

    Before the 2002 bond measure was placed on the ballot, principals and their school communities submitted lists of desired projects at their site. Many, though admittedly not all, were put on final project lists. The list for each site is on the MDUSD website under “Community” and then “Facts about the 2002 Measure C.”

    The 2002 Measure C Committee did not “only watch, wait and wonder until after a job is done. . .” Members asked questions, made suggestions, and reviewed progress reports at their meetings and also via phone calls to and visits with staff between meetings. The volunteers who served on the 2002 Measure C Committee represented the community very well in overseeing the multi-million dollar program.

    I do agree with you that the MDUSD website does not include all the information one could find on it in 2009, but I think the 2002 Measure C program is fairly well, if not totally, documented there.

  • g

    Sue, we could sit here and pull out one eyelash at a time and neither of us want to do that. I agree that the 2002 Measure C website is pretty well filled and documented.

    However, if you look at the root documents link and click on any “folder” you will see exactly when Danny Wallace built minutes and quarterly reports into the site. The dates range from March 2009 thru October 2009. Was any of this on a 2002 Measure C site for the public to see before that–? I don’t think so. They built it with a 2010 ballot in mind.

    Hard as it may seem, a lot of the public who are watching the Measure C’s $$ very closely, don’t give a hoot what else goes on in the District, so it is imperative that the actual C sites be maintained on a good and timely basis without having to search the info out on the District/Board’s haystack of a site.

  • Theresa Harrington

    FYI, the district has posted four updates on its Measure C Website under Bond Oversight Committee: the quarterly report and three updates regarding YVHS improvements.

  • Long-time Board Watcher

    G, one last eyelash, please, because I have to say that, yes, prior to 2009 the 2002 Measure C webpage had all the information you see on it now, and thensome. It was comprehensive, regularly updated, and full of photos of work in progress. It had a link on the home page.

    In 2008 I coordinated a project to update the district website. The upgrade was in place at the time I left in May 2009, but departments were still in the process of converting their webpages from the old to the new version of the site. From what you found, I’d guess that Danny converted the Measure C pages from March thru October of that year.

  • Say What2?

    Ok so does this mean that Long Time Board Watcher has been Sue Berg this whole time?

  • anon

    Ok so here is what we now know:

    Long-Time Board Watcher = Sue Berg

    Poseidon = Pauly Baby

    Other board supporters = Gary

  • Anon 2

    Don’t forget this anon…

    Dr. J = Disgruntled MDUSD Employee

  • Doctor J

    @SayWhat2 #22. Sounds like a one too many Margarita mistake. :-) Sure puts a lot of things in perspective. How embarassing, especially for a “communications specialist”.

  • Doctor J

    @Sue Berg, sorry you exposed yourself as “Long Time Board Watcher” — do you have an explanation for the use of the alias while at the same time posting as “yourself” ? Because you are a likeable person, we would like to forgive you but you have to ask.

  • anon

    I’ve noticed that Sue Berg and/or long time board watcher have not posted in a number of days.

    Hilarious stuff.

  • g

    Pre-purchase of HVAC item indicates that Nov 4 is anticipated as the date for RFP “Bid Opening”. Surely they would put out the RFP at least a month in advance of a planned review. Although the HVAC job is to be spread over 4 years, they decided to buy all in bulk to save money.

    I cannot find any indication of the RFP in the Measure C Plan Room site, or in records of the M&O/Purchasing Dept RFPs listed.

    Anybody have any insight as to whether this was actually put out for BID or not? Or do they already know who is going to get this job???