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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CCS bond debt rating was "negative" when the $20 million bond was proposed


 Here are my prepared comments for the 10/22/12 CCS board meeting:

"Regarding the technology priorities that were proposed tonight, I STILL have a problem with the proposal for district wide Wi-Fi.  Wi-Fi is proven to cause tumors and other serious health conditions from prolonged exposure and the impact is worse on young children, pregnant women and their unborn children, and men in their reproductive years.   I believe that the district is proposing using the employees and students as guinea pigs.  The district could opt for a wired option that would prevent these health risks.  I would like to see the district look into this.

On pages 68 and 91 of the board packet, which are pages 9 and 32 of the district’s audit, under “Capital Assets and Debt Administration”, and “Note 7 – Long Term Debt”, it shows::
       the district has $128 million in general obligation bonds. 
       the district’s “general obligation debt rating” was revised from “negative” last year to “stable” this year.
       and the district has $32.8 million owed to the school bond loan fund (where they have had to borrow money from the state to pay the general obligation bond payments that they were short from property taxes for the old bonds).  
This leaves me with two questions:
       Why did the district not inform the public at the time they were proposing the $20 million bond that the district’s general obligation debt rating was “negative”?
       What would the district’s general obligation debt rating be today if the $20 million tech bond had passed in May given it was already in a “negative” state at that time?

I wanted to thank the district for restoring some of the transparency that it had removed in the last few months.  The board packets for the school board meetings had been posted on the district website, but were removed and the district failed to put the new board packets on the district website citing a security breach that I was informed did not actually exist.  Today, the district has posted the previous board packets on the website and promised to post the board packets on the Fridays before the Monday meetings.  Thank you for going back to what the district had been doing.

However, in the last week or so, the district removed some of the most contentious board meeting videos, thus removing some of the transparency they were bringing back.  The videos for seven board meeting dates are not on the district’s Ustream account website.  Those meeting dates are:
  • 10/10/11  - October 10, 2011
  • 10/24/11  - October 24, 2011
  • 11/28/11  - November 28, 2011
  • 12/12/11  - December 12, 2011 
  • 2/13/12  - February 13, 2012
  • 7/9/12  - July 9, 2012
  • 8/27/12  - August 27, 2012
Thank you."

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After I spoke, Dr. Rod Rock spoke during his "Superintendent's Update".  He informed the public (directed at me) that the district made it clear to the public that the school district's bond rating was negative when the bond was proposed.  I am looking through district documents on the bond and I have yet to find that anywhere...  Neither board members nor the public can respond to what Dr. Rock says during the superintendent's update.  Isn't that special? 

If anyone can find a district document or a speech made by the district that advised the public that the district's bond rating was negative while they were trying to get us to say yes to the $20 million bond, I will take this back and stand corrected.  

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