Search This Blog

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I received the 9/12/11 FOIA request documents

Well...  I received the 9/12/11 FOIA request documents...

Now I see why the district was complaining about the hidden costs of my FOIA request.  It's just like Robert Ficano in Wayne County wanting over half a million dollars to be supplied by taxpayer dollars to pay for the lawyers Ficano decided the county needed in order to figure out how to keep from supplying the documents requested under subpoenas and FOIA.  It's because CCS lawyered up to fight having to supply documents from my FOIA request...  That is why CCS charged me for 22 hours labor to supply the 585 pages.  It would not have taken more than four hours maximum to locate, copy, and organize the documents I asked for.  The excess hours must have been for lawyers.  

Had they just fulfilled the request instead of  "lawyering up" to keep from providing me what I asked for, it would not have cost the district anything (because I paid for the labor to gather and copy the documents). 

Below, in red, is the response I received from the district about certain items that the district decided they were not obligated by the rules of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to provide to me.  The items in black and bold l are my responses to Heidi McClain (cc'ing Dr. Rod Rock) about those claims of being outside the scope of FOIA.
Heidi,

Your response is below in red.  My responses are in black next to what I am commenting on.  Please advise.

Enclosed are the documents related to your requested items.

Several of the items contained in your FOIA fall outside of the scope of MCL 15.231 et seq. for the reason that such public records do not exist.  These items are as follows:

  • Complete documentation (any and all backup documents and all documents signed) for any decisions made or documents signed by the President of the CCS School Board that was not voted on in a public session by the School Board since 05/01/09: We have no such documentation.  Are you saying that the district does not have this information because the School Board is a separate "public body"?  If you are saying that there are no documents from decisions made by the President of the CCS School Board that were not decided by the full board, then I would have to say that is a violation of FOIA.  There have been multiple arguments during board meetings about decisions made by both Cheryl McGinnis and Steve Hyer while holding the President's position where the full board was not allowed to vote on the matter.  Please advise what you are saying here so I can decide how to take my next steps.  
  • Copy of expense for Barry Bomier’s flight to Washington DC for the February 2010 FRN Conference:  The district did not pay for this flight.  OK
  • Copy of complete expense claim with receipts for Mr. Hyer’s expenses at the February 2010 FRN Conference:  Mr. Hyer did not submit any expenses for this conference.  OK, obviously he attended with a scholarship from somewhere else.
  • Cumulative summary revenue and expenses reports for Board account codes:  We do not maintain such reports.  In past FOIA requests I have received these reports.  What is the difference now?
  • Net Tech Corporation – information on bid process, etc.:  These expenses were annual maintenance fees and thus were not bid.  I asked an accountant to look at all of the district Purchasing policies.  He said that he could not find anything in policy 6320 that distinguishes between an expense and a capital item when talking about the bid process.  Maintenance is an expense item.  It also doesn’t single maintenance out for special treatment, i.e., something that is exempt from the bid process.  He scanned a couple of other policies to see if maintenance was mentioned elsewhere but didn’t see anything.  He said that he believes that if the value of a maintenance contract is sufficiently large to trigger the bid process under State of Michigan rules, then maintenance would have to be bid also.
  • Cumulative summary revenue and expense reports for fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11 for the CHS Parking 610 account and Jungle Run 610 accounts:  We do not maintain such reports.  The name of the person responsible for both these internal Clarkston High School accounts is Gary Kaul, CHS Principal.  In past FOIA requests I have received cumulative summary revenue and expense reports for full fiscal years for other 610 accounts.  What is the difference now?
 Please be advised that MCL 15.233 states, in relevant part,

(4) This act does not require a public body to make a compilation, summary, or report of information…
(5) This act does not require a public body to create a new public record…
Accordingly, all public records that have been requested and exist have been provided.  The total cost for this request is as follows:

Number of pages: 585 x $0.10 per copy = $58.50
Labor:  $15.33 x 22 hours = $337.26
Total cost = $395.76 less credit of $81.50 = Total amount owed of $314.26

The materials will be available at the front desk at the Administration Building anytime after 12:00 noon on Friday, November 18.  Please present your payment to the receptionist.

Sincerely,

Heidi S. McClain
District FOIA Coordinator and
Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent
Unfortunately, the district shorted me far more than what they referenced on this email from Heidi McClain.

Much of what they shorted me was explanations for things I previously found that was obviously wrong.  I was giving them an opportunity to justify their decisions and since they did not respond, obviously they've decided to "take the Fifth" by staying silent.  Therefore, without an explanation by the district, I will take that forward to the authorities as wrongdoing.

Everything they shorted me is something that should not have occurred or been allowed.  I did receive proof of wrong doing with the documents I received also.

Some of these are FOIA violations for which I can take the district to court to compel them to provide.  I will respond back to the district on what I was shorted to give them an opportunity to make right before I go forward, but I am not waiting two months for answers and documents.

More to come on the FOIA document results...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My 11/28/11 comments to the CCS Board of Education

In last week’s Citizen paper (from Ortonville), there was an article about the possible outsourcing of the IT functions in the Brandon School district to a company called VARTek in Dayton, OH that specializes in maintaining and updating technology in schools.  I think with all the interest in updating technology in the district that this should be looked at by the district.  VARTec’s mission is to “be the best provider of managed technology solutions for enhanced learning in the K–12 marketplace.”

In regard to Dr. Rock’s November 21st Superintendent Column that was advertised by ClarkstonCalendar.org, which is supposed to be used to advertise Clarkston area “events”, Dr. Rock said that he had a goal to have every district building equipped to allow every student to use a 1:1 technology device by 2014.  I know that the board has not approved that as yet.  I find it dangerous for the superintendent to make bold statements like that to the public. 

By law, if students are expected to have any specific tools to do their jobs, that the district provide the materials for the child to do that.  If the children would be required to do homework on their 1:1 technology devices that will be supplied to them, the district would be required to supply the households of those children with internet access.  Although they would be wonderful tools for the students, it is an expensive prospect for the district and it should be considered with the promotion of all of the technology upgrades that Dr. Rock is promoting. 
 
The school board has one employee to manage, the superintendent, who has decided that he is making the decisions in the district rather than the board.  School Board, please perform your responsibilities to manage your employee.

In closing, I wanted to point out that on the “Over 100k Salary and Benefit Information Report” currently on the district’s transparency reports, that it shows that the “Director of Facilities and Grounds” earned $7,200.00 in the “Car/Mileage” category, but his contract only allowed for 600 miles per month at the IRS maximum (50 or 51 cents per mile).  That would be $3,636.00, not $7,200.00.  Who approved that additional benefit to this employee? 



Dr. Rock retorted at the end of the meeting that the Transparency report was correct (referring to the “Over 100k Salary and Benefit Information Report” for the $7,200.00 in the “Car/Mileage” for the “Director of Facilities and Grounds” when his contract only allowed for 600 miles per month (a difference of $3,564.00/year).  I guess that means that he is confirming that he DID get $7,200.00 for "car/mileage" instead of the $3,636 that he actually was entitled to receive per his contract.  Interesting...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In the 10/26/11 Clarkston News, there was an article about the district qualifying to apply for the "ASBO International for the Certificate of Excellence" award as a result of the Plante and Moran financial audit.

However, it was discussed in the 10/10/11 CCS school board meeting that the P&M audit only analyzes a very small part of the financial operation of the district.  My understanding from the discussion and the audit results in the board packet, was that it is mostly just on the district's reporting - making sure that the district records the correct expenses and income under the correct descriptions, puts those amounts in the correct slots on the financial statements, ensures that any "material" (huge dollar amount) violations are investigated and reported on, and that proper certifications of employees are earned and evidence of the certifications are in their personnel folders.

If the dollar amounts of "issues" don't meet P&M's dollar clip level definition of "material", then apparently, the district can do whatever they want (with relation to what P&M audits).  Therefore, the audit results do not report that the district is squeaky clean and that they are handling all of their finances correctly.  P&M specifically said in the audit that they have very specific and limited tasks in the audit and that outside of the requirements for those tasks, that they are neither obligated to comment in their findings nor investigate them.  That is why the obvious violations of financial policy and inappropriate use of school funds that I brought to the district and the auditors prior to the audit were not reported on the audit results.  P&M either doesn't consider the dollar amounts "material" enough, or that the violations were outside the focus of the audit...  Based on that, I personally consider the audit "results" and the district's "award" to both be meritless and useless. 

I believe that the district needs an auditor that actually "audits" the district's finances rather than window dressing it with a meaningless award that makes the district "look" to be doing things properly.

I asked for a forensic audit of the district at a board meeting about 18 months ago and that request was ignored.  I believe it is long overdue. 

Here were my comments during the 10/10/11 meeting:

  1. I am disappointed in the results of the district audit by Plante and Moran.
    1. Following finding significant violations of district policy and improper coding of charges to the district purchasing card through my FOIA requests that I have brought to the attention of the board and nothing was done with it, I submitted an email to the lead auditor prior to the start of audit to request that the audit analyze:
 i.      the use of the district purchasing card by one teacher who allowed three other people to use her purchasing card,
 ii.      account coding of trip expenses for an extracurricular group that were charged to district educational account codes (vs. the group’s account codes) by the same teacher,
 iii.      and the district not following policy in regard to obtaining multiple bids, and/or not obtaining board approval for large purchases as mandated by policy.
    1. The audit did not address any of the items I brought forward to Plant & Moran.
    2. The audit noted that the district had policies and administrative guidelines in place regarding the use of district purchasing cards.  However, the district website does not reflect that the district has any administrative guidelines for the use of the purchasing card.  (Even by today, 11/06/11).      
  1. On the organization chart in the 2011 audit on page 100 of the board packet, I found many interesting things as compared to the October 8th, 2010 org chart I have from last year. 
    1. There are many changes in titles and the apparent staff shown from 2010.  Although there have been no requests from Administration to the board for new employees or promotions for employees, there are many changes in titles.  However, the board must approve "Administrative, Instructional and Non-Instructional Staff Changes" in an open meeting. 
 i.      Although the Superintendent has advised that there is a pay freeze on all of the employees of the district, the titles of several positions have changed since the 10/8/10 org chart, I suspect that the pay for these individuals have also increased, and the Board of Education has not been asked to approve promotions or been asked to approve raises for these individuals:
1.       After only one year in the position and several Human Resources issues in this audit, the 2010 "Director of Human Resources" is now the 2011 "Executive Director for Human Resources and Communications".
2.       The 2010 position of "Supervisor, Assessment, Research, and Evaluation" with a secretary working under her in 2010, is now the 2011 "Chief Academic Officer" with "subject area coordinators, State and Federal Programs, staff development, student data management, and program evaluation" under her.
3.       The 2009 "Communications secretary", became 2010’s "Community Relations / Communications" person, and 2011’s "Communications Coordinator”.
4.       There is a new position in 2011 called "Executive Director of Operations".  I am not sure who is in that position, but the position did not exist in 2010. 
5.        Have the promotions resulted in pay increases for any of those employees?

After the 10/10/11 CCS board meeting, the steward for the CCS teachers union, came over to me and asked me why I had not come to him with information on the teacher that I had reported to Dr. Rock and Plant & Moran that I believed had misused the district purchasing card.  This is what I did:
  • emailed it to the board and the superintendent over a year ago and commented about it during a board meeting at the same time,
  • I brought my findings to the Finance Committee in the beginning of March, 2011,
  • It was included in my letter to Dr. Rock and Mrs. Lieblang in a letter with full details on March 18, 2011.
  • I also emailed it to Plante & Moran August 2011 before the audit.
Dr. Rock said after I sent the letter in March that he would address my concerns internally, but that he was not going to report back to me on what was done.   I told the union steward I expected that the teacher had taken quite a hit for all of the things that she did.  The union steward advised me the teacher had not been reprimanded at all, because if she had been, it would have come through him as the union steward.  I was incredulous! 

Based on this, apparently Dr. Rock did nothing with my information.  So much for "he'll handle it internally".  I am assuming that he apparently "handled" it into the circular file under his desk.

10/26/11 Clarkston News Article, "School Audit Earns Recognition"

Here is an article that was in the Clarkston News on October 26, 2011

http://www.clarkstonnews.com/Articles-News-i-2011-10-26-244160.113121-sub14473.113121-School-audit-earns-recognition.html

"School audit earns recognition"


"October 26, 2011 - Clarkston Community Schools' financial statements are accurate and accounted for, according to their recent audit by Plante & Moran.

For the 13th year, the annual report was submitted to ASBO International for the Certificate of Excellence award.

"We believe this reflects well that we are spending our funds wisely and directing those funds into classroom instruction as much as possible," said Cheryl McGinnis, school board president.

"It gives us a very clear and sound picture for moving forward as a district," said Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock. "It also demonstrates the negative effects of cuts that come from the state and reminds us that we face additional fiscal challenges in the future."

Recommendations from Plante & Moran included review of expenditures for federal grants by those responsible for them. Also, the district should continually monitor policies for purchase cards.

They also advised the district make sure semi-annual certifications for employees charging their time to Title 1 have them, and maintain them. According to the audit, the district failed to maintain personnel activity reports in the required format for co-funded employees and failed to obtain semi annual certifications for paraprofessionals.

"The administration has already taken steps to update and streamline how they account for and track Title I dollars and those items in the audit have already been addressed," said McGinnis.

This year's audit cost $46,100, out of the General Fund in the business services department."

Kelli Horst's letter to the editor 10-12-11 about my FOIA requests

Kelli Horst, the president of the Clarkston PTA Council decried my FOIA requests here in this letter to the editor that was published in the 10/12/11 Clarkston News.
 
Isn't this "special" that the stated President of the Clarkston PTA Council thinks it's appropriate to attack a parent of a CCS student for legally requesting documents through the legally protected FOIA process?  Nothing fails to surprise me.    

I consider this a scare tactic by people close to school administrators to get me to back down with my FOIA requests.  

"Letter to the Editor

Questions about FOIA questions

October 12, 2011 - Dear Editor,

I am very disturbed by facts presented by Ssuperintendent Dr. Rod Rock at the Sept. 26 Clarkston School Board meeting.

Clarkston resident Dawn Schaller submitted nine Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to Clarkston Community Schools since 2010. She received 4,760 pages of materials for six requests fulfilled to date at an estimated cost of more than $1,200 to the district. Although Mrs. Schaller has paid $886.08 of those costs, the district and the taxpayers eat the rest. I don't like the taste of that.

Even more disturbing is the apparent partnership between Mrs. Schaller and Sherman Publications, owner of The Clarkston News. Editor Phil Custodio participated in Mrs. Schaller's review of documents pertaining to her first FOIA request at the administration building.

Dr. Rock presented evidence Sherman Publications paid for one of Mrs. Schaller's FOIA requests. I spoke with Dr. Tommy Thomason, a journalism professor at Texas Christian University and expert on community journalism. He has never heard of a community newspaper paying for a private citizen's FOIA request. It seems hidden agendas also make strange bedfellows.

While Mrs. Schaller certainly has the right to examine public information, the length and breadth of this pursuit without any evidence of wrong-doing is simply a waste of the taxpayers' money and the school district's time. She's fishing, plain and simple, and the hometown newspaper has swallowed her story hook, line and sinker. The Clarkston News has frequently published Mrs. Schaller's vague allegations and opinions opposing district actions without evidence to support her claims. A quick search of The Clarkston News website shows Mrs. Schaller has been quoted or used as a source 24 times in the past 18 months in stories and editorials relating to the school district.

Jim Sherman owes his readers and the citizens of Clarkston answers. Why are you paying for the FOIA requests of a private citizen and supporting her unsubstantiated allegations? Did you reimburse Mrs. Schaller or anyone else for her other FOIA requests, which were paid with cash and personal checks?

What is the relationship between Dawn Schaller and The Clarkston News? Will you be transparent with your practices, as you are demanding of the school district?

It's time for Dawn Schaller and Sherman Publications to be up front about their motives and actions. If there are findings that support alleged misconduct or misappropriation of funds, then publish it.

If nothing concrete has come from 18 months, nine FOIA requests and nearly 5,000 pages of documents, then it's time to stop chasing conspiracy theories and let our school administrators return to the business of educating our students.

Kelli Horst, president
Clarkston PTA Council"

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Community Input Sessions for Future Technology and Facility Planning at CCS (read "bond or sinking fund request").

Although it's not stated in this "informational notice" on the district website, you need to know how the CCS district wants to get a new bond or sinking fund approved for future facility and technology spending.  The district's recent actions show they consider a lack of response from the public to be acceptance and approval of their actions or requests.  Make sure you ask specifics about how they want to spend the money and ask about  the changes coming for new Michigan public school bond funds that will apply to this bond request (if it is approved) and how much more it will cost the taxpayers than in the past... 

See below for info on "community input sessions" coming up in November 2011 from the home page for the CCS website here Please be sure you attend!     

"Community Input Sessions for Future Technology and Facility Planning
CCS Administrators will be holding three Community Input Sessions for future facility and technology planning.  The purpose of these sessions will be to discuss the technology and building/capital improvement needs of the district, gather feedback from parents and community members about these needs and determine next steps.


Sessions will be held on the following dates at the locations noted:

Wednesday, November 9 - Springfield Plains Elementary School Media Center - 6:00 pm
Wednesday, November 16 - CCS Administration Building - 12:00 noon
Thursday, November 17 - Pine Knob Elementary School Media Center - 6:00 pm

We hope you can join us!"

Email me with comments or concerns

You can email me with your comments or concerns as it appears that although there are quite a few people looking at my blog site, very few have commented, although they can safely do so anonymously... 

If you email me, I will not reveal your name to anyone else.

My email address is cleanupclarkstonschools at gmail dot com  Please change the "at" to the "@" sign and change "dot" to a period with no spaces in the full email address.

Thanks.

Dawn Schaller

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My 11/2/11 Letter to the Editor of the Clarkston News - Summing up FOIA request results

Here is a link to my Letter to the Editor in the 11/2/11 Clarkston News 

http://www.clarkstonnews.com/Articles-Opinion-i-2011-11-02-244307.113121-sub14473.113121-Letter-to-the-Editor.html

Letter to the Editor

Summing up FOIA request

November 02, 2011 - Dear Editor,

Regarding my FOIA requests: some people said that they do not understand my intentions and I should deliver proof of findings.

Two years ago, January 2010, Clarkston school administration surprised many with an expected shortfall of $13 million dollars and that we needed to cut $10 million dollars in one year. I became very interested in how the school district spends its money.

What I have found through my FOIA documents include: incomplete and inaccurate Transparency Reports, mandated by the state; purchasing policy violations such as contracts broken up into smaller pieces so board approval would not be required, awarding contracts without obtaining three bids, use of district credit card by non-district employees; and questionable expenses.

I delivered a letter with back up documentation to Dr. Rod Rock and the school board treasurer on March 18, 2011. I still have not received a response besides acknowledgment of receipt.

In this day of reduced educational funding, increasing class sizes and cuts to direct student services like instructional aides and media specialists, I think we as a community need to understand how our tax and educational dollars are being spent, especially since Dr. Rock has plans to ask the Community for over $20 million more dollars through a bond and/or sinking fund.

For more specifics, please visit my blog at acrosstheboard-clarkston.blogspot.com

Dawn Schaller

Independence Township

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

10/19/11 Letters to the Editor - Clarkston News

Letters available here: http://www.clarkstonnews.com/Articles-i-2011-10-19-244034.113121-sub14473.113121-Letters-to-the-Editor.html

"Letters to the Editor

Readers respond to school-information stories


October 19, 2011 –

'Disappointed' by schools

Dear Editor,

I had high hopes that a new Clarkston superintendent would end the secrecy and arrogance that seemed to pervade the previous administration and certain board of education members.

However, it was very disappointing to read that Dr. Rod Rock believes it is "wasteful" for a district resident and taxpayer to use the law to obtain information that many school districts make public. ("FOIAs Under Fire," Oct. 12).

This is the same superintendent who recently leveraged taxpayer resources to criticize charter schools. Apparently, it's not "wasteful" when you spend the people's money on issues you support.

It is equally disaappointing that several board members have joined the "move on, there's nothing to see here" bandwagon. Diversionary tactics -- such as insinuating that the citizen in question is in cahoots with the local paper -- only reinforce the notion that there is something to hide.

Until certain Clarkston Schools leaders learn what transparency means, I don't care if Santa Claus files FOIA requests and pays for them with money from the Easter Bunny, if that's what it takes to get answers.

Kelly Kolhagen
Independence Township


Sunlight best disinfectant

Dear Editor,

There have been statements made that a member of the community is wasting the school district's time and resources by making FOIA requests for information which some on the Board and in the administration feel is a fishing expedition.

Let's be clear on a very important point: community oversight of our elected and appointed officials is not just a community right, it is a community responsibility and it can only be accomplished with adequate information in a format that lends itself to review and analysis.

In the absence of full, voluntary disclosure on the part of officials, the law provides citizens with a tool to use to obtain the needed information – the Freedom of Information Act.

This tool provides the community with access to sufficient information to be able to make an informed judgment regarding the performance of those officials who hold the public trust when complete information is not readily available to the community for whatever reason.

To those on the board and in the administration who are opposed to these requests, my suggestion is to re-examine their position regarding the voluntary release of information and to encourage members of the community to become involved at a more granular level of detail in the areas of greatest concern such as finance and policy.

If no problems are found, this assistance will still enable the district to stretch its scarce resources by engaging these additional creative minds in process improvement.

On the other hand, if there are problems they can be identified early and corrected quickly because in the words of US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis "Sunlight is the best disinfectant".

Lawrence Matta
Independence Township


Public has right to know

Dear Editor,

I am in shock at the tone and comments coming from the Clarkston School Superindent and some School Board members ("FOIAs under fire,"Oct. 12).

These are the people we assume are establishing the policies for educating our students and I presume that includes civics and law. Instead of my usual long winded complaints, I offer the following explanation from the Michigan Legislature as contained in a very good document on the Michigan Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Acts which is available for free and online from www.Michigan.gov. This is what it says:

Availability of Public Records:

Any person may ask to inspect, copy or receive a copy of a public record. There are no qualifications such as residency or age.

As soon as practical, but not more than five business days after receiving a request, the public body must respond to a request for a public record. Under unusual circumstances, the time can be extended by 10 days.

The public body or agency has a responsibility to provide reasonable facilities so that persons making a request may examine and take notes from public records. The facilities must be available during the normal business hours of the public body. A public body may make reasonable rules necessary to protect its public records and to prevent excessive and unreasonable interference with the discharge of its functions.

My opinion is that it is public information, created, compiled and maintained with public money. Therefore, in accordance with the law, the public has the right to any information for any reason, even if it is just because they are curious and want to know how their tax money is being spent. So tell the School Board to stop their whining and get back to educating the public, whether student or parent. It is not the School Board's information, it is ours.

Cory Johnston
Clarkston


FOIAs waste of money

Dear Editor,

I concur with Kelli Horst's views that Dawn Schaller is wasting our tax payer dollars on ridiculous FOIA requests. I believe this is part of a bigger effort to tear apart the fabric of public education. Now is the time to rally and support our public schools before this uniquely American success story is undermined by for-profit corporations.

Thank you,

Ann Lehman-Rittinger
Davisburg


Outraged by newspaper

Dear Editor,

As a parent of children that attend Clarkston Community Schools, I am outraged that your newspaper is supporting the crazy antics of a delusional resident of Clarkston.

Dr. Rod Rock has done an amazing job of being the superintendent of Clarkston Schools. He has opened lines of communication that were not open before. He has also gone above and beyond in keeping Clarkston residents informed about all of the changes that could be occurring in education funding and policies.

If there is no evidence of wrongdoing, please let him get back to doing what he does best – caring for the education of our kids.

Noelle Collis

 

Get behind Dr. Rock

Dear Editor,

I, too, have had many frustrations over Mrs. Schaller's relentless campaign to expose some type of fraud or misspending on the part of the Clarkston School District ("FOIA questions focus on school spending," Oct. 12). I think after 18 months and 4,760 pages of information, she should stop wasting our time and money.

I am focused on moving forward with our new superintendent and excited about the direction in which he is moving our district. I have noted the School Board members who support Mrs. Schaller and will not vote for them. I want them to move into the future and get behind Dr. Rock. He has new and exciting ideas that I want to explore for the sake of my two children currently in the Clarkson school system. The recent economic situation within our state calls for new and inventive practices, not conspiracy theories.

Of great concern to me is why the Clarkston News supported Mrs. Shaller's efforts by supplying her with money. Isn't this the time when we should be working together to create solutions and a new paradigm rather than steeping ourselves in past practices?

Aimee Baker
Davisburg"
















 

Clarkston News Editorial by Phil Custodio on 10/19/11

Article available here: http://www.clarkstonnews.com/Articles-i-2011-10-19-244026.113121-sub14473.113121-Phil-in-the-BlankA-column-by-Phil-Custodio.html

Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio

Check the law


October 19, 2011 - Smart warriors the world over turn their opponents' tactics against them.

So it is with admiration that I watch Clarkston school officials and advocates use yellow-journalism methods against Dawn Schaller and the Clarkston News regarding Freedom of Information Act requests.

They ask, what's the real story behind the News and Dawn Schaller? What are your real motivations? What did you know and when did you know it?

I get it – that's what we're doing, so how does it feel, tabloid boy?

What's sad about these charges and countercharges is it's all unnecessary.

The Freedom of Information Act requires school districts and other official bodies to provide information, but it includes plenty of information controls, too. The school district isn't as helpless as the superintendent and others seem to think.

It allows the district to charge for actual costs for labor, search, examination, review, and deletion and separation of exempt from nonexempt information.

When calculating labor, the district can't charge more than the lowest hourly rate, but the law goes on to say that rate applies to the "lowest paid public body employee capable of retrieving the information necessary to comply with a request under this act."

This means the lowest paid central office employee, not the lowest paid employee overall.

Also, as Cory Johnston points out in his letter on page 20A, the law allows the district to make reasonable rules to "prevent excessive and unreasonable interference with the discharge of its functions."

If that's the case, make the rules. People will probably argue about whether they're reasonable, but that would be better than arguing why a newspaper would want information on the local school district.

Now's certainly not the time for less scrutiny of any government body, including the school district.

The School Board is considering a new program to teach Spanish in preschool-fifth grade, costing up to $750,000. And, after borrowing millions to wire the district for the Internet, it very may well look to borrow millions more for wireless Internet.

These and other stories need more questions and answers, not less."

10/25/11 status of my 9/12/11 FOIA request

I still have not received my FOIA results six weeks after the request was submitted.

The district is now three weeks (15 business days) past the expiration date of their extension (October 4, 2011). According to the FOIA specialist in the State of Michigan's Attorney General's office, the district is allowed a "reasonable" amount of time to supply the information.  I believe that six weeks exceeds a "reasonable" amount of time for 250 pages of documents.  Therefore, I believe that the district is violation of FOIA. 

I addressed this at the 10/24/11 board meeting and Dr. Rock retorted at the end that the district's attorneys say that the district is not in violation because FOIA does not say how soon documents have to be supplied.  However, according to the AG's office, a "reasonable" amount of time is assumed.  I guess this must mean that they will supply it when they are good and ready, like when I am 95 years old...

I believe that Dr. Rock does not want the information I requested to become public.

My comments at the 10/24/11 meeting

I would like to talk about two things tonight.

  1. My FOIA request from September 12, 2011 was “answered” on September 20th and a 10 day extension was taken by the district to October 4th. 
    1. On October 4th, I was “answered” with a package price of $254.95 and an estimated 250 pages at 10 cents per page, and 15 hours of staff time at $15.33 per hour with no reference to when the documents would be available to me.
    2. Requests to the district FOIA officer for a date when the documents would be available were answered with legalese citing FOIA statute numbers and a follow on answer that said, “We have responded to your request and stated that it would be granted.  There is no statute within FOIA that states requirement of when the FOIA request is fulfilled.  We are working to fulfill this request, as we have done with each prior FOIA request you have submitted.  We have consulted with our legal counsel and are in full compliance with the requirements of FOIA.”
    3. To date, I have not received the documents I requested 6 weeks ago, nor been advised when my documents will be available. 
    4. According to the Attorney General’s FOIA specialist at the State of Michigan, the district has a “reasonable” amount of time to provide the documents.  I believe that six weeks to provide 250 pages of documents is beyond a “reasonable” amount of time and I would like to know when the documents will be ready for me to pay for and pick up. 
    5. Therefore, I believe that the district is in violation of FOIA.      
  2. I wanted to discuss Missing board packet documentation
    1. Check registers –
                                                              i.      The May check register is on the 7/11/11 board packet and there is a link to it on the district’s home webpage.
                                                            ii.      September’s check register is on today’s board packet.
                                                          iii.      June’s, July’s, and August’s check registers are missing from all of the board packets and the district website.  Are there things on those check registers that the district doesn’t want the public to see?
    1. There have been missing documents from multiple board packets for presentation items, Superintendent’s updates, and reports that have been promised to be updated in emails and comments during board meetings.  However, most of the missing items were not added later and none of the Superintendent’s updates were added.
    2. Neither of tonight’s discussion items were in the board packet, although the board obviously had the data.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My comments at the 9/26/11 CCS Board Meeting

"Regarding the Capital and Technology Needs List and Review, I am concerned about a few things.

  1. There was no BAR (Board Action Request Form) for this report on this meeting’s Board Packet, just as there were missing BARs and missing documentation on the September 12th meeting's board packet. 
  2.  I am concerned that several of the items on the Capital Needs list appear to be items that would be covered in the normal operating budget and wonder why they are being moved into a bond.   Buses are listed under furnishings and equipment, yet the buses have been leased in the recent past and those funds have come from the general fund. 
  3.  Has there been any coordinated technology and curriculum agreed upon by the board?  
  4.  If purchases that might have come from the general fund are moved to the bond, what impact will that have on the general fund?  Will those general fund dollars that would have been used for those items be loosened up to purchase whatever administration wants because they have the approved budget for that total amount in the general fund?  If so, then the general budget should be adjusted downward so as not to allow administration to spend like drunken sailors on leave. 
  5. Are there any funds in the capital needs list for the Baylis house?  That building appears to be a white elephant.  For the small amount of use the building has and the high cost of maintaining it, it would make more sense to sell that house and it’s out buildings as it is an expensive place to have a retreat for Team Rush once a year and to serve as a storage unit for boats and antique vehicles for district personnel.  I have photos of vehicles being stored in one of the outbuildings.  There has already been work performed on the building in the last month in excess of $10,000.00.

I only had a few minutes during the meeting to see the new documentation administration put together for the 9/26/11 board meeting (they changed the board packet sometime Monday afternoon before the meeting).  They added more detail to the bond request.  I will put that on the blog.  The Baylis house is the farmhouse that is at the corner of M-15 and Hubbard Rd, at the corner of the parcel of land that Independence Elementary is on. 

My comments at the 10/10/11 Board meeting regarding the 2011 Plant & Moran audit

My comments at the end of the 10/10/11 CCS School Board meeting:

Here is the link to the audit.
  1. I am disappointed in the results of the district audit by Plante and Moran.
    1. Following finding significant violations of district policy and improper coding of charges to the district purchasing card through my FOIA requests that I have brought to the attention of the board and nothing was done with it, I submitted an email to the lead auditor prior to the start of audit to request that the audit analyze:
                                                               i.      the use of the district purchasing card by one teacher who allowed three other people to use her purchasing card,
                                                              ii.      account coding of trip expenses for an extracurricular group that were charged to district account codes (vs. the group’s account codes) by the same teacher as above,
                                                            iii.      and the district not following policy in regard to obtaining multiple bids, and/or not obtaining board approval for large purchases as mandated by policy.
    1. The audit did not address any of the items I brought forward to Plant & Moran.
    2. The audit noted that the district had policies and administrative guidelines in place regarding the use of district purchasing cards.  However, the district website does not reflect that the district has any administrative guidelines for the use of the purchasing card.      
  1. On the organization chart in the 2011 audit on page 100 of the board packet, I found many interesting things as compared to the October 8th, 2010 org chart I have from last year. 
    1. There are many changes in titles and the apparent staff shown from 2010.  Although there have been no requests from Administration to the board for new employees or promotions for employees, there are many changes in titles.  However, the board must approve "Administrative, Instructional and Non-Instructional Staff Changes" in an open meeting. 
                                                               i.      Although the Superintendent has advised that there is a pay freeze on all of the employees of the district, the titles of several positions have changed since the 10/8/10 org chart, I suspect that the pay for these individuals have also increased, and the Board of Education has not been asked to approve promotions for these individuals:
1.       After only one year in the position and several Human Resources issues in this audit, the 2010 "Director of Human Resources" is now the 2011 "Executive Director for Human Resources and Communications.
2.       The 2010 position of "Supervisor, Assessment, Research, and Evaluation" with a secretary working under her in 2010, is now the 2011 "Chief Academic Officer" with "subject area coordinators, State and Federal Programs, staff development, student data management, and program evaluation" under her.
3.       The 2009 "Communications secretary", became 2010’s "Community Relations / Communications", and 2011’s "Communications Coordinator”.
4.       There is a new position in 2011 called "Executive Director of Operations".  I am not sure who is in that position, but the position did not exist in 2010. 
5.        Have the promotions resulted in pay increases for any of those employees?

"FOIAs under fire" - editorial in The Clarkston News 10/12/11

FOIAs under fire


Officials question school Freedom of Info requests, funding

October 12, 2011 - School officials facing several Freedom of Information Act requests have some questions of their own.

"We have limited staff and limited time to take on these resources and it seems wasteful," said Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock at the Sept. 26 school board meeting.

Responding to FOIA requests submitted by Dawn Schaller of Independence Township, the school district printed 4,760 pages, with 26.75 hours of staff time. At a cost of $15.33 per hour and 10 cents per page, the cost was $886.08, Rock said.

School board members are mixed.

"We are one of the finest school district in the state and this activity has gone on too long with nothing to show for it," said board President Cheryl McGinnis. "Times are difficult enough with reform legislation being thrown at districts daily to deal with one person's unsubstantiated intentions."

Trustee Joan Patterson disagreed.

"I don't fault her at all – she's a citizen trying to help," Patterson said. "Dr. Rock should bring her on board to help with the reporting."

Kelli Horst, president of Clarkston PTA Council, sent a letter to the editor ("Questions about FOIA questions," page 6A).

"If nothing concrete has come from 18 months, nine FOIA requests and nearly 5,000 pages of documents, then it's time to stop chasing conspiracy theories and let our school administrators return to the business of educating our students," Horst said.

The district is required to charge the lowest hourly rate even though an employee with a higher hourly rate completes the request, said board Treasurer Steve Hyer

"This causes the district to spend money that could be spent in the classroom on FOIA requests instead," Hyer said. "This is troublesome to me and I would imagine to all of the parents who see these dollars going to FOIA requests instead of their classrooms."

Residents should focus on legislative activities in Lansing, said board Vice President Elizabeth Egan.

"All of us should understand the impact on our local schools and contact our legislators," Egan said. "That's where the real action is regarding how education will change - for better or worse."

"We are one of the finest school district in the state and this activity has gone on too long with nothing to show for it," McGinnis said.

Trustees Susan Boatman and Rosalie Lieblang support the FOIA effort.

"(Schaller) has discovered some inconsistencies that have provided the opportunity for the district to tighten up some procedures and provide more transparency to the public by updating information on the district website," Boatman said.

Taxpayers have the right to inspect and request public records, Lieblang said.

"In this environment of reduced state and federal funding and continual district budget cuts, I'm not surprised that people in our community want to make sure we are spending our limited resources wisely," Lieblang said. "I welcome the involvement and feedback from our community."

"She is asking for information we should have had on hand, available to the public, and she had to pay for it," Patterson said. "That makes me very uncomfortable."

Schaller filed her first FOIA request on March 16, 2010 for district credit card and check registers, bond contract information, central office job descriptions, receipts, and other documents.

She organized a group of volunteers to look at about 12,000 pages of ledgers, contracts, and other documents on March 31 ("Parents dig for school information," April 7, 2010).

She submitted additional requests in April and June to look into irregularities she found including inaccurate information on the district website under "Transparency Reports," using school funds improperly, and purchasing and contract bidding policies not being followed.

When Rock took over as superintendent in October 2010, Schaller sent him an email.

"I would like you to consider providing to me gratis, all of the information that I originally FOIAed on June 17 to allow me to finish the evaluation of the data from the district," Schaller said in the Oct. 25 email. "I would then present my findings to you for you to act on."

Rock responded with a bill for $606.60.

Schaller asked publisher Jim Sherman Jr. for financial assistance on Oct. 27, 2010, to support the FOIA request, and Sherman sent a $300 check – his only donation to the effort.

Rock, who started as superintendent on Oct. 6, 2010, still has questions.

"If Mr. Sherman offered to pay for Mrs. Schaller's FOIA request because of his interest in the previous superintendent, what is the motivation to continue now that the district employs a different superintendent," he asked. "Why wouldn't Mr. Sherman submit the FOIA request himself?"

For Schaller's FOIA request, Sept. 12, 2011, the district charged a processing fee of $254.95, based on an estimated 250 pages at 10 cents per page, about 15 hours of staff time at $15.33 per hour.

Plante and Moran's audit report presented to the school board, Oct. 10, includes the Certificate of Excellence Award from the Association of School Business Officials-International (ASBO) for 2010.

"I believe this is the 13th year our audit report has been submitted to receive this award of excellence," McGinnis said. "It is therefore difficult to understand under what grounds Mrs. Schaller continues to request massive amount of district information."

For Patterson, the report raises more questions, including an updated organization chart for the school district.

"It has new titles – when was this approved," she asked. "Do they get a raise? Nothing came through us."

Administration officials have new "executive director" titles – another new title is "chief academic officer."

She submitted her own request for more information on this and other issues with Plante and Moran and Bruce Beamer, executive director of business services.


Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dr. Rock's non-responsive response to my email to Dr Rock after 9/12/11 board meeting

According to Dr Rock on his last "Words from the Sup't" article in the Clarkston News on 9/21/11, http://www.clarkstonnews.com/Articles-i-2011-09-21-243563.113121-sub14473.113121-Words-from-the-Supt.html  he said:

"If there's ever any way that I can be of direct service to you, please contact me at rdrock@clarkston.k12.mi.us "
Given that, you would have expected that I would have received a slightly different response to the email I sent to Dr. Rock on 9/17/11 after the 9/12/11 school board meeting.  You can see that original email here from my blog.

Here was the response I received from Dr. Rock on 9/17/11:
 "Mrs. Schaller.
 Thanks for your note.
 
 Dr. Rock"
On 9/19/11 I responded back,

Dr. Rock,
 
I consider your response, "Thanks for your note.", to be an acceptable acknowledgment to the receipt of my email, but not a "response". Are you refusing to answer my questions/requests?
 
Thanks.
  
Dawn Schaller"
Dr. Rock responded back on 9/19/11,
"Mrs. Schaller:

When you e-mail me, I will acknowledge my receipt of your e-mail. Generally speaking, I will not notify you of my subsequent actions or offer extended responses.
 
Thank you,
Dr. Rock"

On 9/19/11 I responded back:
Dr. Rock,

 I did not ask for an "extended response".
I take your response to mean that you are not intending to be responsive to me/the public. That is not collaboration and is not a positive thing, especially for someone who claims to be "collaborative".
The antonym of "collaborative" is "uncooperative". Acting in a "my way or the highway" or "it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission" manner is not collaboration no matter if you try to twist $30 words around it - it is being uncooperative. 
To a reasonable person, one would assume that a non-response from you assumes you have something to hide or you just don't care what the public thinks. If you are going to take credit for everything good that happens in the district, you must also take the fall for everything bad that happens in the district. 
I would prefer you actually act in a collaborative manner and respond to the public. I know I am not the only parent you have ignored that has come to you with concerns.
I still believe that you have an obligation to:  
1. follow school district policy, as they are the rules for operation of the district (you may change Administrative Guidelines as long as they are not contradictory to policy),
2. post the entire board packet on the website if you are not emailing the board packets to members of the public who have requested them,
3. address the football player ineligibility issue to the public,
4. post the entire 9/12/11 board meeting on the district website (since you know it was cut off),

 If you don't feel you have an obligation to do those things, then I feel there is a problem.  
Thanks.
 
 Dawn Schaller"
On 9/19/11, Dr. Rock responded back to me with these words of wisdom:
"Mrs. Schaller:
Thanks again for your comments. I will take action where needed. I will not offer an extended response to you.
Dr. Rock"
Dr. Rock's follow on action/response to all of this, was that he:
  • did not post the full video of the 9/12/11 board meeting on the district website,
* The missing portion of the meeting included a discussion regarding an attempt at a power grab for Dr. Rock to basically give him a dictatorship over the school district in section 7 - to give Dr. Rock the authority to determine policy - to request, write, and provide his take on policies for his four rubber stamp members (majority) of the board to approve, although policies are the responsibility of the board and the superintendent has responsibility to administer the policies, not to set them (that is board responsibility),
* my comments at the end of the meeting in section 8,
* Dr. Rock's Superintendent's Update in section 10.
  • did not update the 9/12/11 board packet with all of the missing documentation,
  • did not address that his secretary emailed me 45 minutes before the 9/12/11 meeting that the only changes to the board packet was a financial document that was added when, in fact, there were many additions to the board packet,
  • still claims that the board approved his "pilot technology initiatives" that he already implemented, although they did not, 
  • and never addressed the varsity football player ineligibility issue.  
Dr. Rock has NOT been responsive to me, has not been responsive to others, and I believe he is not being responsive to this community or looking out for our kids' or the school system's best interest!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My 9/12/11 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of CCS


Freedom of Information Act Request by Dawn Schaller
sent via email to CCS 9/12/11
This is my newest Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.  A good portion of what I am asking for was documentation that the district failed to supply to me (although requested) from previous FOIA requests, but some is new and being requested based on recent school issues or questions opened up based on what I was supplied from previous FOIA requests.  Please provide what I am requesting below that is in red, bolded and underlined:
1)      Complete documentation (any and all backup documents and all documents signed) for any decisions made or documents signed by the President of the CCS School Board that was not voted on in a public session by the School Board since 05/01/09.
2)      Consolidated board feedback on the Berkley Operating Procedures that Mrs. Lieblang provided to Steve Hyer.
3)      From the “Total salary and a description and cost of each and every fringe benefit in the compensation package” for the superintendent and each employee of the district whose “Medicare Wages” exceeds $100 K from the district “Transparency Reporting” on the district website–
a)      Need the actual “Medicare Wages” for the people on the report as the State of Michigan instructions for Transparency reporting found here mandate: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Budget_Transparency_Reporting_327912_7.pdf   The Michigan Transparency reporting instructions mandate: 
(1)   g) “Employee Compensation Information” Provide a report of the total salary and a description and cost of each and every fringe benefit included in the compensation package for the superintendent of the district or intermediate district and for each employee of the district or intermediate district whose salary exceeds $100,000 (e.g. a pdf file). For purposes of this reporting, salary will be defined similar to that reported as Medicare wages on the employee’s prior year W2. This data must be all inclusive and should be data from the most recently completed year for which they are available (NOTE: the total compensation package must be fully disclosed).”
4)      Please provide a report showing the “Medicare Wages” for all CCS employees for the most recent year (either 2010/2011 fiscal school year or 2010 calendar year, however the data is kept).  This should be a simple report pulled off the computer.
5)      Please provide a report showing the base salaries and/or hourly salaries for all district employees for the 2011/2012 fiscal year as I received last year.   This should be a simple report pulled off the computer.
6)       “Current Complete District Organization Chart”.  I still have not received a complete Current District Organization Chart as mandated in Policy 1230.01, titled, Development of Administrative Guidelines" that I requested on two previous FOIA requests (the first one being requested 3/17/10).  Policy 1230.01 states, "The Board of Education delegates to the Superintendent the function of designing and implementing the guidelines, required actions, and detailed arrangements under which the District will operate. These administrative guidelines shall not be inconsistent with the policies adopted by the Board. The Superintendent shall maintain a current organizational chart to which immediate reference can be made by the Board or any employee of the Board”.  It would be a violation of policy for the document not to be completed.
7)      A copy of all documentation, including, but not limited to, all POs, PO alterations, account codes charged, quotes, bids, invoices, comparison bids, all PO backup documentation, all information on the bid process (advertisement, bids received, and bid comparison), and Board BAR where the contract was discussed and approved.  If no bid, not put out to bid, and/or no Board BAR, an explanation for why these purchasing policies were not followed for the following  :
a)      Check 84432, 10/9/08, Arizona Saddlery of Clarkston, $140.00
b)       “POH Medical Center”.  In a previous FOIA request, I requested “all bids, approvals, etc. for the "athletic trainer services" under POH Medical Center”.  I did not receive any information on the bidding, nor approval processes for this contract, nor a copy of the contract.  The amount of the annual contract was $40,625.00, which is well over the “$20 thousand something” that is the current trigger point for going to bid, and having to be approved by the Board of Education. 
8)      "Lighting Upgrades Project".  In a previous FOIA request, I asked for the complete bid package, but did not receive the “detailed scope of work” from the original bid (although I did receive it from the change order).
a)      I still need the original contract signed by the winning bidder, Midwest Illumination.
b)     I still need the “detailed scope of work” from the original bid.  I already have everything else I had requested from the original bid.
c)      I still need the explanation for the multiple versions of the bid sheets.  There were five different companies that bid the job and there was one bid sheet for four of the companies and multiple bid sheets with different amounts for the winning bidder, “Midwest Illumination”.
9)      "Pro-Tech Lighting". “New web server", delivery, and set up at CHS, paid on two checks, check 85250 on 11/6/08 for $18,792.00 and balance paid on check 85817 on 12/03/08 for $2,088.00 (total of $20,880.00).  In a previous FOIA request, I asked for competing bids and evidence that it went out to bid or was approved by the board, but I received nothing in regard to that request. 
a)      Please prove that this did go out to bid and was approved by the board by supplying bid notice, received bids, and board meeting BAR.
b)     If not put out to bid and not approved by the board, please explain the justification for not doing so (against purchasing policy that mandates both requirements).
10)  "Elementary School Irrigation Systems" from 2006.  In a previous FOIA request I requested a great deal of information from the district on this contract and received very little information back. 
a)      I still need the “detailed scope of work” in the original bid package that I was not given previously,
b)     I still need the complete bids from all of the bidders (I only received the bid comparison sheet),
c)      I still need all of the purchase orders and payments against both the original contract as well as for any and all change orders paid to the contractor,
d)     I still need business justification for making the change order that was given to Progressive Irrigation a change order instead of putting the business out to bid as a separate contract.  The base contract was called, “Elementary School Irrigation Systems” and was for irrigation system jobs at six of the elementary schools, but the “change order” was to install irrigation systems for nine sports fields at the middle school and the junior high. 
11)  “February 2010 National School Boards Association (NSBA) FRN Conference”.  The district sent three board members to the 2010 FRN Conference - Steve Hyer, Cheryl McGinnis and Barry Bomier.  Yet I found: 
a)      There was no flight expense charged against the district purchasing card, nor an expense reimbursement request for the trip submitted by Barry Bomier, nor Steve Hyer.  I understand that Mr. Bomier works in the Washington DC area frequently, so he may have been in DC on business and did not incur flight expenses.  
(1)   Did the district pay for Barry’s flight to Washington DC?  If so, please supply a copy of the expense and show where it was paid.
(2)   Did Mr. Hyer attend the conference and if so, did he submit expenses to be reimbursed for the February 2010 FRN conference?  If so, please supply a copy of the complete expense claim with receipts.   
b)      I found that the district paid for the flight expenses of $209.20 each against the January 2010 purchasing card for Steve Hyer, Cheryl McGinnis, and also Kyle Hughes.  All three of the flight expenses were charged against the Board of Education’s “conference/registration” account.
(1)   Please supply the business justification for sending Kyle Hughes, who is a high school teacher in the district and not a Board of Education member, to Washington DC at that time.
(2)   Please supply the business justification for charging the flight expense for Kyle Hughes to Washington DC to the Board of Education’s “conference / registration” account.
(3)   Please supply the invoice/documentation for the $911.44 bill for Hilton Hotels in Washington DC charged against Heidi McClain’s purchasing card on 2/5/10 that is on the March 2010 JP Morgan Chase purchasing card bill showing it is for the hotel charges for the FRN conference.  If that documentation includes a room for Kyle Hughes, please provide the business justification for charging the Board of Education’s “conference/registration” account for that portion of the bill.
12)  Regarding “Steve Hyer’s expense report for the 2009 FRN conference trip”, please provide a business justification for the district to pay for the expense charged for a cab ride to the “Chinese Consulate”.
13)  On # 7 of my one of my previous FOIA requests, I asked for all expense information related to any individual Board of Education member”, whether the expense was related to Board business or any other capacity related to the district including clubs/activities, including all individual statements, expense reports, quotes, conference documents, and detailed receipts for the period June 2008 to May 2010 including:
a)      All purchasing card charges incurred on the board member’s behalf,
b)     All reimbursed expenses,
c)      All expenses paid out of district purchase orders on the Board member’s behalf, and
d)     Any other payments made to, or on behalf of all Board members.
e)      What I actually received was just reimbursed expenses claimed on expense account sheets for board attendance reimbursements and a few travel expenses…   I know that all of the board members attended conferences, but I did not receive conference expense documentation for all of the board members.  I also know that many conference expenses were incurred utilizing the district purchasing card for most (if not all) of the board members under Heidi McClain’s district purchasing card, but this information was not supplied to me.  Therefore, I am asking for:
(1)   For fiscal years 2008/09, 2009/10, and 2010/11, copies of all backup documentation for all charges against Board account codes:
(a)   110.1231.3220.098.0000.0000.0000 (“conference registration”
(b)   and 110.1231.3200.098.0000.0000.0000 (“pur serv-travel & expense”
(2)   the cumulative summary revenue and cumulative summary expense reports for the Board’s account codes for fiscal years 2008/2009, 2009/2010, and 2010/2011.
(3)   the cumulative detailed revenue and cumulative detailed expense reports for the Board’s account codes for fiscal years 2008/2009, 2009/2010, and 2010/2011.
(4)   I still want the balance of the information that was not provided to me earlier if not supplied in the other documentation I have asked for here.
14)  As a result of a previous FOIA request, I received the explanation of Doug Slater’s theater ticket purchase” from the January 2010 purchasing card being charged against the “114” account code for “supplies/materials” when he was on a DECA Club trip to New York City as “this is account used for item purchases when not a registration, due, or fee”.  I would like:
a)      a copy of all receipts and transaction documentation,
b)     information on for whom the two tickets were purchased and who used the theatre tickets,
c)      and a business justification for purchasing and charging the district for two Broadway theater tickets while on a DECA trip.
15)  “Two purchases from Net Tech Corporation” ($32,965.00 and $36,345.00 paid in 2009 and 2010) for 24x7x4 hour maintenance service contract on IBM servers and Cisco routers.  From a previous FOIA request, I had asked for a “copy of all documentation, including, but not limited to, all POs, PO alterations, account codes charged, quotes, bids, invoices, comparison bids, and all PO backup documentation” related to those purchases, but I did not receive any information on the bidding process and approval for this contract, nor a copy of the contract.  Therefore, I still need:
a)      All information on the bid process (advertisement, bids received, and bid comparison).  If not put out to bid, an explanation for why it was not done.
b)      Board BAR where the contract was discussed and approved.  If not brought to the Board for approval, an explanation for why it was not done.
16)  All documentation regarding the “creation and maintenance of the CCS district website” including bids, board approvals (if any), POs, PO backup documentation, copies of checks, invoices, and any other financial documentation regarding the school district’s website.
17)  From the “CHS “Parking” 610 account”, from the current or previous financial system I need:
a)      the cumulative summary revenue and cumulative summary expense reports for fiscal years 2009/2010 and 2010/2011.
b)     the cumulative detailed revenue and cumulative detailed expense reports for fiscal years 2009/2010 and 2010/2011.
c)      the name of the person responsible for the account for both years, where monies are supposed top be applied, and the stated purpose of the account.
18)  From the “CHS “Jungle Run” 610 account”, from the current or previous financial system I need:
a)      the cumulative summary revenue and cumulative summary expense reports for fiscal years 2009/2010 and 2010/2011.
b)     the cumulative detailed revenue and cumulative detailed expense reports for fiscal years 2009/2010 and 2010/2011.
c)      the name of the person responsible for the account for both years, where monies are supposed to be applied, and the stated purpose of the account.
19)  “Explanation for the splitting of the $262.40 Air Trans flight expense charged by Scott Banks” on 9/18/09 that is on the October 2009 JP Morgan Chase district purchasing card into $165.00 against the “610” high school “parking” account fund and $97.40 against the “610” “video production” account fund.  Please also provide a business reason for the trip.
20)  Detailed check registers from the following months:
a)      December 2010
b)     January 2011
c)      June 2011
d)     July 2011
e)      August 2011