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School Board meeting, Feb. 26, 2013

The meeting started out with me making motions to convene independent audit committees to investigate the $12.2 million unaccounted for and unauthorized cost increases in the Red Plan, and the soft cost increases paid to Johnson Controls, Inc of $40 million (from $42 million to $84 million).  No surprise, the board refused to even second any of these motions.  The board has also refused to even put in the minutes any of my motions.

I then took the only avenue open to me, the 3 minutes that is reserved for the audience comment period, and presented a formal Minnesota Government Data Practices request for the above mentioned costs, as well as the $13.1 million in changes orders, a request for JCI subcontracts, and documentation of the energy saving items that the Red Plan originally claimed.  See the accountability menu of this website to see these documents.

Another item I talked about was that the official student count for the Duluth Public Schools has dropped to 8641 students, a 117 drop since October.

Another item I mentioned was concern about the $274,000 in change orders presented to the Board. I made a motion to deny such payments.  No second.  Other than my concerns, there was no discussion by any other board members on this $274,000.  This is about average for the monthly change orders.

I also brought up that the district was paying for furniture for the lobbyist in St. Paul.  I found this ironic since there have been reports of a lack of desks, causing student to have to sit on the floor and window wells of the classrooms.

Out of all these very serious items, what was in the Duluth News Tribune article on the meeting the next day: none were even mentioned, though they did a very sappy article about how great the new Superintendent was.

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