So the district is in high spin mode attempting to wring something resembling truth out of their own numbers. It would seem that most of the major players have been talking to get their stories straight on the amount of money they’ve paid to T&W Operations over the past year or two. (The duration of the length of time they’re willing to discuss keeps changing. I suppose that no one in the conversations realized that someone might have kept check registers for more than just one year.) The rather interesting part is that despite working together to synchronize their stories, they didn’t bother to check and see if their stories actually made sense.
You may review Elisa Ferrell’s comments on this matter on her campaign page post above, but in summary she claimed that this year we’ve paid T&W Operations the following:
“Thus far we have paid:
$283,500 for the COLT software
$366,650 for the labor for the asset inventory
$204,710 for the Promethean Board project
$157,190 for the Safety Consultant
We have a $76,000 +/- credit with T&W.”
The total amount that the district is claiming we’ve paid to T&W Operations is $1,088,050.00. Note that her post specifically states that the numbers she’s sharing with us include entering “into a contract in FY 2012-2013 with T&W when they did our asset management inventory.” (It’s important to note this, because this “fact” will change shortly.)
Ferrell claimed that the total amount paid to T&W Operations since FY2012-2013 (or FY2013 if you prefer) is $1,088,050.00.
“Safety Consultant” Makes $157,190.00
This amount also includes paying the “Safety Consultant” $157,190.00 in just 9 months (or possibly even just 7 months depending on what months are included in that number). The district has only made available check registries for 2014 through July 2014 so far. Assuming that is a 9 month total, we are paying the consultant $17,465.56 a month. In other words, this “safety consultant” is making in one month what a starting teacher is making in six months.
Ask yourself, which person is doing more to keep your child safe: the safety consultant sitting is a room somewhere stalking FaceBook, or your child’s teacher?
My vote would be the teacher.
Ferrell seems to disagree. As she wrote on her page:
The security consultant is a retired FBI agent who is a veteran in his field, not a new teacher, 22 year old fresh out of college and embarking on his or her first job.
It’s nice to see what she thinks of teachers and their place in the world, isn’t it? Again, who do you think is doing more to protect your child?
The problem with these numbers is that they are, once again, not supported by the evidence at hand. Here are a few of the issues:
We’ve Paid T&W Operations $2,107,034.68 Since August 2012
The district, as I pointed out last week, has written T&W Operations 25 checks from August 2012 through July 2014 (the most current register available to the public) totaling $2,107,034.68.
Here’s a listing of the checks:
If you would like to verify that I have transcribed the numbers correctly, I have copied the relevant check registers over to a dropbox folder that you may open here. The only modification that I have made to the registers is to highlight the checks that we’ve written specifically to T&W Operations. You may download the registers and look at each one if you’d like. (Since the district is only required by law to keep 12 months of registers posted on the website, I cannot link to a district hosted site for these records at the present time.)
Once I pointed out to Ms. Ferrell that the numbers she had posted on consist of about half the amount that she claimed was the total paid since FY2012-2013, she claimed that she would check on it.
Ferrell Next Claims that the Numbers She Shared as the Total were Only From the Current Fiscal Year
This doesn’t make much sense, as the “labor for the asset inventory” was a part of a 2012 contract, as even Ferrell noted in her opening post, but we’ll see what explanation the district comes up with next.
By the way, not that it should come as a surprise, but the total that we’ve paid T&W Operations so far according to the check register is $1,115,650.51 for FY2013-2014 (or FY2014), not $1,088,050.00 as the district is publicly claiming, but what’s $27,600.51 among friends. Oh, that’s right, it’s nearly a teacher’s salary, isn’t it?
In short, the numbers that the district has gone public with just simply do not add up.
2012-2013 Contract for Asset Inventory
On August 16, 2012, the district entered into a contract with T&W Operations “to conduct an inventory of all non-expendable property . . . from August 2012 to August 2013” for $595,452.96. This would seem to be the “$366,650 for the labor for the asset inventory.” This amount should not be included in a total from FY2013-2014 (FY2014) as the contract was to be completed by August 2013 or a full month before the beginning of the current fiscal year. You may download the complete contract for yourself here.
2013-2014 Contract for COLTS Hosting Solution
Ferrell next claims that we paid “$283,500 for the COLT software” as well as “$204,710 for the Promethean Board project” as a part of this same contract. You may download this contract for yourself here, but as you can see, there is no mention of installing Promethean Boards anywhere in the contract.
In short, of the four items that Ferrell claims, that the district claims, we have paid T&W Operations over the period of either one or two fiscal years, the only one that isn’t clearly contradicted by the evidence at hand is the claim that Mr. Chris McRae, former FBI agent is being paid off the books as an “operational cost” like our exorbitant legal fees and our utility bills.
In other words, Ferrell is admitting that this secret, spying program is operating completely off the books, as I posted on Thursday.
This “operational cost” is still, however, a violation of Board policy 3.9.3a which specifically lists “contracts, purchase orders, or undertakings that entail an expenditure or financial commitment on the part of the Board” as applicable. They still haven’t demonstrated that the board has approved approximately $1,206,174.68 = [$2,107,034.68 – $900,860.00 (the sum of the three amounts listed above that might have been board approved)] of expenditures from the past two years.
Going to the Source
Before I posted my questions on her candidacy page, Ferrell was quite busy crowing about how she went “to the source” to “get the facts rather than make decisions and proliferate bad information that is based solely on rumor and gossip.”
There are two points I’ll leave you with.
First, as with most things in this district, there is a double standard concerning who is able to have about 30 minutes of face to face time with the CSFO (or Superintendent) of our district. The moment that Wardynski believes that you’re asking a question that he doesn’t want to answer, he cuts you off.
Second, frankly, in this case it would seem that the information that has been collected and disseminated on Facebook and this blog has a much stronger connection to reality than her sources inside of Merts. Wardynski and crew seem to have great difficultly making their numbers add up. They also seem to have trouble coming out with even one story that can stand up to even basic scrutiny. Perhaps Ms. Ferrell is beginning to see this?
Yeah, I doubt it too.
We’ll see what story the district via one of their several mouthpieces will come up with next to explain these all of this.