Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The $12 Million Bond Slush Fund

The district claims it needs a $24.4 million bond levy, yet ... there is always a yet in Olentangy.

Last year, the district transferred $12 million from its building fund (you know, the fund that is supposed to be used for the projects listed on the ballots) into its permanent improvement fund. Why? So that the district can claim that it needs additional bond revenue while it squirrels away residual revenue from past issues.

This is criminal -- Wade-O and Feasel sure have some nerve.

Neither previous ballot issues nor campaign literature ever mentioned that dollars left over from building projects would end up in another fund. Yet that is what happened.

So now the district can use bond revenue to fund expenditures that should come out of the operating fund. In other words, the taxpayer is on the hook for 27 years for a paint job that will last three -- maybe three -- years.

Such nonsense.

Keep this in mind when you consider why an elementary school now costs $13.5 million dollars. The reason? The district inflates building costs -- backed by the yes-folks on the Development Committee -- so that it can spend the residuals on operating expenses.

If you vote NO, rest assured that the district HAS sufficient funds to build an elementary school. But only if district officials will dip into their $12 million bond slush fund.


Notes:

1. OFK folks, you endorse this nonsense with your name. You cannot separate the actions of the district from your campaign. The mud sticks much too well.
2. To see the nonsense in action, go to the state auditor's site and download Olentangy's FY10 audit.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Incredible. It's right there on page 9 of the CAFR section of the audit (you know the CAFR...the dense financial report that highly paid consultants create, but that Becky claims credit for when accepting the annual GFOA award).

They're unbelievable.

The bond balance (residual--unused--from previous bond issues going back to at least year 2000) was really high a few years ago, and then half of it vanished. Do you remember what that amount was (at it's high point?). I remember something like $26MM--could be higher or lower, I forget.

Jim Fedako said...

$26 million sounds right. That's in the ballpark, anyway,

But some of that was used for the admin offices / MS library fiasco.

Anonymous said...

Jim - I think you are wrong on this one. Every bond issue has a portion that is stated for maintenance on the existing buildings. The bonds are never just for building new buildings.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the greening of the new buildings and the annual repaving of the new parking lots!

Jim Fedako said...

8:54 --

Please review the Ohio Revised Code on bond funds. You will find that I am absolutely correct.

Anonymous said...

Jim,

I'll give you the $12MM as a rounded figure but the actual amout is $12.2MM. Some of the bond residuals go as far back as 2000 that the district over-collected from the tax payers and has not yet returned the money.

I don't know about you, Jim, but I want all $12.2MM back.

Jim Fedako said...

7:50 --

What's $200K among friends? $12.2 million reads much too busy. $12 million has a greater effect. My opinion, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of friends, did you hear about the "power book" application that the district rolled out? They advertised that parents would be able to see their kids' grades and assignments in real time. I thought, for once the district is doing something beneficial for familes. I logged on and there are no assignments, and the grades are from last quarter. Guess who got the check for this brilliant software development that is useless?? If you guessed Kathleen Pierce, you were right. KP- a good friend of the district indeed.

Anonymous said...

"What's $200K among friends? $12.2 million reads much too busy. $12 million has a greater effect. My opinion, anyway."

Dude--that's $20 million Turkish Lira!