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Facility Planners, Superintendent's Departure

Susan Quinn • July 4, 2010

I wanted to update you on the latest events in District 15, part of my ongoing attempts at open communication with my constituents.

Facility Planners

On June 30th the board received a detailed outline and cost estimates from the Facility Planners regarding the Facility Planning Process. While the process seemed sound, and I am a proponent of the kind of comprehensive planning project the Facility Planning Process represents, unfortunately the price tag on this service was simply too high ($375k). The board voted unanimously to not approve the contract. The board may reconsider undertaking this Facility Planning Process at some later date, or the Facility Planners may come back with a reduced cost. State law prevents us from bidding out these kinds of architectural services, another instance where state law doesn’t help school districts get the best value for their money.

Superintendent’s Departure

Many of you have probably read about Superintendent Lukich’s departure from the district, effective June 30th. See the Daily Herald article on this subject A superintendent resigns in secrecy. The final agreement reached with Dr. Lukich is subject to FOIA and I am sure that the Daily Herald will submit a FOIA request and report on the details, once they are available.

I have been a champion for open governance and transparency during my 3+ years as a school board member, both in my official capacity as a board member, and through my ongoing communication with my constituents via this newsletter. In the last three years, I have: 1) championed an open forum Communication Committee, 2) initiated and fought for the disclosure of the district’s finances through the Financial Report Card, 3) argued to put more and complete information about board operations on the district’s website, 4) spoken openly about issues facing the district, including most recently the District 15 Bond Issue, 5) pushed to change the format of the Citizens Address the Board, to that there can be dialogue with the BOE, 6) forced many issues to be brought to the public session that otherwise would not have. Many of these issues were voted down by a majority of the board.

A Daily Herald editorial took issue with not disclosing the reasons for Dr. Lukich’s departure, taking me to task in particular for my statement below, that in personnel issues, sometimes the public has to trust their elected officials. They countered that public officials need to trust the public (by releasing additional information in this case). I understand their frustration, and I stand on my record as a transparent, publicly accountable, and outspoken BOE member. I do trust the public, which is why I so often, so willingly, and so loudly speak out on issues facing our district whenever I can.

One of the wonderful things about our country is that you always have recourse at the ballot box. On this Fourth of July, I give thanks for that freedom, along with the Freedom of Speech that allows vigorous political discourse.

As always, feel free to send me your questions, and to forward this email to whomever you think would be interested. I will answer any questions I am able.

Sue Quinn
District 15 Board of Education


For more information on Facilities Planning see the D15PIE home page