On another post Anonymous wrote:
How we got where we are, part 26, January 2009
January 21, 2009: The Board approves “an agreement with DeJong/Kimball Partnership to prepare long-term facilities' needs and utilization strategy. This study is required as part of the District's strategic planning for the future. Normally, these studies are done every 10 years. The last facilities study for Pittsburgh was done 12 years ago. The plan shall evaluate all the District's facilities' suitability, functional adequacy, technology readiness, code compliance, required capital upgrades, equitable distribution of resources and a plan for its future needs over the next ten years. This study shall result in a "Plan for the District's Future" that can be implemented.”
With so much at stake, the leadership team of Roosevelt/Lane/Fischetti/Weiss would no doubt attend every meeting of the cross-functional team, wouldn't they? Yeah right; don't look for this crew when the sun goes down if the camera is not rolling.
The Board also authorizes a $53,714 contract “with Grant Communications Consulting Group who worked with the Division of Communications and Marketing to produce the first two issues of The Pittsburgh Educator which were published in May and October 2008. Services provided included writing, photography and design; coordination of printing and mailing. Approval of this contract will authorize Grant Communications Consulting Group to continue working with Communications and Marketing to produce two additional issues scheduled for publication in the Spring and Fall of 2009."
The Board approves a $50,000 increase for the contract with the Law Offices of Ira Weiss “for professional services related to Real Estate Tax Matters, Bankruptcy Cases and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) matters” for the year ended December 31, 2008. “The need for an amendment is driven by the significant amount of base year appeals filed by Allegheny County.” This contract, which carries a base year amount of $215,000, is over and above the monthly retainer for Solicitor services.
Fast forward to 2011. Does anyone else feel uncomfortable that it was a lawsuit filed by the Law Offices of Ira Weiss that started us down the path of another Countywide reassessment for values that will be used starting in January 2012?
With some estimates of the number of appeals reaching 100,000 in Allegheny County, the big winner of the reassessment is not school districts or municipalities – by law they are prohibited from receiving a windfall – the big winner is those law firms that stand to generate a significant amount of business by filing and defending against appeals. Brilliant strategy Counselor, no wonder you are too busy in Pittsburgh to represent the Montour School District any longer.
Paul Gill, Chief Operations Officer and Broad Superintendent's Academy graduate, resigns his position after less than one year on the job. He retains the moving expenses the district reimbursed. In less than three years he has been to two different California school districts.
Mark Brentley proposes a policy that would have required the administration to respond to public speakers with 48 hours.
Brentley explains: “If you talk to some parents, they say that when they come up with real important issues, the first thing they say is you're pointed to the Parent Hotline. The Parent Hotline gives them a voice mail. The Parent Hotline will give someone who will take a note and it then starts right back into that vicious circle. Parents, taxpayers have got to be brought into the loop in this Administration....We're left to react after the Administration has already made the move....Here is an opportunity of saying to the public we're not perfect, but we can simply listen to your response, and we're going to work on it and try to get back to you in a timely fashion.”
The resolution is defeated by a vote of 2-7, with only Mr. Taylor supporting it.