Transparency lacking when school board adds to construction contracts
Jeffco school district policy states that if a project is to cost more than $50,000, a competitive bid process must be used. However, if the contractors in question are board member campaign contributors, it appears that this policy falls to the wayside.
In January the Jeffco school board approved a $4.2 million bid for additional construction at Standley Lake High School with no competitive bid. This was more than twice the amount of the original contract. Haselden construction made a contribution to both Jill Fellman’s and the Yes on 3A/3B campaign. Now they have gone and done it again. At the February meeting the board approved a $3.6 million dollar non-competitive bid, again to a campaign contributor of board President Lesley Dahlkemper. Now of course, the campaign contribution had nothing to do with the contract award, according to the board. Additions to a contract are allowed under district policy. However, if the addition is twice the amount of the original contract, I believe we are talking about a new contract here, not mere change orders. So the competitive process should apply in the interests of transparency to the voters who foot the bill.
The board maintains this is all legal and above board. Legal maybe, but above board, no way. Where is your transparency, Ms. Stevenson? Again there was only one dissention, good ol’ Laura Boggs. But I ask you, folks, is this ethical? And do we really want the school board playing fast and loose with our tax dollars? They conned the voters out of $138 million, so now they need to throw cash around to reward supporters. It seems to me that the board should be listening to Boggs and following her lead.
The board should be above reproach and monitor very carefully all spending practices, especially when a contractor has made financial contributions to a voting board member or to the campaign to raise the money being spent.
South Jeffco needs recycling options
I believe there should be public single-stream recycling bins available and easily accessible. I live in a townhouse community, and having our trash provider pick up our recycling is not an option, as it is very expensive, about $200 per month. As a result of this, I have a lot of recyclable items that I have no place to take for recycling.
Colorado is a beautiful state with a focus on the outdoors and green living. It is a travesty that we as a community have no choice but to fill our landfills with recyclable items because we do not have a recycling option available. There are many other states that offer such an option to their residents. Recycling is in the best interests of our state, our land and our community. It just makes sense that the option to recycle should be readily available.