I've been digging. And what I've unearthed is very interesting. DeKalb schools created this entity called the "Citizens Advisory Committee" - with this stated mission, found at the DCSS website,
"As with the SPLOST II program, the DeKalb County Board of Education will appoint an independent Citizens Review Committee. Their purpose is to oversee and monitor DeKalb County School System SPLOST III projects in an advisory capacity. The goal of this committee will be to develop and foster public trust in the management of SPLOST funds."
Ironically, the Chair of the current committee is none other than – David Moody, president of C. D. Moody Construction - one of DCSS main construction contractors! I don't see how this is ethical. Additionally, Pope's secretary is also a Moody - with the following salary information available at the state's open records website.
MOODY,COINTA A- GENERAL ADMIN SECRETARY/CLERK-
$77,489.26 salary +$729.23 expense
Check out the meeting minutes she wrote up for the Sept 10, 2009 “Citizens Advisory Committee” meeting. Very enlightening stuff – but can we believe EVERYTHING that was discussed was really covered in the minutes? How are we to trust this tight-knit group who stand to benefit from the decisions of this committee? Although Moody is a great contractor and does very good work, serving on (chairing!) this committee is truly the fox watching the henhouse, man, it just looks bad.
Regarding that point about the fox - here’s a very revealing quote from those minutes, “Mr. McChesney stated that the CAC members are the “Watch Dogs” over the money.” Yowsa!! I thought YOU and the board were supposed to do that Don!
Now, I have to ask, how is it that one of the most utilized construction contractors is the CHAIR of the "Citizens" Advisory Committee? How is it that someone with the same last name, Moody, is the secretary to the head of Operations? PRIVVY to ALL the SPLOST and construction secrets? Are we to believe that these people are so above board that they don't share information around the dinner table? That's a whole lotta trust they're asking for.
Sidebar: You DSA parents might like to hear Pope’s reason for DSA’s delays (FWIW, she used the same reason for the Cross Keys delays).“What’s the status of DSA? -- Ms. Pope shared that the project was 3 ½ weeks delayed due to the instruction staff wanting to redefine the use of the facility. The theatre was never to open at the beginning of the school year; it was scheduled to open in September; but, is now 3 ½ weeks behind also. In a week or two the lower level will open and the theatre will open shortly afterwards.”
Here's a little more - check out the link to the Operations Org Chart. Look at all the people who report(ed) to Pat Pope. The chart is dated August 14, 2006, so it's old, however, one key person caught my eye. Look under transportation. Way down at the bottom we find "Fleet Operations Asst Director", Harold Lewis ($101,720.00 salary in 2008). Yes, Lewis - as in cousin of Crawford. Interesting that he in under the chain of command of David Guillory, "Transportation Executive Director", who is also the son-in-law of former board member Francis Edwards (2008 salary of $113,106.00). In fact, Francis' daughter Philandrea Guillory is also employed in DCSS - as an "Information Services Personnel" at a 2008 salary of $113,094.00. Thanks for the quarter-million dollars a year, mom!
You will notice that many of the positions at the time of this chart were not filled - especially the construction positions. If anyone has access to an updated chart, please leave a link in the comments - I would dearly LOVE to know who got those jobs - and what their qualifications were. (More importantly - who their relatives are.)
2010 looks to be a bang-up year. Right out of the starting gate - the board is scheduled to vote on the raise Dr. Lewis is demanding. My prediction for tonight’s board meeting is that the board will give Lewis the raise he seeks, tying it up with a big red bow, knowing fully that it’s really just a retirement gift – bloating his retirement check for him in perpetuity. A “thank-you” parting gift, if you will. The man will surely retire very soon – (he would never take a job elsewhere) – he needs to exit stage left and he knows it. This will become very obvious after the trial starts in March – which could be why the sudden pressure to discuss salary now… before the light is turned on.
After that - this blog will be very, very busy.