Letter to the editor – Megan Holz

To the editor,

Coming from a family of many public school teachers, I understand and truly value of the importance of education. I support the Greene Country School District’s plans to consolidate and modernize classroom space; however, I cannot support the bond referendum due the lack of relevant information provided by the district and the perceived lack of transparency in the process that I’ve experienced.

I am a certified public accountant and an audit professional. I am trained to completely account for a transaction and ensure that material components of a transaction are appropriately disclosed to stakeholders. To date, the district has not disclosed a full accounting for the use of the $20 million they are asking citizens to pay.

The district has disclosed that approximately $4.2 million (18 percent of the total project cost) is being earmarked for the gymnasium. All other major components of the project including classrooms, a performing arts center, a wrestling room, the geothermal system, and administrative offices have not been allocated an estimate.

In private industry, you would never be able to proceed with a project without a clear budget and accounting for your costs. This project should be held to the same standard. The district should not be asking for money without a clearly communicated plan to use the funds. Without knowing the itemized costs of all the facilities, it is difficult for tax payers to fully weigh the costs and benefits of the project. Without this itemized budget, how can we fully understand how much of our money is being spent for classrooms to support our students’ education and how much is being spent on extracurricular facilities?

I have asked for this accounting multiple times, through the district’s publicized online form. However, because they have ignored my requests for an itemized accounting of the complete $20 million of spending, I can only assume that my question is being ignored because they don’t want the answer to be public. I can only assume that the expenses for the classrooms would be small in comparison to the extracurricular facilities, and we would see exactly where the district’s priorities actually lie.

I would be happy if the Greene Country School District proves me wrong and provides the itemized spending information the community deserves to be fully informed voters. Until then, I will continue to oppose the Bond Referendum.

Respectfully,

Megan Holz, CPA, Grand Junction

 

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