Before I start, I think it is important to say that I agree that there are significant capital needs in Jeffco.
However, I don’t like to be misled, or deceived with regard to the scope of those needs.
Recently, I’ve heard numerous Jeffco Schools related people, including Jason Glass and Ali Lasell say that Jeffco schools has $1.3B in “Deferred Maintenance” (at 4:44 of A Community Guide from Dr. Glass, and at 6:32 of Talking Ed: Jeffco’s Future Funding ).
However, their claims are far from the truth!
There is a very specific definition of “Deferred Maintenance” in the business world. The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board defines “Deferred Maintenance” as maintenance and repairs that were not performed when they should have been or were scheduled to be and which are put off or delayed for a future period.
The key point is that Deferred Maintenance is maintenance that was delayed. This definition does not discuss, or include, maintenance that may be scheduled to be performed in the future.
I looked at Jeffco’s 2016-2017 Facility Condition Assessment, the latest I could find, to determine how the District came up with $1.3B in Deferred Maintenance. I could not even come close.
First, the document discusses $575M in 2016-17 facilities “needs”. $440M of this comes from facilities and another $135M in Educational Adequacy deficiencies.
Yet, even that $575M total is not “Deferred Maintenance”. $475M of this amount is classified as Priorities 3, 4 and 5. That means that they are costs expected sometime in the future, not maintenance that was deferred.
Since Priority 3 is for 2-3 years in the future and consists of $234M, I will assume that this has all been deferred and can be added it to the Priority 1 and 2 categories of 2016-17. This gives a total of $334M in deficiencies costs in 2018-19.
The other component of facilities costs this document describes are Life Cycle Renewal costs. These costs are related to things such as roofing, heating, plumbing, stairs and elevators. Costs related to this are projected yearly for 5 years out. These costs were projected to be the following:
Assuming that all Life Cycle costs for 2017-18 and 2018-19 were deferred, we can add another $159M to the District’s Deferred Maintenance to come up with a generous estimate of $493M in Deferred Maintenance costs.
A generous $500M in Deferred Maintenance is NOT the $1.3B in Deferred Maintenance that Glass and Board members keep repeating. Their claims are outright false!
What Glass, Lasell and others are saying is inaccurate, misleading and deceptive and brings the credibility of Glass and the Board into question.
How can they expect taxpayers to trust them and approve a needed Bond package when the numbers they repeatedly discuss are just plain wrong?