In 2018, Jeffco’s 5B Bond request for $567M ballot language included ‘spending of the proceeds of such debt to be monitored by the citizen’s Capital Asset Advisory Committee’.
Eighteen months later, with $70M in contingency already spent and initial cost estimates increased by an additional $30M, the Capital Asset Advisory Committee is failing in its task of monitoring of the bond proceeds.
as a whole, have failed to be good stewards of our tax money. They have unquestioningly and nonchalantly allowed Jeffco Schools to add $50M of bond premium into a contingency slush fund, meaning that program contingency increased from an already robust $86M to an exorbitant $136M. And, they have seen an additional $11M in interest added to that same contingency for an obscene total of $146M.
As a voter I heard Jeffco Schools routinely tell taxpayers that the District had $1.3B in facilities needs. The Bond was going to be used to address only $563M of those total needs. Yet, when the District had a windfall of $50M, instead of using that to address additional needs or even replace several additional aging elementary schools, the CAAC blindly went along with the District’s overspending and allowed this money to be put into the massive contingency slush fund.
Instead of using this money wisely, it seems like the District and CAAC are going to rely on taxpayers to pass a new bond in a few years to address facilities needs that are only going to get worse.
This is just atrocious monitoring on the part of the CAAC. Jeffco taxpayers were misled by the District’s ballot language and the reasonable expectation that our fellow taxpayers would monitor the bond money like it was their own. It is painfully obvious now, that once on the committee our fellow taxpayers view taxpayer money as funny money. Shame on them.
The CAAC can’t even be certain that at the current rate of spending there will be enough money complete all projects promised to taxpayers back in 2018, as they have repeatedly failed to ask important questions regarding the overspending.
School Districts routinely complain about lack of funding. Yet, why should taxpayers increase that funding when Districts, and particularly Jeffco, are such poor stewards of that money?
At this rate, and with this level of District program management incompetence, it may be a long time before another Bond issue is approved in Jeffco and members of the CAAC will share in some of that blame.