It started at our WCCUSD CBOC meeting in January as this agenda item:
F.2 Budget Adjustments to Bond Program (tabled at December meeting)
The Board of Education has just approved $26 million in budget increases for bond projects.
Why did this happen and what sort of controls are in place to prevent this from reoccurring.
Submitted as a question by the CBOC Chair to Bill Fay on 1/20/14.
This had earlier elicited this brief written statement from Mr. Fay, WCCUSD Chief Operations Officer:
The WCCUSD Bond program is scope driven that delivers outstanding facilities that meets the express needs of each school community.
As such, all projects receive the most current design standards, technologies, educational specifications and equipment without regard to project timing. The program also moves forward without regard to contractor bidding climate and does not “value engineer” any scope. The remedy requires a change in
the number of projects that can be accomplished.
When the matter came up, Mr. Fay did not detail how this philosophy led specifically to the $29M shortfall, but instead expanded on the philosophy of scope-based budgeting at least as used in this district: spend without limit on projects until you run out of money -> bump remaining projects to the next bond -> get the next bond.
It’s all in this recording of Mr. Fay with some comments by Martin Coyne along with comments by committee members. It’s only 9 minutes; it’s worth a listen.