To The Editor:
I am asking the Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) Board to take action on two communications about serious issues that the board chair is clearly attempting to suppress.
On December 11, I sent the board a public records request that was partially filled. The response from the district has material omissions, clearly in violation of public records law. Even more troubling, the records sent show that the district has been using improper accounting to hide severance expenses incurred when terminating personnel. This has serious ramifications including affecting tax rates. On notifying the board of this fact, chair Christine Sullivan invoked a December 6 board vote, prior to both the records request and response, as license to ignore these very serious factual and legal matters.
On January 26, I sent the board a cover letter explaining materials received from the AOE regarding the district’s improper reporting that resulted in Fayston School receiving negative statewide media attention falsely portraying Fayston as the least efficient school in the state. These materials clearly show Superintendent Nease, CFO Michelle Baker and administrator Laura Titus deliberately misled the board about their accountability in submitting and confirming false data, including the outright fabrication of predated documentation. This is fraud and deception. Your board chair’s response, which you all were copied on, directed me to report this to the superintendent and not the board.
In my capacity as a CEO and corporate board member, I cannot understand your board chair’s responses. These are very serious issues that present significant risk to the taxpayers, not to mention board members, and deserve careful and thoughtful consideration. In my world, there would be lawyers and forensic accountants involved. How 13 of you have not even discussed this is beyond me.
We have all seen the consequences to board members and members of the public who challenge the superintendent and board chair. We know you will be personally attacked, smeared and vilified for taking a contrary position. However, not addressing matters of fraud is grossly negligent. You are stuck between a rock and a hard place. That said, if this board is not capable of properly handling these foundational governance issues, there can be no moral or legal standing to make any major decisions on behalf of the community, let alone district redesign.