Editor’s Note: Wouldn’t it be nice to have elected officials that you could trust? Honest folks who do government business above board, in accordance with the law and watchful of wasting tax dollars, instead of those we have that were elected when 50,000 registered voters in Cleveland County stayed home on Election Day. What can I say? We got what we deserve.
What we know for a fact from what happened at the School Board meeting Monday evening, February 22, 2016 is the School Board voted 9 to 0 to commence the new North Shelby School Project construction on the site of the James Love School with an expected completion in two years. The budget is $10,000,000. This is how the approval is noted in the official CCS Website:
MOTION to proceed with the site plans to build a new North Shelby School on the campus of James Love Elementary School with all of the separate recommendations as presented.
Motion by Shearra B Miller, second by Jo Boggs.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yea: Phillip W Glover, Shearra B Miller, Danny L Blanton, Jo Boggs, Kathy B Falls, Roger M Harris, Richard Hooker, Jeff Jones, Donnie O Thurman
Many will applaud that this project has finally gotten off the ground.
But there are problems on the CCS Board. There are problems with the Motion, site plan and problems with the direction from the CCS Board too. There is some indication several Board members do not understand what they voted for and there is total indication that none of the Board members have a clue regarding how much this project will end up costing.
Let’s look at the direction from the CCS Board first. Or the lack of direction. No Board member or school administration person involved, except Danny Blanton, has any training at all in school construction, cost controls or engineering experience. The school board has not hired any qualified person to represent CCS or taxpayer best interest for this project. It is my understanding a North Carolina Registered Professional Engineer has offered engineering review services for free or at a very reduced price, but CCS has turned this offer down, most likely for political purposes. The project Architect, Roger Holland, was selected under questionable circumstances for this project and will likely make over $1,000,000 in fees. The more the project costs the bigger Roger Holland’ check will be. This is a classical conflict of interest and an obvious reason for CCS to hire or use an independent Construction Project Engineer to represent CCS and Taxpayer’s interest by overseeing both the Architect AND the Construction Company. The construction company should be selected by a Construction Project Engineer who reports to the Board and the Taxpayers and NOT by an architect who already has a conflict of interest. As my career experience has included much engineering evaluation of construction company selection and bid reviews for many multi-million dollar construction projects, I would also be willing to offer such services to CCS for FREE. (And I have already submitted such an offer to CCS.)