Poway Unified School District teachers, managers and top administrators all received a 4 percent raise Tuesday night despite concerns Superintendent John Collins’ involvement in pay talks could amount to self-dealing and violate state conflict-of-interest laws.
A majority of the school board also approved the use of bond underwriter Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. for an upcoming Mello-Roos bond sale, and allowed financial adviser Dolinka Group to advise on the deal. The district’s use of both consultant firms was voted down in September for the firms’ work on the district’s $100 million capital appreciation bond sale in 2011 that will cost taxpayers $1 billion to repay over 40 years.
State law lets cities, counties or school districts create Mello-Roos Community Facility Districts to raise money through a special tax with voter approval. It’s often used in newer housing developments and the money goes to pay for public works projects or public services.
The district is still waiting for a legal opinion about whether Dolinka’s various roles advising and profiting from the Mello-Roos program constitute an illegal conflict of interest. The opinion has cost the district $15,689 so far.
‒ Ashly McGlone
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This week, the Escondido Union School District was unable to negotiate away from two tough subjects ‒ a restraining order against one of its own trustees, and tense interactions with the teachers union.
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Even in negotiations to leave the school district, Superintendent John Collins, illustrates his greed has no bounds or limits. What a shame for our community. What an embarrassment we have as a school board.
The community of Poway Unified School District has been divided by the "haves" and the "have-nots". Unfortunately the "haves" are not our children but rather the "leadership" of the district. John Collins convinced the Board to give his leaders an additional 4% raise. It's truly disheartening that our Board is so obstinate that they refuse to judge our community's educational leader, Superintendent Collins' character as a human.
Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. John Collins continually does the wrong thing and the Board is watching and dismissing this man's lack of integrity. It's shameful and embarrassing that our community cares so little about integrity of character.