Dora Wolf, a District 211 school board member from 1997-2001, found this blog yesterday and left a comment on this post from March 27.

Those of you who just read the newest posts wouldn’t have seen it so I am taking the liberty of re-posting it here on the front page. It concerns no-bid contracts. (I have made minor adjustments to punctuation for ease of reading.)

As a member of District 211 board 97-01 I encountered a reluctance by the district to put all its work out to bid. In fact, when the lab addition to Fremd HS was planned only one plan was put forth to the board and this was within weeks before the work was to start.

When another member of the board–Mary Wrobleski–and I made a motion to receive more than one “bid” the president of the board (Ms. Swezerski) dismissed the motion on the very next meeting by saying that it was an illegal motion.

Here is the twisted logic that they used to do that:

They said the attorney opined that if the district has a satisfactory relationship for professional services ie legal, architect, contractor that the law does not require that the item be put out to bid and therefore the law says that the particular project not be bid to more than the contractor that the district had used for the past 20 years.

Since they had a satisfactory relationship, a motion to approve was raised, the board voted and the project went forward.

Other members of the board at that time are still sitting on the board: Davis, Strauss and Klimkowitz.

The Superintendent at the time was Dr. Chapman, who is now a newly elected District 15 board member.

Additionally Ms Strauss is the person who handles legislative items for the board.

Has anyone heard her explanation of the proposed bill and has that board agreed publicly on what position to take?

Attending a board meeting for district 211 is the worst experience a human being could have because it looks like a lot happens but an audience member leaves feeling like it was held in a foreign language, it is designed that way so noone knows what is happening. That often includes the board members.

Here, we seem to have yet another example of the District 211 school board paying an attorney to re-assure the board that it’s just fine and dandy not to get competitive bids.

This leaves us once again with that perplexing question: Does the District 211 board not want to save money?

You know, regardless of whether in any given situation the school board can pay an attorney (with your money) to come up with some kind of rationalization for why it doesn’t have to bother finding the best price, why don’t they want to find the best price?

Seriously…what’s up with that, anyway?

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