Archive for Monday, June 11, 2012

Baldwin school board to consider sale of district property at special meeting tonight

Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education

Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education

June 11, 2012

As special meetings go, Baldwin’s school board meeting Monday will have a busy agenda.

At the meeting, the board will meet in executive session with its attorney, consider the sale of a district property, take up again the future of district facilities, interview candidates for a vacant board seat and consider an end-of-fiscal-year republication of the budget.

Superintendent Paul Dorathy said there was a possibility the board would approve the sale of one district property after meeting with the attorney. He declined to identify the property but did say it was not Marion Spring Elementary School, which the board decided to put on the market at its May meeting.

The board will interview applications for the at-large seat on the board, but might not make a decision Monday on who will fill the position vacant since Tony Wedel’s resignation last month from the board.

The term of the newly selected member will expire June 30, 2013, but the person chosen could run for the seat in next spring’s school board election. The candidate winning that election would serve until June 30, 2015.

Candidates, who can live anywhere in the district, have until noon Friday to submit applications for the seat. Dorathy said two candidates had applied as of Wednesday morning.

All discussion on filling the position must be in open session, Dorathy said.


1776attorney 8 years, 4 months ago

Let's hope the taxpayers are granted a period of time to review and contemplate the sale of any school district property BEFORE the superintendent signs any sales contract.

Based on our experience with this superintendent and the past school board, there is/was very little confidence in their openness and competence.

We are giving the current school board the benefit of the doubt and our expectations that they will rein in the superintendent and follow proper and open procedures.

Proper procedure would dictate that any sale of district property have the terms, offering and buying party information publicized for 30 to 60 days to ensure public input and comment BEFORE any final action is taken.

Any action less than that might be considered underhanded. The superintendent is not a dictator. The school board employees him on our behalf.

It also provides the opportunity for rejection as an adequate offer or the opportunity for a competitive bid for another buyer,

There is a seething undercurrent of majority taxpayer disgust for what has happened to our school district over the past 5 years,

Many of us expect the current school board to manage the district more competently and professionally than the previous 5 years and to rein in the superintendent who has not shown good management skills to date.


1776attorney 8 years, 4 months ago

While not accounting for some variables in assessing the property located at 7th and Chapel Streets, and assuming this is the property being mentioned----

Douglas County appraises the property currently at $3.2 million, including improvements

Baldwin School District says their appraiser appraised the property at $850,000

(Granted the buyer is undertaking a huge cost of asbestos and lead paint abatement, probably in the $300,000 range, or complete demolition which also includes some abatement practices)

There is a wide variance in valuations and appraisals which dictates that all the information be presentated to taxpayers before any sale is approved.


hyperinflate 8 years, 4 months ago

At this point the District should accept nearly any offer (maybe with a floor of $250,000) just to get the damned thing off their books. This property is a remnant of the malpractice-grade decision making over the last five years. There is nothing to be gained from holding on to it. Let's get rid of it and hope that Dorathy follows it out the door.


1776attorney 8 years, 4 months ago

As I've stated before, the biggest blunder to be made here is selling only part of the Chapel Street property to be left with the "white elephant" of the old high school.

So the school district, at the urging of the superintendent, sells just the old grade school for below market value. Possibly with taxpayer financing to the buyer.

Then the school district is left with just the old high school as a complete "white elephant" which will never sell because of the asbestos and lead paint issues, plus the fact that the building is not adaptable for much of anything without a major abatement of the toxic substances and the addition of an elevator (at a cost of over $600,000) to meet ADA requirements. There is such a questionably small amout of buildable land around the old high school as to make complete demolition and new construction the only option for a ROI.

In the mean time, the school district still has to pay all the utilities and upkeep on the old high school building perhaps forever.

Selling these properties without the advice and council of someone professional and experienced in the field of commercial real estate, and leaving it to the whims of an inexperienced superintendent, is going to cost taxpayers all over again.

And since the superintendent is looking to exit our district before his contract has run out, we, as taxpayers, could be left with the white elephant by ourselves.


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