Air Pudding and Wind Sauce

IUSDThe Measure K Bond Oversight Committee held one of their last three meetings before they close out all Measure K related projects in September.  In 1998 Inglewood residents approved a bond in the amount of $131 million dollars, with additional matching funds for LAWA projects, which has now yielded two brand new schools.  LaTijera was the last built and Crozier Middle School had to be demolished over the presence of mold.  To satisfy Inglewood residents, IUSD officials were clever to put a fence here, remove a portable there, to make the community believe all schools were receiving attention.  You know, quick start projects.The IUSD construction manager was asked why wasn’t the grass replanted at all of the schools with the Meaure K money, his response “…it will be taken into consideration under Measure GG monies…”.  Regardless of what the community perceives about the district, it is evident in the declining enrollment that they are tired of the lies.

It was also inquired of the committee and vendors present, why would Inglewood USD need to employ two construction managers when only one project is left?  Turner-Bakewell provides construction management for LaTijera and Payne, and TELACU covers general and LAWA projects, although Sage Institute was performing those services up until the state arrived.  The committee said that TELACU had experience in LAWA projects so thats why they were brought on.  The TELACU contract runs from Oct 2012 through Sep 2013.

The Measure K Bond Oversight Committee insisted at their meeting last night that they are nothing more than an advisory committee and their real name should be the Measure K Bond Advisory Committee but they made a mistake in wording.  They would further explain that because Measure K was approved prior to Prop 39 being approved, they are NOT legally required to serve in an “oversight” capacity.  I reiterated there is a big difference between advisory and oversight.  The former board advises but doesnt get to vote, how does this “committee” approve anything as an advisor? One example of Inglewood being duped.

Overall, the senior citizens and middle class residents have been persuaded to care about the district, although its highly likely their children and/or grandchildren don’t attend a IUSD school.  They were shown images of leaky AC units, buckled floors, to get us to pass another bond measure to fix up the rest of the schools.  The residents responded and approved Measure GG.

Measure GG was even promoted by Kent Taylor and Tom Torlakson themselves who stumped the Inglewood streets begging for votes.  Tom Torlakson is also up for re-election in 2014 to return to his post as state superintendent.  We also know there is some wierd Bermuda triangle of sorts between Torlakson, Taylor and LaTanya Kirk-Carter.  Let’s go back down memory lane to when this trio arrived in Inglewood.

  • October 3rd:  Kent Taylor is appointed as state administrator by state superintendent Tom Torlakson
  • October 8th:  Kenty Taylor meets with the Measure K Bond Oversight Committee praising their time and devotion to the district, he pulls all Measure K items from the board’s agenda until the committee approves them, at no time mentions TELACU is being asked to provide construction management services for IUSD in any capacity or that TELACU would be paid out of Measure K funds
  • October 10th:  LaTanya Kirk-Carter announces she is leaving Beverly Hills Unified School District
  • October 12th:  Kent Taylor announces he has asked LaTanya Kirk-Carter to head IUSD Business Services department
  • October 18th:  TELACU submits a proposal for Program/Construction Services, as requested by LaTanya Kirk-Carter, in the amount of $100k
  • October 22nd:  Kent Taylor introduces LaTanya Kirk-Carter to the Measure K Bond Oversight Committee where she discusses her construction qualifications, she inquired about PO/Buyouts and made note that the committee was not a Prop 39 therefore they had no oversight role.  At no time did Taylor or Kirk-Carter mention adding TELACU as a construction manager or that TELACU would be paid out of Measure K funds
  • October 26th:  LaTanya Kirk-Carter/IUSD Business Services submited a contract for TELACU to the IUSD board and Kent Taylor approved
  • November 3-4:  Kent Taylor and Tom Torlakson pound the Inglewood pavement looking for votes
  • November 6th:  Election Day, Inglewood residents approve Measure GG
  • December 3rd:  consultant releases accounting presentation to Measure K Bond Oversight Committee members showing: Measure K balances and provides a list of vendors, TELACU is not listed as a vendor although they were approved to be paid out of Measure K funds  October 26th
  • December 7th:  Taylor is out, Kirk-Carter is temporarily bumped up.  Taylor is paid his buyout and rebounds in Lennox school district where TELACU is providing construction services under Measure CL
  • July 8th:  TELACU was on the agenda to recieve an additional $50k out of Measure K money that the committee didn’t even know that TELACU was a vendor based on the accounting provided on December 3rd.

The committee, along with IUSD construction, made it clear that the board did what they want, when they wanted, and many times had already approved items and checks without first going to the committee for approval.  The committee decided to ceremoniously “pull” the TELACU item on the July 8th agenda for payment, but here is kicker, LaTanya Kirk-Carter already approved all of the payments the committee was meeting to approve.  Confused?  Here is how this works.

  • June 19th:  Interim State administrator approved (page 528/673) all Measure K items submitted including a $50k payment to TELACU
  • July 8th:  Measure K Bond Oversight Committee has agenda items listed to approve payments, which have already been approved and paid two weeks prior, including $50k to TELACU

How did LaTanya Kirk-Carter approve a Measure K item for payment that has no backup documentation in the Measure K committee agendas showing that ANY work was done that warranted the payment?  Aren’t Measure K items supposed to first be presented, reviewed, discussed and approved by the very committee who she states sent it to her for approval for payment?  How do items get added to the agenda, under the guise that they were already vetted by the committee when in fact they were not?  A review of all Measure K agendas show NO item related to TELACU performing ANY Measure K related work but are being paid $50k out of Measure K money for doing absolutely nothing on record between the months of October 2012 through July 2013.  Now my heart is breaking!

Remember, the Measure K committee was never told by any IUSD official that TELACU was added as a vendor of the IUSD.  The paid accountant didn’t even know.  Was Carter played into thinking that if she went along with Torlakson she would be named permanent administrator?  Oops.

My question is, if the Measure K Bond Oversight Committee did not have approved bylaws on record, are not legally allowed to do anything but review items, why do they need it on record that they approved change orders, approved removing adding construction companies, if they are not legally required to do so?  Why does this group even meet unless its to protect IUSD?

TELACU is currently rebuilding Hawthorne High School under Measure CL money and looks to be the vendor for Measure GG.  TELACU’s Jay Bell also hosts fundraisers for Torlakson’s reelection bid and was also the individual who submitted the proposal to Kirk-Carter.  See how those campaign contributions can enhance your business?

Keep this in mind as Inglewood USD gears up to take applications for the Measure GG Bond Oversight Committee.  You see, this committee will actually have some sort of power that the previous committee didn’t.  It’s just too bad that IUSD is making the committee liable for these decisions by using the committee’s name to get away with it.

Read more about Prop 39 and the close to $400 million dollars Gov Jerry Brown is keeping away from California schools.  I browsed Prop 39 and didn’t see language discussing an oversight committee.  An email was sent to the group who fought against Prop 39’s passage and are awaiting their response.

The meeting was not attended by either LaTanya Kirk-Carter nor the newly installed state administrator Dr. Don Brann.  It is imperative to note that this meeting was originally scheduled for July 1st but was moved to accommodate the incoming administrator, then he has the nerve to not show up?  Not a good way to introduce yourself Dr. Brann.

To put this in perspective, the former Inglewood USD board of education has been moved into a “advisory” capacity and are no longer allowed the authority to open or close meetings, nor do they vote on the approval of ANY IUSD business.  The Measure K Oversight Committee was designed to oversee the schools money but maintains they are advisory only.  How does the oversight committee have more rights than the former board members?


WAKE UP Inglewood!



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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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