Want a copy of Pam Stranthan’s newest contract? Well anytime you try to KORA something from USD 231, be prepared for a hassle and an adventure.
The superintendent’s contract was quietly extended another year during a chaotic meeting in which two board members quit prior to approval, and the district’s upcoming budget was passed without much public discussion.
We requested a copy of the contract the next day, but in true USD 231 Machiavellian style, actually receiving it was anything but easy.
The contract was six pages, but before the district would release it we would have to pay 72 cents to receive it by email or $1.50 to get a paper copy from the board office. Receiving it electronically is a fairly new policy change, and a welcome one
Although most local entities don’t charge, 72 cents seems reasonable.
. . . But there’s a catch 22 — you have to bring the 72 cents to the board office before the contract can be e mailed. A little difficult for the handicapped – and no allowances are made — but we sent someone to take the 72 cents.
It was about 10 a.m. Thursday, and near 100 degrees, but the board office, as usual, is locked. The girl at the desk can’t open the door, and the regular employee is on break. The driver is told to wait outside, which is also standard for those wanting to make deliveries. . . . . or attend a board meeting.
After about 10 minutes, I contact the board clerk asking for someone to let the driver inside. I also e mail a BOE member asking that he be let in — he’s got to deliver that 72 cents.
Eventually, at about 15 minutes, someone arrives to open the door. The 72 cents is handed over; he goes to leave but then asks for a receipt. It might be only 72 cents, but it is obviously enough the district can’t afford to email the contract without payment.
Yes, we want a receipt.
We wish we could say it’s not usually like this dealing with USD 231, but it is. Don’t blame the employees, it’s the administration and BOE that creates the problem. By causing a hassle, and keeping secrets they retain control.
It’s not unusual to have to threaten a lawsuit to get KORA requests answered. USD 231 pays an attorney to stall KORA requests, just to be obtuse.
The real kicker is USD 231 definitely does have the ability to accept electronic payment – credit cards or VENMO aren’t some exotic payment method.
They just don’t want too.
It’s a control issue.
Makes no sense to require 72 cents be delivered, so a contract can be emailed.
Just accept credit cards or other electronic payment.
How much salary was wasted trying to collect 72 cents?