Do YOU Own a $38,832 Car? Parting Gift for the Super?

6/22/2012 Email to Oak Ridge City Council

Council –

Please see this agenda for the Oak Ridge Schools BOE meeting scheduled for Monday night. In it, you will find on page 36 an FY13 budget amendment to adjust for council’s decision last month.

Of greater concern to me, are two other items. First, on page 40, they are attempting to purchase a brand new vehicle for the superintendent (who leaves in December) at a cost of $38,832. I remind you that the 2006 Crown Victoria he currently drives (for both personal and professional use as allowed by his contract) was purchased for $24,000. The vehicle to be purchased is a very nice SUV…a Toyota Highlander. I find this expenditure to lack any justification. It is an obvious luxury at the expense of the taxpayers. My husband and I both drive 2005 model vehicles that have over 100,000 miles and still run wonderfully. Why can’t government do as well or better with their vehicles?

Also, on page 42 you will find where the schools are attempting to enter into yet another capital lease. I remind you that they just entered into their 5th one last year WITHOUT council approval for over $1.2 Million. This new one is for $479,000 and in large part appears to be for equipment that will be integrated into their $700,000 head in room/Data Center.

As Mr. Krushenski has informed me, even though all of these leases contain binding statements identifying the City of Oak Ridge as a lessee and attesting to the approval of the City of Oak Ridge by resolution, he has found no such evidence that the city has ever approved these contracts. Furthermore, these contracts are in essence, forms of debt. The city charter and, possibly state law, strictly forbid the school systems from entering into debt.

Regretfully, I will not be able to attend this meeting, but I urge you to. You are the highest authority in the hierarchy of this town and we need for you to intercede on our behalf. Please take action to put an end to this reckless spending spree. If you cannot do so on your own, please engage the assistance of the state and/or the federal government post haste.


Trina Baughn

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