The discussions about issuing bonds by the school board in executive sessions has become an open secret. This is the type of thing that has no business being discussed behind closed doors, especially when the accompanying tax increase will total between 10 and 12 mills.
I can think of a few reasons to have such financial discussions in secret and none of them are good.
Issuing bonds may be exactly what Bay Waveland Schools needs for a variety of reasons. Those reasons need to be shared with the taxpaying public.
Update: Since this post was published Slabbed has communicated with School Board Attorney Ronnie Artigues and Superintendent of Education Dr. Reed, who disputed these items were discussed in secret but instead were brought up in public at the regular meeting of July 13, 2021 (Introduction of bond counsel) and at the Special called meeting held on July 28, 2021 (list of potential capital projects which total $37 million dollars).
Slabbed reviewed the meeting agendas posted to the School District’s website and could not find a specific mention of either items on the agendas. Upon further inquiry of Dr. Reed, bond counsel was included in the heading “Superintendent’s Report” in the agenda of the July 13, 2021 meeting.
Minutes of the previous meeting [June 2021] submitted for School Board approval were included in the board packet of the July 13, 2021 meeting on the District’s website. The minutes of the July 13, 2021 meeting presented to the School Board on August 9, 2021 for approval at the August meeting were not included in the meeting pdf currently on the District’s website.
Had a mention of Bond Counsel appeared anywhere in an agenda of the July 13, 2021 meeting, Slabbed certainly would be ready to say this whole deal is a big nothing-burger and move on. We aren’t going to do that just yet folks.
This much is clear. Issuing bonded debt and do some significant construction in the schools is being discussed. Involving the public in this is never a bad idea.