Jul 23 2014
Did Skoda and Corcoran violate the board’s bid requirements?
According to industry contacts, to print and mail the newsletter costs between $16,700-$20,200. Postage would have had to be paid for prior to mailing the pieces, and alone would have cost between $7500-$11,000. When was the public vote at a board meeting? Who authorized that check? Were they in violation of the code of ethics, budgetary regulations or bid requirements?
Where is the money coming from?
In the initial Chicago Tribune article, Skoda was quoted as saying the monies came from the Negotiations budget. According to the actual budget, there is no negotiations budget. When did they get an estimate for printing and mailing an expensive, unnecessary newsletter to include in the budget?
Was the mailing unethical?
It was mailed with the district’s non-profit indicia. See this link for the legal requirements of content for qualified mailings. The first paragraph states:
Authorization to mail at the Nonprofit Standard Mail (nonprofit) rates is a privilege granted by law only to authorized organizations. Civil and criminal penalties apply to false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements made in connection with a Nonprofit Standard Mail.
They may have violated the use of the indicia by including political rhetoric/graphics on the document. By including the picture of the Chicago Tribune editorial, it ceased being an informative document to educate the public, and became a politically motivated one.
Are they negotiating in bad faith?
A printer contact and graphic designer suggested the following timeline: 2-3 days for content collection/research and general design, 7-10 days for printing, 3-5 days to process/mail. The timeline is interesting because the last mediation meeting was July 3rd, 11 days before the release of the newsletter.
Instead of working on a proposal to get school started, they made an expensive, unnecessary newsletter.