(NOTE: Most comments are printed without identifying the author. This is done to protect writers from possible retaliation.)

Here’s a comment I received over the weekend in response to Odorgate at Estancia High. This information has not been confirmed.

“There were reoccurring mold problems at College Park School because sink drains were NOT connected to the sewer line during Measure A upgrades, so waste water pooled under the kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms. Repairs were made but I don’t know who paid for them, the district or contractor.”

Assuming this is true, it’s bad on a couple of levels. First, there’s there poor workmanship involving someone asleep at the wheel – again. It’s the use of tax dollars to upgrade something that was made worse. Then there is the question of who paid to fix the problem. As I noted awhile back, the district seemed prepared to pay for rain damage to classrooms in three schools – damage that was caused by another contractor asleep at the wheel.

Everyone understands that mistakes will be made. But there is a pattern developing that is alarming not only for its administrative shortcomings but also for the cost to taxpayers.

Blaming inspectors who sign off on the work is not enough. If this information is true, the problem is deeper than just the odd construction mistake. We need to know if the same company was used at Estancia and College Park. If so, this company should be forced to pay for any repairs and should not be allowed anywhere near any other campuses.

Any questions?

If a contractor does shoddy work, they pay to fix it, not taxpayers. Anything else is malfeasance and potential grounds for recall. But don’t look for a trustee to suggest opening an investigation into any of this or even just to ask if it was the same contractor. That’s icky business and it’s a lot more fun just to throw tax dollars at the problem to make it go away.

Steve Smith
N-MUSD Taxpayer