|Asbestos Records San Clemente High School|
The 2015-16 Orange County Grand Jury issued a report titled: "Dealing with Asbestos in Orange County Public Schools". In the report the Grand Jury made detailed recommendations to Orange County school districts to establish documented and transparent processes to comply fully with AHERA requirements, to establish disciplined contracting processes for safely removing asbestos and other hazardous materials, and to commit to plans to remove asbestos from all Orange County schools.
The Capistrano Unified School District was to submit a written response to the presiding judge no later than September 28, 2016.
"The District's practice for responding to Grand Jury requests is for Staff to respond on behalf of the Board, and then share the response with Trustees prior to the response deadline."
Staff responded to the Honorable Charles Margines in a written letter dated September 8, 2016.
According to Agenda Item #14, Staff shared the written response with Trustees on September 16, 2016.
There was no Board meeting on September 16, 2016. September Board meetings were on September 14, 2016 and September 28, 2016. The Grand Jury Report was not on either agenda.
STAFF NEVER SUBMITTED THEIR RESPONSE TO THE GRAND JURY TO THE BOARD FOR APPROVAL
In December, the Grand Jury contacted CUSD asking if the response was from the District's governing body.
After receiving the Judges letter, Staff placed the Item on the Consent Calendar of the January 25, 2017 Board Meeting Agenda as Item #14. This Item would have been approved without discussion if a member of the public had not pulled the Item.
I pulled the item, and expressed some, but not all of my concerns about Staff's response (due to a 3 minute time constraint).
January 25, 2017 Board Meeting Agenda at page 429
In a nut shell staffs response was that CUSD would need another 20 years to abate asbestos due to financial constraints.
On behalf of taxpayers and students I submitted additional information to the Grand Jury which showed that CUSD had sufficient funding to abate asbestos but was choosing to spend the money on it's fourth consecutive year of across the board compensation increases totaling over $120 million dollars instead.
In addition, I sent the Grand Jury a full report on Asbestos monitoring at San Clemente High School which showed that years of inspections were missing.
The full AHERA documentation for San Clemente High can be found at: CUSDWatch: San Clemente High School AHEARA Compliance
It is important to note that there are YEARS of missing inspections: Since the Grand Jury Report CUSD has started complying again.
Rather than spend money to fix and maintain this facility, CUSD has abandon the campus.
If the campus is being closed because of ADA issues and asbestos why is CUSD moving fields up there and renting practice space to Pop Warner Cheerleaders? Either the campus is safe or it is not.