More School District shenanigans?
Posted on October 4, 2022 by Sonoma Valley Sun
Here we go again. The anti-trust, anti-competition PLA (Project Labor Agreement) that John Kelly and Bruce Abbott tried to sneak through on the (Sonoma Valley School District trustee meeting) consent agenda has reared its ugly head once more. Eliminating all other contractors from bidding on school district work is the PLA goal.
The PLA will put SVUSD in a financial stranglehold, forcing the district to pay the union’s highest prices without competitive alternatives. The district millions wasted by the PLA would be a major self-inflicted financial wound.
The suing union would like to “come to an agreement” according to a representative that spoke at the last school board meeting. Translation: “We will stop suing if you ratify the PLA”. Will Superintendent Palezuelos and the board buckle to avoid more lawyer fees? Their weak history is not encouraging:
Remember, John Kelly hid all of the communications he did alone with the union on the last PLA attempt inside his law practice emails. He negotiated the PLA solo without other board members knowing what he was doing. For starters, he was breaking board regulations he is required to follow. What did Superintendent Palazuelos and the board members do? Let it slide. Though Kelly violated rules for his license to practice law, no investigation was ever done into his law practice where all union transactions took place.
Kelly publicly admitted to breaking laws by participating in collusion and being involved in the plan that deceived voters on the $120,000,000 Measure E Bond (https://youtu.be/cfxLPsXrjg4?t=8065 ). What did Superintendent Palazuelos, the board members, and district lawyers do? Let it slide.
Now Kelly is stressing that board members “meet with contractors alone” regarding the district’s master building plans. Fact is, Kelly has consistently proven he can’t be trusted to represent district school children’s needs. He should never be trusted alone with any contractor looking for work at SVUSD, nor ever be trusted being involved in district finance again. Will Palezuelos and the other board members continue to let him slide constantly?
The school board public censure of John Kelly was merely symbolic and made no change in his behavior. His negative behavior has been condemned in the newspaper over and over for years, also to no effect. The permanent financial and academic damage done by Kelly during his district tenure far outweighs any legal fees that could ever be incurred. Most importantly, thousands of children will pay for district management’s financial irresponsibility for the rest of their lives. The falling academic performance numbers and negative newspaper articles since John Kelly’s arrival tell the story.
Letting John Kelly break laws for his own financial benefit only encourages and allows him to do it again. Legally pursuing Kelly’s violations now would put a stop to his work with the union to fleece our school district of children’s education dollars with his PLA. The lesson will be repeated again and again, until Palezuelos and the board learn their lesson, and move to end Kelly’s continual corruption. Or, they will never learn, and he will continue to personally profit and damage the district.
— Stewart Saunders, Sonoma