Deputy Superintendent Michael Garretson has written a memo regarding last week's column to Superintendent Jim Notter assuring him that the payment of $1 million to an unlicensed firm represented by lobbyist Ron Book was all above board.
Hey, I'm going to let Garretson speak for himself and urge you to read the column. But his aside about being "appalled" is ridiculous. He better start listening to the those school board employees who have the courage to tell the truth about the shoddy way the $3 billion school board construction department is being run (and, to be fair to Garretson, has been run for years before he got there). The piper's going to be paid, sooner or later, so Garretson would do himself well to exit the state of denial for reality very quickly. Belligerence and/or arrogance isn't going to cut it these days. The memo (which is in big type that I couldn't reduce) comes after the jump.
April 17, 2009
TO: James F. Notter
Superintendent of Schools
FROM: Michael C. Garretson
SUBJECT: NEW TIMES ARTICLE
I have just read the New Times article by Bob Norman. I just want to assure you that everything done, post Wilma, was fully legal and in the District's best interest.
The Superintendent declared an Emergency in accordance with Sections 120.54(4) and 252.46(2) of the Florida Statutes. When such an Emergency was declared, the Governor's Executive Order #05-219, came into effect. I have attached the Executive Order. Please refer to Pages 5 & 6 in which the Governor suspended all Statutes, Rules, Ordinances and Orders necessary to cope with the Emergency. Several out-of-state companies provided material and labor for our recovery effort, but were unable to obtain local, state licenses or prequalification. As you recall, we had the schools open in 10 working days. All the work was inspected by our Building Department and FEMA and, generally considered to have been of excellent quality.
Subsequent to Wilma, we now have in place pre-negotiated Emergency Contracts with Pre-Qualified vendors which would be utilized in another declared Emergency.
I must stress how appalled I am at the comments of some of our own employees quoted in the article.
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cc: School Board Members
Executive Leadership Team