Page One

Learn S.F. lessons

Yolanda Huang
Tuesday November 20, 2001


The situation in San Francisco where the school district, wasted, and lost millions of taxpayer dollars through poor planning, mismanagement, and perhaps fraud should be a lesson to all school districts, including the Berkeley School District, The errors of SF include, a go-along board that never looked into the details, that only read the summary sheet, that never asked hard questions, that failed to implement the advice from consultants; and, ignored its own citizen advisory committees. This pattern is one that exists in Berkeley as well.  

It was extremely disappointing to hear School Board member Rivera state at last Wednesday's school board meeting that he appreciates the fact that school staff is only giving the Board a summary of what is going on with Measure BB monies and in maintenance and just a few examples of the supporting data.  

I hear lots of talk about accountability. Accountability is based upon facts. The citizens of Berkeley have asked that school district information be made public, and deposited with the Reference Desk of the Public Library, Central Branch. The question for the Board is how can you carry out your fiduciary duty to the citizens if you don't want the facts? As the saying goes, the devil's in the details.  

Yolanda Huang  

Chair, Maintenance Oversight & Planning Committee, Berkeley