Interesting Local History Lesson

Reprinted from “Port Angeles Unearthed” blog

Gee, Losing Money is a SKILL???

 Hot off the presses today from the State Auditor’s office (there’s a place that could use some good news) comes the results of an audit of Port Angeles School District No. 121. Or more correctly, the Findings of said audit – as in, Official Findings, which aren’t good things to Find at all.

The following is part of one of the Findings from the audit:

Schedule of Audit Findings and Responses

The District did not have adequate controls over Skills Center contracts to ensure amounts due from participating governments were collected.

Background: Port Angeles School District No. 121 hosts the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center for the purpose of training students of the District, four neighboring school districts and Peninsula College in certain vocational skills. The Skills Center is located in abuilding co-owned by the District and Peninsula College.

The District allocates the Skills Center net loss to all participating governments based on factors outlined in the Skills Center interlocal agreement. Net losses totaled $712,839 for fiscal years 2012 through 2015.

Description of Condition

Contracts – During our review of the Skills Center contracts, we found:

* The District did not properly allocate enrollment slots to participating governments or prepare and annual budget covering the proposed operation and financing in compliance with the Skills Center interlocal agreement.

* The District and College were operating under the terms of a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which included a third party that was no longer in operation.

* The District established the building as a condominium under the Condominium Act in 2004, but had not adhered to the terms of the condominium declaration, including establishment of an association, board and bylaws.

Allocation of Costs – Our review of the allocation of Skills Center net losses and building expenses found:

* Of the $712,839 total net loss for fiscal years 32012 through 2015, $61,314 had been allocated to the District, $283,111 had been billed to participating governments, and $368,414 had not been allocated. We were unable to determine the correct allocation of the net losses due to lack of enrollment slot allocation data.

* As of April 2016, the $283,111 billed to participating governments in 2014 had not been collected.

* The District under-billed the College for indirect costs…based on the designated square footage used to calculate direct costs…However, since the District did not periodically review or document the actual square footage used, we were unable to determine the amount under-billed.

* As of April 2016, the District had not billed the College for any costs incurred since July 1, 2015, although the MOU required expenses to be billed monthly.

Cause of Condition

The District did not monitor to ensure Skills Center contracts were current and being complied with.

The District did not establish and follow procedures to ensure compliance with the Condominium Act.

Staff members responsible for performing tasks outlined in the contracts were unaware of their responsibilities.

The District did not establish adequate procedures to ensure costs allocable to other governments were properly calculated, billed and collected timely.

District’s Response

The district does not dispute the conclusions noted in the finding and will take action to mitigate the conditions noted in the finding.

The district intends to review best practices for skill center programs and work with the skill center advisory board to determine the best course of action with respect to the structure of programs offered.


Whew! After all that, it’s nice that “the district does not dispute the conclusions” of just how totally screwed up they are. And these people are supposed to be working, however marginally…in…education. Education. But it sure seems like they don’t even know how to read, or do basic math.

So who is on this “skill center advisory board” anyway? They don’t have it mentioned at all on their website. I found a listing that shows Lee Whetham is on it…But who else makes up this brain (mis)trust? And does anyone think that a big chunk of those $712,839 net losses weren’t so much lost as they were…liberated along the way?

  1. AnonymousMay 26, 2016 at 8:42 PMThis town just can’t seem to do anything right.
    Why is that?ReplyReplies  
  2. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 7:16 AMHalf the people in charge are crooks. The other half are totally incompetent. None of them have any shame.Does that answer your question?  
  3.  Reply  
  4. AnonymousMay 26, 2016 at 9:04 PMDo tell, Lee. I look forward to hearing what you have to say about all this.Reply  
  5. AnonymousMay 26, 2016 at 10:08 PMSome of these were rumbles a year ago and more. Failure to collect for services rendered was a major gripe then. This will be a sloppy or completely dysfunctional administration, with a couple of key people who need new horizons. And whoever oversees it may need a swift kick too. I don’t have the background, just an interesting document I stumbled across; it speaks volumes to any old bureaucrat. (Fix the DOT when you paste this in) DOT pdfReply  
  6. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 5:01 AMNeedless to say, there’s nothing about this in the PDN at all.ReplyReplies  
  7. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 9:49 AMtheir handlers didn’t tell the PDN to say anything.  
  8. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 11:30 AMLeave it to the Peninsula Daily News to leave it alone. Nothing says important story like something they aren’t willing to cover. Thanks, CK!  
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  10. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 5:10 AMA bit of History is due here. The Skills Center grew up around Jim Haguewood and Karen Rogers’ Business Incubation Project. You remember the one where they blew through more than 8 million dollars to create local jobs–failed–and hung the taxpayers with the bill. As a part of that “deal” the school systems and the college each took ownership of the skills center. The college owns about 15% of the “condominium” style arrangement. Four or five local school systems own the rest of the building. The local Port Angeles School District, by virtue of it being the “host” town where the skills center is located, is in charge of over seeing it. Administration was supposed to be overseen by the local PASD. Then came a string of skills center directors, each lasting about one year before moving on. None were adequately oriented to the agreement by and between the school districts and the college. For years the college has taken advantage of this ignorance and has spread out its footprint inside the building to where they moved several administrative offices into the skills center, ran several classes out of the skills center, sucked up huge utility bills,paid no rent, paid no utilities, and even skipped out on its responsibilities to pay part of the janitorial staff. The college was on a free ride and liked it just fine. The college knew it owned only 15% of the building but expanded their footprint to almost one/third of the floor-space. Then leased out even more office space to the EDC, Craft3 and others. The PASD may have been complicit in this theft of services and that may be why they kept hiring wishy-washy directors at the skills center. These were usually plum jobs provided to pay back political favors. The PASD provided no training as to how the bills were supposed to be split up between the participating school systems. If the surrounding school system gets no bills from the skills center then of course they are not going to pay their fair share. Now that the college is getting the bill it is moving out of the skills center and will have to pay its own way instead of ripping off the taxpayers for free rent and utilities. In fairness, the wheels came off this arrangement long before Marc Jackson became superintendent of PASD. Jackson’s hire of the current director is right on and she will right the ship. Too bad she and Jackson have to be on-deck when the shit hit the fan. A couple of questions unanswered in this report. To whom is the EDC paying rent for their offices in the skills center? Do they pay rent to the college, the schools system, the skill center–or do they just not pay rent? Keep in mind the college president is on the board of the EDC. Keep in mind the EDC grew out of Haguewood and Rogers manipulations of the county commission and the Opportunity Fund. How much has the college paid toward rent, utilities, maintenance, upkeep, insurance etc to the skills center or the PASD? Maybe the recent audit will answer some of the questions but many more questions come to mind. I have reason to believe another shoe will drop…ReplyReplies  
  11. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 9:00 AMAwesome factual input there, thank you!  
  12. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 9:48 AMNot around here. The other shoe never drops, it’s shoved under a very lump carpet.
    Watch, the local population won’t grasp the issues, and will fear to take action, and then the PDN will write some articles critical of anyone who does, a few threats will emerge, and then….silence. Onto the next crisis. Onto the next fee raise to pay for this (foisted upon the citizens). Then, silence.
    This issue (incubator/edc/skills center) has been coming up for more than a decade now. A majority of people knew it was bullshit, and those who supported it (and whatever $$$ it lined their pockets) persuaded (and I mean that in the most ominous way possible) the loudest voices to shut the hell up.
    Welcome to Port Angeles.
    This town should be investigated by RICO.  
  13. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 11:42 AMImagine that you’re someone considering moving to Port Angeles, and you have kids. Think how you’d feel after hearing about this, with all the obvious political corruption and waste as well. Would you move here? Invest here? I don’t think so.These idiots are literally killing this town, eliminating any and all chances that it might thrive or even survive. All so that a few well connected old creeps can line their pockets. Those creeps are enabled by our local politicians, who are elected by us.The whole system is sick, and I don’t know what the cure might be. But I’m sick and scared and disgusted by it all.  
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  15. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 5:12 AMAnyone else see the article about the new (but very old) “CEO” of the United Way here?Anyone else read to the end and see that the United Way’s treasurer is Grant Munro?Anyone else think that’s a bad idea given Munro’s record of putting his personal gain ahead of anything else?ReplyReplies  
  16. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 6:43 AMMunro wants someone easily manipulated or exploited. I have had me doubts about the management of the United Way ever since they hired Moss. I certainly hope this guy is genuine. If so he will conduct a financial audit of the United Way’s books, going back at least ten years. If he does not then when an accounting is done it may make him look bad. Get a benchmark accounting now or be responsible for any improprieties that may come up later. I agree with a previous poster, if they think Munro is the best, most trusted treasurer, they already have problems. Mr. “pound sand” left his last business in bankruptcy and left Port Angeles citizens with a quarter million dollar unpaid utility bill when he shuttered the Pen Ply Plant. Didn’t hurt him at all as he just moved next door and now litters the waterfront with dead trees awaiting their trip to China. Can’t we find anyone for leadership positions who are above reproach?  
  17. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 9:42 AMsame players, same sticky fingers, same bullshit. THIS IS WHY Port Angeles is dying. Death by a thousand paper cuts — we’re bleeding and there is no way to stop it.
    These people are a cancer to the community. Let’s label them as that, and collectively bring lawsuits against them. Class action against our government, cronies, and crooks.
    Hello? Attorney’s in the audience…is there a way to do this?  
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  19. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 5:21 AMThat “third party no longer in operation” was the now defunct Business Incubator Project run by former Port Angeles Mayor, Karen Rogers and her sidekick, Jim Haguewood of “Port Angeles United” fame.See folks, the damage done doesn’t always turn up right away. The bad actors are long gone and their money spent before the auditors ever get around to exposing the shady deals that seem to loom large over this community. Rogers is now president of the Olympic Medical Center Foundation. See, the community has no shame. When people fail miserably they keep getting promoted to higher and more prestigious jobs. This community needs a real political shake-up to disgorge these parasites from their positions of power. How long will Rogers be gone from the foundation before even more financial improprieties are discovered?
    Oh, never mind, the foundation is immune to public records laws. We’ll never know how much is stolen from the OMC foundation.ReplyReplies  
  20. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 9:04 AMBut your future medical bills will reflect the foundation’s past “shortages.”You, dear reader, pay for EVERY BIT of this malarkey. Why do you continue to put up with it?  
  21. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 10:06 AMAnd, we see clearly how these people operate with the recent Cherie Kidd lying under oath episode. She had no qualms reconstructing reality with her lies, to fit the political goals of the “powers-that-be”. Outright falsely accuse Lee of inciting the crowd, when it never happened.So, we see that these people will lie to the public about what is going on. Think of all the projects they’ve endorsed. What did they really know about the viability of the Business Incubator project? Did they know in advance it had no chance of success, but lied straight faced to the public, just like Cherie Kidd, to achieve their politically motivated goals? How about the current Composites project? How much of what we are being told, are just Cherie Kidd styled lies?And, we see what part the PDN has played in creating the problems Port Angeles now endures, with their recent actions to support Cherie Kidd in her lies.The way this all happens is clear for all to see. The so-called Conservatives should be up in arms, demanding accountability, but they sit quietly. Complicit. Even defending Cherie Kidd. Beyond belief.  
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  23. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 7:26 AMLet’s not forget who was in the thick of this when all these schemes were arranged: Jim Jones. Before he bailed out to work for the county, he was the head of the school district. Obviously he got out of that role before this all crashed and burned. My guess is he’s headed for a similar exit from the county before it falls apart.Jim Jones. One of the key scumbags in Clallam County. Remember the name.Reply  
  24. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 8:11 AMWhat’s just really, really so great about this is that it shows the school district is incompetent, the college is incompetent, our local governments are incompetent, etc. It’s a remarkably consistent level of utter incompetence throughout.Way to go, Port Angeles! Rough Riders forever!Reply  
  25. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 9:21 AMParcel No. 00-0010-063000. Property ID 02-5900.
    I got that far, but can’t seem to bring it up on the county’s list to find the owner.Rent must be paid to the legal owner(s), and no one else (or else it’s not really “rent”). Fellow readers, can you help find the owner?Reply 
  26. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 9:39 AMThere were two very good articles done in the Sequim Gazette about the sleight-of-hand at the OMC Foundation, and the heavy-handed, ne’er do well Ms. Rogers. I doubt that the OMC Foundation has made a DIME in profit since she hoisted her fat fanny onto their boat.
    They have a bloated board — when you look at the names, you wonder “what kind of good ol’boys club is this”.
    The PDN (RAUL Potleib) wrote up a funny article about the revamp of the board,, the Sequim Gazette wrote a fantastic two part article which was much more interesting: two: the information from all three articles you get the drift of the foul play and players this area is riddled with. And, the extent that the PDN is more PR than News.Reply  
  27. AnonymousMay 27, 2016 at 10:36 AMCK – this comment will be out of place here but you can move it to a new thread or ?? It’s just too good not to share. I just got an announcement that popped up on my FB feed from Peninsula Area Public Access that starting in June, we can watch Cherie Kidd’s new show “Positively Port Angeles” Mondays at 5:00 p.m. I watched the promo video and now want to claw my eyeballs out and pierce my eardrums if she didn’t do it already. See for yourself:

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