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Tony Roehrick, Ed Watkins, and an Email Chain Where They Conspire To Blow Off The ADA

7/10/13 11:40 AM Ed Watkins to Tony Roehrick

Had a meeting this morning with Steve Sutherland of SSA and Diane and Stephanie of the track fund raising group. One key question came up; since this is primarily a repair and replacement; additional field elements aside how do you feel about not processing width DSA or City of Half Moon Bay for a CDP. This would obviously remove the issue of concern for ADA compliance for the visitor side of the field if we were to try this. Dave Lussiers feels this could work.

7/10/13 12:07 PM Tony Roehrick to Ed Watkins

If Dave can sign off on it then we should proceed.

7/10/13 12:25 PM Ed Watkins to Tony Roehrick

Yes he will sign off

7/10/13 12:07 PM Tony Roehrick to Ed Watkins

Perfect, then lets proceed this way.




The surprising thing is that many people in our community have no problem with this. I got this note form a Facebook poster:

"I think you are missing point and the main reason why I think CUSD was trying avoid more expense to a school budgeted project regarding ADA changes. I don't think that CUSD's intent was to neglect ADA but rather try and save what little money schools have. If you look at the whole school there are many more needed ADA upgrades than the ADA requirements just to replace the tuff and access to the visitors bleachers. I do think if the schools had more money they would make more ADA changes/upgrades regardless of requirements triggered by projects and construction but even with the Measure S bond it's still not enough. In the email exchange above I don't see a problem with taking all items in to consideration. Maybe discussing this in a larger venue would have been better but it was still in an email thats public record."

The person who wrote the above is a respected community leader who in my opinion is a really nice guy. Yet he has no problem with the above email exchange. I'll leave it to him as to whether he wants to take credit for his statement.

One question though, how much money will it take to get Roehrick and Watkins to consider the needs of handicapped kids when they are spending millions on fake grass?

I suppose it depends on their priorities.


Comments

This is much ado about nothing, other than another self-aggrandizing attempt by the Freres Ullom to keep their names in the spotlight.

I've read the entire email string several times and continue to come away with the belief that the CUSD officials were simply trying to determine what was (and wasn't) required. There is no smoking gun whatsoever.

There is obviously gray area in the interpretation of the rules, as with many things in life, but the Ulloms continue to only see through their simplistic and naive black and white prism.


Thanks for reading the email chain HMB Surf.

You wrote:

"I've read the entire email string several times and continue to come away with the belief that the CUSD officials were simply trying to determine what was (and wasn't) required."

I disagree. They were not trying to figure out what was required, they were trying to figure out what they could get away with.

"One key question came up; since this is primarily a repair and replacement; additional field elements aside how do you feel about not processing width DSA or City of Half Moon Bay for a CDP. This would obviously remove the issue of concern for ADA compliance for the visitor side of the field if we were to try this. Dave Lussiers feels this could work." -- Ed Watkins

Pretty black and white. Watkins didn't want to deal with ADA compliance issues. Neither did Roehrick. So they chose to blow off the DSA and the CDP.

One problem. At the May 8th CUSD meeting, a staff report claimed that CUSD staff had been told by HMB staff that no CDP was required. A PRA was filed with the city of HMB. The City Clerk responded that after checking, nobody on HMB staff had spoken with CUSDF staff about the CDP.

In other words, CUSD staff provided the school board with disinformation. Then Tony Roehrick flat out told a lie. We have it on video. Roehrick told everybody at that meeting that he had discussed the need for the CDP with the then city manager. The then city manager denies that such a conversation took place.

Why would they lie about the CDP HMB Surf? We have the PRA results, the board packet, and the video to prove it. So why the lies?


I disagree. They were not trying to figure out what was required, they were trying to figure out what they could get away with.

Those are usually the same things. It's just one's perspective that characterizes it as one or the other.


Dogs also see only in black and white.

Except I like dogs.


There really is no grey area here. There was no "new law" as the superintendent wanted the public to believe after a Board member ask that question. Only an addendum to clarify when you don't have to bring a project up to ADA compliance like when you need to do electrical upgrades or replace a roof. The only difference with this project is they were caught colluding to avoid ADA and a CDP.

The original artificial turf field project was not "legal", No CDP, no DSA oversight, required on all athletic field projects and projects of this monetary size. That project was 10 years ago. The only difference with this project was they were caught colluding to avoid ADA law and a CDP.

Imagine if they had been able to spread out the cost of ADA upgrades, not just for access to the visitor bleachers but the home stand violations as well as many other problems, over the last 10 years. There were over 28 violations of ADA identified by DSA inspectors when they visited the campus before shutting down the project. Imagine if when they built the restroom above the fields, one of the DSA identified problems, if either the city or DSA was involved it might have been built up to code.

Our city is not blameless here. many staff (including our city attorney, yes he was party to the deecision) knew of the ADA non compliance but still gave CUSD a CDP exemption within 36 hours of their long awaited application, passing the buck to DSA for the ADA oversight. But here's where the problem lies, CUSD never contacted DSA. Our city's position relies on the honesty of those at the District office and on the District Board to do what is legally and ethically required of them. Perhaps it's time we

them.


Sorry about the glitch. Perhaps it's time we begin to examine the competence of the CUSD Board or their ethics and vote in a new CUSD Board who will be more than a rubber stamp for the administration and other power brokers in our community.


There really is no grey area here. There was no "new law" as the superintendent wanted the public to believe after a Board member asked that question. Only an addendum to clarify when you don't have to bring a project up to ADA compliance like when you need to do electrical upgrades or replace a roof. The only difference with this project is they were caught colluding to avoid ADA and a CDP.

The original artificial turf field project was not "legal", No CDP, no DSA oversight, required on all athletic field projects and projects of this monetary size. That project was 10 years ago. The only difference with this project was they were caught colluding to avoid ADA law and a CDP.

Imagine if they had been able to spread out the cost of ADA upgrades, not just for access to the visitor bleachers but the home stand violations as well as many other problems, over the last 10 years. There were over 28 violations of ADA identified by DSA inspectors when they visited the campus before shutting down the project. Imagine if when they built the restroom above the fields, one of the DSA identified problems, if either the city or DSA was involved it might have been built up to code.

Our city is not blameless here. many staff (including our city attorney, yes he was party to the decision) knew of the ADA non compliance but still gave CUSD a CDP exemption within 36 hours of their long awaited application, passing the buck to DSA for the ADA oversight. But here's where the problem lies, CUSD never contacted DSA. Our city's position relies on the honesty of those at the District office and on the District Board to do what is legally and ethically required of them.

Perhaps it's time we begin to examine the competence of the CUSD Board or their ethics and vote in a new CUSD Board who will be more than a rubber stamp for the administration and other power brokers in our community.


AFOGGER- please come in out of the fog- I'm getting deja-vu all over again reading your posts!!


While I'm on a roll... when does the District intend to bring the classrooms at the high school up to code? Not just ADA but fire, seismic and health codes. The superintendent admitted at a Board meeting this spring when asked about the lack of heat in a number of classrooms. Again, this is an issue of priorities. These needed projects are in the Master Facility Plan but are unfunded. In other words, the measure S, 81 million dollar, bond money we all voted for will not be used to fix the facilities most of our kids spend their days in. Are all of you out there comfortable with these decisions?


Those folks were clearly in the wrong but as an uninvolved observer I'm having a hard time seeing premeditated sneakiness with what they seemed to consider a repair job. Kind of hate to see people excoriated...


I know Uff it's not something I wanted to believe either but this is actually a pattern of behavior CUSD has engaged in for many years.

John Ullum discovered that in 1997, the football field lights went in with no CDP or sign off by DSA, although required by law.

It cost six families in one neighborhood $100,000.00 to sue CUSD and The Boys and Girls Club to force them simply to apply for a CDP on what turned out to be a multi-million dollar project attempting to install stadium lighting just feet from homes. Of course Mr. Waddell agreed to pay any legal costs for the District and Club. The families weren't quite as fortunate.

Eleven years ago they removed a buffer of heritage trees and several sections of remaining trees between homes and the football field with no permits or notice.

Nine or ten years ago CUSD did a smaller project than the presently planned one on the high school football field installing artificial turf and expanding the track which required removal of heritage trees which were never replaced. No CDP and no DSA involvement. No one pursued this.

They almost did the Cunha Middle School soccer fields without a CDP and without oversight from DSA required on all athletic field projects at public schools, until someone caught them.

These are just some of the more notable projects CUSD has completed or attempted to complete without proper permitting and DSA oversight and sign off on the projects.

So, what can I say? The citizens of the Coastside deserve better. Our kids deserve better. Open government, adherence to the Brown Act in meetings, open public discussion of public projects and the expenditure of public funds is critical to a healthy school district!

Forever optimistic!


Hi AFOGGER, I understand your position and remember these issues coming up over the years. Yes it looks bad to see similar problems happening over and over. Have the same people been involved over the years (ie repeat offenders so to speak) or are new folks cycling in and out repeating these mistakes?


Well let's see, I guess it's honestly some of both.

Three superintendents hired by some board members who have been there for, two terms,

Two facility directors, Jim Tjogas and Ed Watkins, Dave Lussiers the "contracted out DSA Inspector" who has pretty much signed off inappropriately, as confirmed by DSA, on projects the District wanted him to (as you can see in the email posted by Dan at the top of this thread).

The consistent personnel over all the years is Ed Watkins in various roles (along with Dave Lussiers).

The Board, in the role they've played for years in their one public meeting a month seem to act as if they work for the superintendent, not the other way around, in a rubber stamp fashion. It's been like that since I've been here, more than a decade.

I actually just recently spoke with a former board member who confessed during many board meetings he used to feel as if he'd "missed a meeting" or something. This would certainly make one suspicious that public business was being done behind the scenes, business for whatever reason, he was not privy to. Some evidence of public business being discussed in serial communication over email, a Brown Act violation, had actually been found in the past. Not accurately posting all the content of executive sessions as well as discussing public business in executive sessions has been alluded to by a former employee.

So I'd say it's a combination of Coastside culture and specific personnel. What do you think?


I think Mark Twain was right.


I do however, have to give some credit where credit is due. Although not perfectly executed from what I hear, at least the new CUSD/Boys and Girl's Club Gymnasium project at Cunha is going to have a CDP and DSA involvement has been promised.

I'm sure the members of AFOG will follow the progress of the project. I have been told CEQA issues remain due to traffic concerns, which might have been mitigated as part of a CEQA process if CUSD had not exempted themselves as they have improperly done forever. But hey it is an improvement!


Watchdog, which quotation were you referring to? So many could apply!


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