If that is the case, then the Board needs to disclose it. If an interest charge is not included in the lease purchase agreement, then the taxpayers should also know that. Full transparency!
I attended the school board meeting last night and was surprised to hear that the "sale" of the existing buildings to LU and Linn State are actually "lease-purchase" deals in which the JC School District will continue to own the structures until all of the lease payments have been made by the buyers. This was the first time I heard or read anything about the nature of the "sale".
In short, this means the taxpayers will be financing the purchase. It also means that there will be some on-going costs to the taxpayers while the structures are leased. How material those costs are and exactly what they are is unclear at this time. It is also unclear to me the length of the lease period. I asked one of the board members to ensure there is full disclosure of the terms of the deal and what the related costs will be during the leasing period. He indicated he would.
In Dr. Mitchell's letter to the staff on December 3, 2012 there is no mention of a "lease-purchase" arrangement. The deal is characterized simply as sales of the assets.
If the school board wishes to further improve - and maintain - the trust of the taxpayers there must be full transparency.
Last login: Tuesday, December 18, 2012
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