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WHISPER: AATA Treasurer and A2CRSS.org Organizer Planning to FOIA AA Board of Education For Release of Financial Data

Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) Treasurer Ted Annis is on a roll….or a rampage, depending on which side of the table you sit from him. As I wrote earlier today, at this evening’s AATA Board meeting Annis plans to propose several sweeping changes to the ways in which AATA makes financial information available to the public. Annis also proposes to make kinds of information public that, during his tenure on the AATA Board, has remained shielded behind the wall of FOIA. 

Ted Annis also worked as one of the organizers of the group that opposed the recent WISD millage, a group whose opposition is credited for the defeat of the $150,000,000 million dollar 5-year proposed millage increase. Even with the defeat of the county-wide millage, that group, Ann Arbor Citizens for Responsible School Spending, has not stopped pressing the issue of fiscal responsibility, but rather has continued to push the AABOE for increased fiscal transparency, responsibility and accountability.

A2Politico has the following statement that Annis has asked to have read at this evening’s Ann Arbor Board of Education meeting. A2Politico hopes Treasurer Randy Friedman will be in attendance, since the statement asks for several piece of important financial information. Since purchasing a second home in Birmingham so his children would have a shorter commute to Detroit County Day, where they attend school, AABOE Treasurer Friedman has attended only 17.8 percent of all BOE meetings and study sessions.  

What follows is the statement that will be read at this evening’s Ann Arbor Board of Education meeting on behalf of Ted Annis who will, instead, in his position as treasurer, be petitioning the Board of the AATA to provide similar documents to the public and pressing that group for increased fiscal transparency:

Statement from Ted Annis to the AAPS 16 Dec 09 Board Meeting

Again, I recite from your own audited financial statements.

Total Expenditures have increased steadily year-over-year, although enrollment has been static. They are now $19M million higher than they were four years ago. Specifically, they rose from $225M for the 2005-06 school year to $244M for the 2008-09 school year.   Had this $19M/year increase not occurred, there would not now be a financial crisis.

Quite clearly, AAPS has a serious expenditures problem.

When I presented this information to you two weeks ago, Board member Randy Friedman accused me and my colleagues of slander, and Board member Glenn Nelson called me disingenuous. A subsequent email exchange with Mr. Nelson seemed to point to a meeting at which we could resolve factual differences. Eight days ago, I asked him for information and explanations prior to our meeting. There has not been a response nor has information been provided.

  1. The current Union Contract (your web site is not current)

  2. The signature document with the Union with amendments

  3. A payroll list of all employees (w/o SS#s) showing actual YTD pay

  4. A current headcount breakdown as used in the 2008 AAPS Bond Prospectus

  5. A headcount and description of the duties of all personnel in Balas

  6. A description and amounts of the “cuts” referenced by Mr. Nelson

  7. Knowing that the 2008-9 year was a $9M deficit year, all explanations, analyses, and justifications of the terms in the new Union Contract that was just signed.  (Although I have not yet seen it, I understand that the step increases from the previous year remain.)

  8. The internal analyses re the year-over-year effects of “step increases”

  9. All recent analyses of the personnel classified as Maintenance, Bus Drivers, AAEA Paraprofessionals (2008 total of 547 personnel)

The above nine items in this document, delivered to you tonight both orally and in writing, are to be considered as a request made under the Freedom of Information Act. Your replies are to be sent to me at 2997 Devonshire, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.

 

In a recent post to AnnArbor.com, writer David Jesse discusses who the next member of the Ann Arbor Board of Education might be. In his piece, Jesse writes, "Responding to ...
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Going to work 72 percent of the time is enough is get most employees reprimanded and, if there were no improvement, fired. Showing up at work 17.8 percent of the ...
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"Punctuality is the politeness of kings," or so said French King Louis XVIII. Most mornings at our house the big mystery is whether the tots will get off to school on ...
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A2P Note: This post about Trustee Friedman has been updated to reflect new information posted to AnnArbor.com on November 19th.   A2Politico posted an entry about Ann Arbor Board of Education Trustee ...
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In Sunday's AnnArbor.com paper, AAPS Board Treasurer Randy Friedman had this to say about the notion that school finances are being mismanaged, and that the district's finances are not transparent enough ...
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Ann Arbor Board of Education Members Need Tutoring
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Short URL: http://www.a2politico.com/?p=2276

7 Comments for “WHISPER: AATA Treasurer and A2CRSS.org Organizer Planning to FOIA AA Board of Education For Release of Financial Data”

  1. Friend of a Friend

    I think Mr. Annis needs to run for mayor.

    • Friend of a Friend, I am delighted to tell you that you left the 1,400th comment on A2Politico. Sometime soon, A2Politico will be able to reward milestone comments like this one with fabulous cash prizes, trips to exotic tropical islands (Isla Nublar not included). For the moment, please accept my thanks for making A2Politico a stop on your way around the blog world and the Internet.

  2. Transparency is no longer just a buzz word, it is a directive of the Federal Government. See this article:http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment/

    • Thanks for the link to the White House Press Office. Here’s an article published in The Nation that gives another perspective: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090706/melber

  3. Mr. Annis is asking for a level of accountability and transparency never expected by BoE members. Unfortunately, administration does not have the skill sets to deliver this level of accountability. Annis assumes the district is run like a business which has never been the case. Until the Fornero administration, financial and business operations had an independent role reporting to the BoE, a checks and balance that was rescinded prior to the 2004 bond campaign so realistic financial projects could not sabotage BoE efforts to sell their agenda. The culture of entitlement is pervasive in the district. Should Annis actually get credible information from the BoE, he will be appalled recognizing how much waste and inefficiencies exist within the district, despite independent studies and recommendations that outside consultants have recommended in the past to remedy the situation.

  4. As usual, A2Politico is ahead of the game. Ted Annis may be a “player,” as someone referred to him in another comment, but it looks to me that he is making an effort to increase transparency not only at AATA but also in the AAPS.

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