The Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education voted to pull a revised agreement with its bond manager, Team Concept Development Services, from its agenda on Oct. 26 after Vice President Mary Wells voiced concern about the board’s ability to properly review it.
She said the contract was added to the agenda on Oct. 22, and that she did not believe that was enough time to fully consider the five-year contract renewal.
“This is a complicated contract, and the scope of work that we have ahead of us for the next five years is not clearly defined for us as a district,” Wells said.
According to the agenda, TCDS has supplied “seamless” bond management services that have been “critical” for the completion of buildings B3, B4 and C, all of which are on the Beverly Hills High School campus, as well as the south athletic complex at BHHS and the modernization of El Rodeo School.
The agreement would be funded via general obligation bonds, Measure E and BH funding and, if applicable, money from the district’s capital facilities fund. TCDS would receive 2.5% of the total construction costs of the projects and compensation for managing the bond, according to the proposed agreement.
Wells said the proposal should go before the board’s committees, such as the facilities and construction committee, prior to the board’s consideration.
“These programs are so important for us as a district, and the direction that we go should be aligned with what our vision and goals are for the board and [the goals] the board has for the district,” she said. “And it really requires for us to have careful consideration and review before we approve these documents.”
Board member Noah Margo disagreed, saying that he had no trouble reviewing the 35-page contract along with the rest of the agenda attachments.
“I don’t think that this needs to be pulled at this time, and it is not our committees’ purview to review every contract that comes in front of the board,” he said. “If we did, everything is financial – that means we would be giving every contract to the finance committee to review. That’s not a practice we have or support. And the construction committee was not formed to review contracts on our behalf either. That’s our job. We’re the ones that take the vote on these things. So it’s up to us to actually do our due diligence, research, ask the questions and make the decision.”
BHUSD Superintendent of Schools Michael Bregy said presenting the contract to the board without addressing committees first was standard procedure.
President Rachelle Marcus and board member Amanda Sterns agreed with Wells that there was no urgency in approving the proposed agreement, which the board voted 3-1 to table.
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