(Videos courtesy of Lesley Christensen)

Concerned parents, taxpayers and former employees had their opportunity to address the Waukee Community School Board. About 200 people attended the meeting.

The board met Monday night. Much of the time was focused on the state auditor’s report that the Waukee district had spent more than $130,000 that were not in the best interest of the taxpayers.

The board opened the meeting with president Wendy Liskey reading this statement. It noted that even if the $130,244.98 was spent irresponsibly, it was only .00019% of the district’s expenditures over that period of time.

Victoria Rossander, a Waukee resident, spoke first during the public comments portion. Rossander said she was a retired teacher who worked in public education for more than 25 years.

“One of the things that used to frustrate me the most were students who refused to accept personal responsibility for their actions and the consequences of those actions,” Rossander said. “How ironic that these are exactly the same things that so frustrate me with the members of the school board.”

Rossander wrapped up her comments by calling for the board to terminate the superintendent (Cindi McDonald), fire the COO (Eric Rose) and “take back control” of the district. That comment drew applause.

Former state representative Rob Taylor spoke next. He thanked the board for their voluntary service. Then he said his nice speech that was penciled out would be scrapped due to the board’s statement.

While the members can’t be recalled, Taylor said they could be removed by court under Iowa law.

“I don’t read that as a threat; I read that as a fact,” Taylor said. “As you move into closed session today to talk about what I think you’re going to talk about, you need to keep that in mind, because you are not untouchables, and we know it.”

Taylor requested an explanation for how Eric Rose is still employed by the district after admitting to the board that taxpayer dollars were misused and misappropriated. He received not one, but two pay raises from the board.

Taylor wasn’t finished. Later in the meeting as the board discussed its “regular business” he stood up twice more to ask questions related to Rose’s employment.

Todd Henderson, a parent who lives in the district, voiced his displeasure as well.

“What you’ve done is a great disservice to those fine and wonderful teachers and education professionals that my family has come in contact with,” Henderson said. “When I get another email from one of their teachers saying we need donations of Clorox Wipes or Kleenex boxes because they don’t have the funds… I’ll be thinking about that $130,000 figure from that audit. When I step into the polling booth at the next election and I fill out a ballot for school board, I will think of this audit as well.”

Former district employee Tom Mazza had perhaps the most passion in his remarks.

“I come from Jersey, I’m used to seeing corruption, I saw it in my local school board, but you guys take the cake,” Mazza said. “The stuff that goes on here is unbelievable and everybody just looks the other way. it’s like nothing — give him another raise.”

Mazza expressed concern over Rose remaining on paid administrative leave and comments made by McDonald at a Clive City Council meeting.

“You know what a pcard is,” Mazza asked, referencing a method of payment for some of the spending in question. “It’s a card you use to screw the taxpayer — you pee all over them. All these good people in here deserve better and the kids of this district deserve better.”

Other speakers:

(Videos courtesy of Lesley Christensen)

Jacob Hall

Author: Jacob Hall