Seaside City Councilor Tita Montero and members of the Facebook group Taxpayers for SEPRD Transparency are pressing the park district for letters and correspondence relating to plans for Broadway Middle School.
The school is vacant after the Seaside School District moved the campus to a new location on Spruce Drive outside the tsunami inundation zone. The park district hopes to finish due diligence at the end of December and close on the $2.25 million property in mid-January.
Montero is a city councilor acting as a private citizen. Her requests include a draft 2019 Broadway Middle School purchase business plan, delivered to park district board members at the time.
“This has been kept from the public in violation of public records and meeting law,” Montero alleged in an email to Skyler Archibald, the park district’s executive director.
A governing body may go into executive session to negotiate real property transactions, but those discussions may not include discussion of a public body’s long-term space needs or general policies concerning lease sites, she claimed.
“I believe this is the basis of further plans, written or unwritten, which have also been discussed by you away from public view and in violation of public record and meeting law,” Montero wrote. “I believe it is the basis of untruths regarding ‘there is no plan’ and ‘there have been no estimates of the cost of repairing, rehabbing, remediating BMS.’”
Montero’s first request was dated Oct. 30. The park district provided the 2019 Broadway Middle School Plan document to Montero on Nov. 18.
The document shows estimates for payroll and staff costs and two estimates of asbestos remediation costs, she said. “You will find an inspection report which summarizes a dismal and expensive-to-remediate condition with enough detail to be scary. ... And the cost of remediation is in the $5 million range.”
In a separate request, Montero asked for copies of documents prepared for the park district by the Special Districts Association of Oregon, which prepared financial options for a potential purchase.
In seeking tax-exempt debt financing, the park district is represented by David Ulbricht, director of Special Districts Association of Oregon Advisory Services.
The park district has used tax-exempt debt financing in the past to expand the Sunset Pool and acquire park district property.
Archibald said a response would be delivered by Thursday, five business days after the request.