It appears that it is the SCCF board that doesn't know how to handle money.
As tedious as many public meetings are to sit through one can almost always mine little nuggets of gold from statements made by elected officials. From the inception of the CEP (Community Enhancement Plan) elected leaders from Rep Caddy McKeown to Commissioner Melissa Cribbins denied or questioned whether the so-called community service fees paid into a private non-profit were public funds. This despite the fact payment of those fees from Veresen, Inc amount to a payment in lieu of taxes and are contingent upon enterprise zone tax exemptions for the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal.
During the most recent BOC meeting Commissioner John Sweet, perhaps already flustered from an earlier altercation, admitted during his final comments that the fees paid into the SCCF (South Coast Community Foundation) are a “derivative of tax dollars.” The statement arose out of a question by Cribbins as to whether the SCCF would use funds to help private, charter and home schools in addition to local public schools. Sweet thought not because the latter don’t receive tax dollars and so would not qualify… Watch the discussion at CoosMedia [01:25:00]
Sweet goes on to discuss the dispute between local school districts and the SCCF over the disbursement of these as yet unrealized funds. Originally, the promise was to disburse half of the estimated $6 million to the schools and place the balance into an endowment. Since the inclusion of Al Pettit on the board, however, that promise is being ratcheted back in favor of increasing the endowment and decreasing payments to the schools. As The World reported earlier, the prime goal of the SCCF is not to help local schools but to fund an endowment and be an ongoing foundation. In other words, they want more funds to speculate with rather than to invest in local education.
Sweet speaks as if the school boards are children who might not be able to control themselves with the money and so smaller increments might be better so they don’t “get used to spending” too much. That view is so condescending and again I think we can attribute the influence of Pettit who regards public employees as parasites “living off the backs of others”, for the conflicts that have now arisen. It appears that it is the SCCF board that doesn’t know how to handle money.
All this is moot, of course, if Jordan Cove doesn’t come to pass which seems less and less likely all the time.