In response to the superintendent of the Upper Rio Grande School District’s land sale, I can only wonder why the board did not consult a Land Use Attorney before the sale. Not only was the sale done without proper public notice and bids, it quite frankly looks to be a shady deal and I am left to wonder what else has been done behind closed doors. I don’t think saying “we will amend the minutes to say that we agreed to this sale” makes it ok.
If the BOE had gone to the town and asked for a zoning change to restrict “halfway houses or hemp industries” on that property, they could have legally obtained an appraisal, held hearings, taken bids and sold the land without selling to a private party behind closed doors. Thus, this entire situation could have been avoided.
Furthermore, the additional revenue may have helped pay for another reading teacher! To say “there would have been high costs for anyone to use the property in question” is not the BOE’s problem. Whomever bought that property would assume the cost. The responsibility of the BOE is to be open and truthful in all matters, including land use sales. I have no doubt that we the tax payers will have to pay the legal fees to get out of this mess.
Pointing fingers at the county assessor was without merit. Sales of land are open records, and anyone including Mr. Haefeli can look them up. Speaking to the assessor prior to “exclaiming foul” would have been prudent. In addition, I am really glad that the BOE changed the name. At least no one really knows that it is the “Del Norte School District” that is in such turmoil.
When is the last time someone looked at our schools’ scores in math, reading and science and were proud of them?
Kimberlee Nash Schuett