Information is power. So, it was a step in the right direction that Burbank Unified School District's Community Oversight Committee last week demanded more control and more information in its effort to oversee the district's $122.5-million modernization project.
After the Burbank Unified School District Board clarified the committee's responsibilities and empowered it to review board expenditures that are not solely funded by bond money Tuesday, the board and committee members seem to be at least getting closer to the same page. But that page must be one in which committee members have immediate access to how the district is spending the bond money, otherwise the little that is left -- about $28 million -- will be hidden under reams of district paperwork.
Empowering the committee is vital, because for a time, after 217 leaks in John Burroughs High School's new main building, the lack of water-proofing in a campus parking lot at Burbank High, tree roots damaging old drainage systems, the potential for campus flooding, faulty gym designs, faulty landscaping plans, and the alleged sins of a previous school facilities team, one has to wonder who was accountable for what when it came to modernization. Was it the board? The district? Was it Ali Kiafar, the former district director of maintenance and operations who seems to get most of the blame for botched construction of campus modernization projects?