I was heartened to read that Diede Construction, AM Stephens Construction, and Meehleis Modular Buildings of Lodi, and Bockmon & Woody Electric Co., and Achritechnica and Quality Sound in Stockton came forth with $45,000 of the $50,000 rent that the Lodi Unified School District was charging the city for an afterschool program. Good for them.
Then I read that these companies are all construction outfits that work for the school system, and Art Hand approached them for donations. At that point, my critical thinking antenna went up and this deal appears to flunk a basic sniff test. Is this a case of crony-capitalism, i.e. you get us out of trouble and you keep getting contracts? This whole thing stinks, or appears to stink — the school system, as far as I know, has never justified charging the city for the use of an otherwise empty facility for its own school children.
Politicians like to use the term "skin in the game." So who has skin in this game? The parents are paying their share, the city provides staff and rent, and now the school system's contractors pay even more of the rent. All the school system can say is that they are gouging everyone trying to solve the problem instead helping solve it by dropping the rent.
Shame on George Neely and the rest of the school board for approving this policy by their silence. So much for the school system being for the students.