Lake Oswego School Board Chair John Wallin says the candidate pool for the district's Bond Accountability Committee sports a varied collection of professionals: a commercial real estate attorney, a retired audit partner, top-level managers of construction companies, an architect and a certified public accountant.
"They bring a diverse range of abilities to the committee, and we're excited about that," Wallin says. "We have a range of parents, retirees — just people who want to help us."
The School Board on Aug. 2 formally interviewed seven professionals for the volunteer committee, which will advise the district as it begins to spend bond revenue. Voters passed a $187 million bond measure in May that includes funding for several projects, including $61.4 million for deferred maintenance at all 10 schools and $82.3 million for the replacement of Lakeridge Junior High.
The Bond Accountability Committee also will offer guidance on addressing seismic issues and achieving lower costs on projects while maintaining quality. One of the key duties will be communicating with district staff, the board, the public and stakeholders.
The Board will formally vote on the committee on Monday.
Wallin says committee interviewees adhered to two main themes: transparent communication with the public and creating buildings that will meet the needs of future students.
In his interview, committee member Bruce Brown said that new structures — and the people who occupy them — "need to be able to adapt to new technologies that we can't even imagine."
To ensure that all committee members don't vacate their seats at the same time, the School Board has assigned two- and three-year terms. The interviewed candidates include:
• Bruce Brown (two-year term): principal architect at GBD Architects;
• Jennifer Dale (three-year term): certified public accountant and the finance controller at De Paul Treatment Center;
• Kirsten Day (three-year term): commercial real estate attorney with Perkins Coie LLP;
• Scott Emmett (two-year term): president of Emmett Phair Construction;
• Jeff Fisher (three-year term): director of business development for Perlo Construction;
• Don Irving (two-year term): retired audit partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers; and
• Thomas Michie (two-year term): quality control manager at LMC Construction.
All are local residents. Dale, Day, Emmett, Fisher and Michie currently have children in school, while Irving's kids attended local schools and his grandchildren are about to enroll. Bruce said in his application that he believes that schools are the backbone of the community.
As for the bond, district officials say it will be within the $1.25 per $1,000 assessed property value maximum rate that they estimated earlier this year. Planning and design work is scheduled to begin this year, with construction starting in 2018.
Voters last approved a bond for the district in 2000; that $85 million measure included rebuilding Lake Oswego High and remodeling Lakeridge High. Some of the projects were not completed according to agreed-upon plans, however, and the district ended up in litigation with some of the contractors.
The district and board have previously said that they would create a Bond Accountability Committee for the new bond to ensure projects are built to plan this time.