Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Richardson Auditorium Safety Concerns Included Airborn Asbestos & Mold Contamination. Was it removed / remdiated during the new construction? .Or ...

is it still there?

From: Howard Karsh

When you work in taxpayer supported job like City Government or Del Mar College or CCISD, the employee, the Sherriff or the auditorium manager can only do what his bosses, politicians, regents and administrators enable him to do. As I understand it the maintenance and service people were not under the control of the Sherriff. At Del Mar College, I was the auditorium manager and supposedly the responsible party. I could beg for repairs and be totally ignored. Physical Facilities was responsible for repairs and maintenance. They would lose the paperwork or get bogged down in the bidding process or couldn’t or wouldn’t purchase the parts. When I was finally given control of my budget, spending the money was incredibly difficult. They were constantly changing the procedures or reinterpreting the procedures so that even with the money in my budget, I could not get things fixed which is why I eventually decided that the safety experts who told the college to shut down the auditorium were right. I came forward and said shut it down and don’t reopen until you’re ready to deal with all the issues. The response was to put me on administrative leave and keep the building open. In the case of the jail the Feds forced the issue. �I don’t know what the Sherriff has to go through to get the building maintained and fixed but, I can imagine. Even as the acknowledged expert on the auditorium when I requested a fix be done in a manner appropriate to the auditorium, I was often overruled by maintenance and their supervisors for the cheap or the simple solution even if it didn’t apply to the auditorium and often came back to haunt us.. I was responsible for the safety of student’s employees and the general public and I had regents like Gabe Rivas calling me a liar because I was embarrassing incompetent and corrupt administrators and regents who had allowed the auditorium to degenerate to such an unsafe and unhealthy condition. They wanted me to applaud them for putting band aids on major safety issues that were too little and too late and I wouldn’t do it. In the end by going public, I forced them to face the fact that the auditorium needed to be renovated. Only by forcing me out of my job they could cut corners and cover up the problems and do a face-lift instead. Makes you wonder what is going on at the jail? The DMC regents want to fool the public, it will look great, but the students and the performing arts community have been short changed and if you have a weak bladder you better be able to hold it because they didn’t add the required amount of rest rooms needed for a full house. That hasn’t stopped the DMC Foundation from producing the Come Home to Del Mar Event and marketing it to an older crowd who need those rest rooms. You think the politicians gave a dam about convicts?

In my particular case for many years on the job I was denied even petty cash. Lucky, I am pretty handy and I could fix many electrical, mechanical and carpentry problems, sometimes with money out of my own pocket. After I was forced to become a public whistleblower, I finally was given control of the budget but first VP Alaniz cut the budget by more than half in retaliation and as punishment. At Del Mar for years they would put money in the auditorium budget to fool the taxpayers, but it was never intended to be spent on the auditorium. The accounting at the DMC was so muddied that funds from the auditorium budget would be siphoned off for other projects and it was impossible for me as an employee, let alone the public to trace them and find out where they had really been spent. They claim the audits show what a good job their doing but the audits aren’t designed to look for the stuff I’m talking about. Getting back to your original question you can do the job as best you can as a public servant or you can rock the boat and blow the whistle. In the end I lost my job and I was forced to retire. What happened to me at Del Mar College isn’t unusual. They just did the same thing to the EEOC officer because she tried to do her job and sometimes doing ones job is not the popular thing to do. There are laws to protect public employees but it is costly and in the end the DMC will use taxpayer money to pay off the EEOC officer for violating her rights. It cost the taxpayers half a year of my salary to put me on administrative leave and that doesn’t include the investment this community had in my professional education that was partly paid for by Del Mar College. One reason I am running for public office is to help other public employees from not having to go through what I went through. I also want to see the students and the taxpayers get a fair deal for their investment. In a sense the Feds blew the whistle on the jail, but can you blame the Sheriff? I think not.


Jaime KenedeƱo said...

You cannot stop the press Mike West. Look for the story to continue at the Daily Kos. I have extended my hand in resolution within the DMCall. Now thwarted I will go nation wide. Once again I ask you to open the lines of local communication. What are you guys afraid of?

All about threats and coercion? You BIG BOYS are running scared of little ole ME?

NAH, it isn't ME it is the facts that scare you.

Anonymous said...

This may be old news. I hear that there is still an active lawsuit against Del Mar College from Fulton Construction over the bidding on the Health Science building on the West Campus. Apparently this is common knowledge in the Physical Facilities department. Also the Interim Director Willie Keller who by the way did not have the proper credentials to be hired as director which is why they made him the interim director has had a heart attack and has not been to work. His job is being done by Charles Miller whose title I do not have.

Anonymous said...

With all the construction going on at the West Campus of Del Mar College you would think they would be hiring more custodians and grounds keepers? I recently bumped into a woman I used to work with at Del Mar College. She was telling me that at one time there were over 40 custodians on the West Campus. Now there are only eight. She said there had been over twenty grounds keepers and now they are down to four. She said she tired to give this information and other information to the Rangel report but only very little made it into the document. She also told me that many employees at the college have been denied access to the Rangel report. They have been told their income is dependant on the Waters Study but they have been denied access to the Waters Study. So much for transparency. Looks to me like VP Joe Alaniz is going to have his way. Once they are rid of the custodians and grounds keepers look for the College to bid out a contract for an outside company to do the grounds keeping and custodial work. The clerical and secretarial will probably be next. Than the wealthy company owners will get richer and the poor will get lower pay and get poorer and those wealthy people will most likely be the good old boy buddies and family of DMC administrators and regents.

Anonymous said...


The Secretary of State cleared her to run.

I think these guys are going to learn a lesson or two....

from the attorney general down. The Secretary of State cleared Ms Garcia to run. If you read the AG opinion you will know what a crook this guy is when it comes to the little people. Carlos Valdez, I cant see how he would obtain Jurisdiction given there is no criminal act. This matter should be processed through existing administrative law.

A Voter Registration in Kleberg While Residing in Nueces?

The question is, which home was her domicile. I have been to her Apartment here in Corpus Christi, it sure looks like it is her primary residence.

I cannot imagine Carlos Valdez even having anything to do with this case, given his history with Mike Westergren and I am told with Joe Alaniz as well.

If Carlos Valdez prosecutes this lady, he is a fool.

I stand behind her.