The ad questions the integrity of Clay Community School Corporation Supt. Dan Schroeder and members of the board in regards to the delayed announcement of the pay off of Northview High School and Clay City Jr./Sr. High School.
"I need to respond to this because my name and some unnamed board members credibility is being disparaged, and I don't think this is accurate," Schroeder said. "The ad borders on degradation of character."
He explained when the School Building Corporation was put together, they were responsible for the financing and constructing of both high schools, not the school board or superintendent.
"Now that isn't how it is done in most corporations, but that's how it is here," Schroeder said.
During the May 21 school board meeting, representatives of the Building Corporation presented the deed to both high schools. At that meeting, board member Forrest Buell asked representatives of the Building Corporation why the presentation wasn't made in January with the final payment. The Building Corporation took responsibility for the delay because they wanted to put together the presentation to the board and taxpayers.
"My question is why this (ad) appears when at the last meeting it was told that this is a function of the holding corporation and not the school board or the superintendent," Schroeder said.
The second issue mentioned in the ad was the "taxpayers being scammed by the CCSC," which Schroeder said was false.
"The Building Corporation determines how that money is spent," he said. "Last year the Building Corporation decided that the money ($164,058) should go to the capital projects fund. Not the school corporation, not the superintendent."
He explained that both high schools previously received funding from the Building Corporation, which has held the lease since construction began in 1986. CCHS received $122,694 and NHS received $41,364 of the $164,058.
Schroeder commented they were not told to place the announcement on the school board agenda until April, and then it was immediately placed on the May agenda to present the lease.
"The school board and the administration are responsible for making sure that the debt service lease rental payments are made," he said. "In March we had the release of mortgage from the bank trustee. In April the information was recorded in the Clay County Courthouse."
The Building Corporation has decided to spend the last remaining check, $110,630.02 on capital projects funds and is currently working with Building and Grounds Director Tom Reberger to determine where the greatest need is.
"The school board and administration are not making that decision," Schroeder said. "I want to highly commend the (Building Corporation) for all their valuable years of service to the communities in CCSC."
"The Building Corporation has done a lot of work and contributed a lot to (CCSC) and I'm sorry they were insulted," board member Terry Barr added. "I think this is unfortunate and I feel bad for everyone that has been mentioned in this."
The ad insinuates there is "something happening under the table."
If the Building Corporation decided to apply the $110,630.02 to debt service, Schroeder said based on the assessed value of $772,148,698, it would have lowered the debt service tax rate by only1.4 cents.
"This is not casting any stones on the Building Corporation," Schroeder said. "They have served the community wisely. They've done a good job."
"I think I can speak for the board when I say we feel very badly that this happened and we do appreciate all that has been done," Barr added.
"I am the party that Dr. Schroeder is referring to," he said. "The problem the public has had is why it took the time from January until May to close the project out and what happens to the payments at the time. I don't retract from what I've said, I have reason to believe there are some problems there."
Board President Brian Atkinson and board member Tina Heffner added their apologies, after Buell's comments to the Building Corporation and Schroeder for the accusations made in the ad.
"As for the ad, I'm appalled that a board member would put that in there, and I can't understand how six board members can understand what was presented and one not," Atkinson said in open session.
The next meeting of the Clay Community School Board of Trustees will be Thursday, July 9, at 7:30 p.m., in the media center at North Clay Middle School.