The board approved the appointment of Brian Ballard, President of First Bank of Evergreen, and Mike Bestor, City Manager of Golden to fill two vacancies on the Financial Oversight Committee. Existing committee members unanimously recommended the two men to fill committee needs for experience in banking, municipal issues and governmental accounting, said Superintendent Cindy Stevenson.
When questioned whether Bestor’s position as a city manager could pose a conflict of interest, Stevenson explained that Jeffco staff and legal counsel looked at the issues the committee had examined during the past twelve years and found none. She also pointed out that it is an advisory committee and does not make decisions.
A city manager has served on the district’s Capital Improvement Program Oversight Committee previously. In addition, board member Laura Boggs’ husband served on the Financial Oversight Committee earlier in her term.
Stevenson also clarified the rules surrounding a Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) contract before the board approved the selection of Saunders Construction as the CM/GC for a district-wide HVAC controls replacement project. Questions had been raised last month about expanding the scope of a CM/GC contract with Haselden Construction for work at Standley Lake High School.
The CM/GC contract is awarded through a competitive selection process instead of a traditional bid, as allowed by district policy FEG-R, Stevenson explained. Bidding out the work takes place through the contractor because the CM/GC contract requires the CM/GC to competitively bid out the work to sub-contractors. The CM/GC collects a percentage of each winning bid as a management fee.
Members of the Capital Asset Advisory Committee, who had met with Stevenson earlier on Thursday, said the CM/GC approach has become common in construction.
Committee members, some of who were present at Thursday’s board meeting, also told Stevenson they supported the board’s decision to expand Haselden’s scope of work at Standley Lake High School and would have made the same decision in their private companies.
The board also heard a presentation on the state of school safety and mental health services at Jeffco Schools.
“Threats today are different than they ever were before,” said John McDonald, Jeffco Schools Director of Safety.
“We spend a lot of time training in our schools,” he said, also noting that shootings at Columbine High School and Deer Creek Middle School are “our history but not our legacy.”
Jeffco Schools was the first to adopt the standard response protocol, McDonald said. The standard response protocol includes procedures for lockout, lockdown, evacuation and shelter depending on the threat.
Each school has cameras that are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from an emergency dispatch center, McDonald said. The district also has School Resource Officers at many schools. The School Resource Officers are provided by and paid for by local law enforcement agencies.
Jeffco Schools is also in the process of installing a secured front entry system at all elementary and middle schools, he said. Recently, school districts in six states contacted Jeffco for help in implementing safety programs, he said.
On the mental health side, students receive support from school psychologists, social workers and counselors, said Bryan Krause, Director of Student Services. Jeffco Schools also partners with other community services and resources like the Jefferson Center for Mental Health and Community Crisis Response Team to connect students, their families, and staff with on-going mental health support.