Introducing Jeff Gadd, New GPS Chief Financial Officer

After Dr. Christina Kishimoto didn’t get her first pick confirmed as GPS Chief Financial Officer, she must have decided to get even. There’s a new CFO now, a dude who bounces around school districts in the valley-wide jobs program for school district top dogs. Your tax dollars are paying for this perpetual employment program.

Meet Jeff Gadd, whose most recent job appears to have been with the Arizona Association of School Business Officials as AASBO Director of Educational Programs. Must be a cushy job without many demands – Jeff Gadd was teaching AASBO classes at the same time he has been acting as a financial consultant to GPS over the past many months. Did you know that AASBO is another one of those “associations” made up of full-time employees of valley school districts, and that AASBO collects *dues* paid by those districts?

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: AASBO operates under the leadership of an Executive Director with the guidance of a volunteer 13-member Board of Directors that is elected by the members. All members of the Board of Directors, with the exception of the Vendor Representative, are employed full-time by local school districts or governmental agencies that serve school systems in Arizona.

Jeff Gadd’s part-time consulting gig has been lucrative, too, paying $6,937.50 in May and $9,250.00 in June. We’ll find other payments soon, if GPS responds to our FOIA requests. We have a feeling that Jeff Gadd might have been bumping up against the $50,000 limit which requires superintendents to seek board approval for expenditures, but we digress.

Recall that Jeff Gadd was introduced by former interim superintendent Jim Rice as “his friend” who was helping out with budget stuff. Jeff Gadd made a couple of presentations with PowerPoint slides that were supposed to persuade GPS board members to vote for putting yet another override on the ballot in 2014. We all know how successful Jeff Gadd was in performing that task, since the board voted it down.

Recall that GPS had a highly-paid Assistant Superintendent for Business Services, Clyde Dangerfield, Esquire, at the same time they were paying Jeff Gadd to consult about finances. Good Old Clyde Dangerfield had done PowerPoint presentations for overrides in the past, but shoot, it’s a perpetual employment program for Good Old Boys across the valley, so what’s one more *consultant* in the environment that has been created in GPS during the past year? Clyde had persuaded governing boards to put overrides on the ballot, but he couldn’t find the end zone, so Clyde’s last two override measures were defeated by voters in 2012 and 2013.

Lookie where Jeff Gadd was in 2013: he was the Business Director of the Dysart School District; we saw that he left in December 2013. Probably with his tail between his legs, since voters rejected his $86.8 MILLION bond issue. Yeppers, Good Old Jeff Gadd was in charge of money-saving strategies in the Dysart district:

Dysart Unified School District voters will be asked to approve an $86.8 million bond that will help pay for a new school, as well as technology, school maintenance, security improvements and new school buses. Voters will decide the bond’s fate in a Nov. 5 mail election. The money would help bring a new school to a few rapidly growing neighborhoods and pay for needed upgrades. Some parents oppose the measure, and voters rejected a school funding proposal in 2009.

Be afraid, GPS parents, be very afraid of Jeff Gadd’s track record and what he will do in GPS:

Other money-saving strategies include turning four schools into district-sponsored charter schools, closing an elementary school this past May and asking the county to increase property taxes. The district will receive an additional $650,000 for charter-school funding this year, and property taxes will increase 19 cents per $100 of assessed value, said Business Manager Jeff Gadd… When Superintendent Gail Pletnick recommended the board close Desert Moon Elementary, she estimated the district would save about $1.3 million in staff costs.

Charter school funding was the same thing failed CFO candidate Kevin Heggarty from the Higley School District managed, along with a compressed natural gas station. Here’s the kicker: because of the charter school initiative, the Higley district took a total budget hit of approximately $2.2 million this year. Yeppers, GPS really dodged a bullet by not approving Kevin Heggarty as CFO. Now you understand what we meant by Kishimoto “getting even.” Here’s what was reported about Dysart losing the bond issue:

District administrators are prepared to redraw boundaries or to bus students to schools with lower enrollments… “We called for a boundary committee a few weeks ago,” Dean said. “Now, instead of drawing boundaries for a new school, we will look at shifting students to account for current overcrowding and new growth we know is coming in one to two years.”

On top of Her Newness’s tone-deaf leadership of the past two months, now GPS gets a CFO who specializes in financial failure, closing schools, raising taxes and turning public schools into charter schools. Do you have any doubt what Christina Kishimoto has in mind for Gilbert Public Schools now?

Just wait til we reveal more of Jeff Gadd’s history of financial failure and associated bone-headed moves as a school district top dog … next post.  You know it will be a doozie!

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