Mr. Strother complained that the Sweeny ISD was spending bond proceeds improperly. Some of the bond money was used to buy band uniforms. Is it OK to use bond money to dress out the band?
Apparently it is. The auditor for Sweeny ISD said it was OK. The lawyer for the district said it was kosher. And now Commissioner Morath has given his approval.
The statute says that bond money can be used for a variety of purposes, including the “equipment of school buildings in the district.” Relying in part on an Attorney General’s Opinion from 1940 (A.G. Op. O-2547) the Commish tells us:
‘Equipment of a building’ is given a broad definition that includes items that are not normally attached to a building such as desks. Applying this definition to the present case, it would seem that band uniforms are equipment. Band uniforms are intended for use in the enjoyment of a gym or stadium. Like most desks, band uniforms are not attached to a building, but they are often stored in a building.
Well, of course they are stored in a building. You wouldn’t want to leave the band uniforms out in the rain!
I’m pleased to let you know that Haley Turner of our law firm was the attorney for the district who persuaded the Commissioner that the district had done no wrong. Haley tells me this practice of using bond proceeds for things like uniforms has been going on for some time but this is the first time we have had a specific decision approving of the practice. Nice work, Haley!
The case is Strother v. Sweeny ISD, decided by the Commissioner on November 29, 2016. It’s Docket No. 017-R10-03-2016.
DAWG BONE: AND DON’T LEAVE THE UNIFORMS IN A VAN EITHER. KEEP THEM IN A BUILDING!
File this one under: GOVERNANCE
See you next week!