Oct 17 2018

OPINION: Titan Fliers Are Overblown and Incorrect

Hari Titan is running again this year for a school board seat. I admire his tenacity and his continued interest in the issues with the schools. But Hari is making claims on fliers he is distributing that are overblown and saying things about me that are patently not true.

He claims he “spearheaded” the transition to extended day kindergarten, “lobbied” for supplemental STEM curriculum, “exposed” interest penalties on CAB bonds and “saved” the citizens millions in interest payments. To claim each of these as accomplishments is to argue that having an opinion gets things done. The truth is we’ve had teachers clamoring for extended day kindergarten for years, students, parents and teachers all want more STEM emphasis and the board has been closely monitoring the structure of our bond portfolio. So while these initiatives are being implemented, his influence has been minimal.

Hari has indicated that I profited from the issuance of the District’s CABS for my personal investment portfolio and am somehow conflicted by the decisions we’ve undertaken regarding them. That is simply not true. To me, distributing this information is beneath the standard held by our community and should disqualify any candidate stooping to such a tactic.

While the self-proclaimed “citizen watchdog” has been lobing criticism and claiming influence, he has not exhibited the true community leadership required of a school board position. I encourage you to go elsewhere with your votes.

Doug Ireland, Member of the Piedmont School Board

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.

3 Responses to “OPINION: Titan Fliers Are Overblown and Incorrect”

  1. I disagree with Mr. Doug Ireland’s perspective. I understand his motives though. He needs to find reasons for leading PUSD and Piedmont’s taxpayers to the outlandishly expensive CAB (Capital Appreciation Bond), which if it had not been refinanced, would have cost PUSD and Taxpayers an additional 26 million dollars. (Refer to PUSD’s own press release)

    If this CAB was such a great financing mechanism, why did the PUSD board vote to replace it with a CIB with much lower interest rate.

    Part of my experience as a CPA (I’m currently inactive) includes auditing experience. I’ve pieced to together the bits of information.

    Before you heed Doug Ireland’s advice, Conduct a little research on Wikipedia on Lehman Brothers litigation.

    Ask this question: Who might benefit from a bond issuance bearing 7% interest issued by a school district serving a community of mega millionaires.

  2. You can mince words about the meaning of ‘citizen watchdog’, ‘lobbying’, ‘spearheading’, ‘exposed’ and ‘saved’ but there is no doubt that Hari Titan was the individual who took the time to dig in, parse, calculate from multiple perspectives and fully-understand the long-term ramifications of utilizing CABs as a District bond tool. He single-handedly educated the voting public and school community about the severe cost impact those ‘creative’ financing instruments would have (and are still having) on Piedmont’s taxpaying families and residents. Hari has exhibited profound bravery in outlining and explaining alternatives to CABs in the face of public mockery from other citizens and against public servants who put an ounce of face-saving above the pound of community good. Whether one, on balance, supports the use of CABs in the District’s arsenal or not, there is no question that Hari has had a positive influence on public discourse around and understanding of those financing tools. I wish more Piedmonters (including myself) had the energy and experience or sophistication to deep-dive into these issues and bring all of their nuances to light.

  3. Hari Titan, with the characteristics that Hope describes so well, is exactly the sort of candidate that we most need on the School Board. All current and past school board members should thank him for bringing appropriate sunlight to the issue of CABs, with the result of the refinancing of the 2013 CABs to save millions of dollars and a strong distaste for any more CABs for our school district.

Leave a Comment