The reporter, Barbara Jones, quoted an LAUSD official about the costs-benefit relationship of solar energy improvements to campuses across the city. If you believe the figures used in the article, the payback for the project would be 245 years. A little long.
Personally, I think either the reporter got the numbers mixed up, or the official, Kelly Schmader (Director of Facilities), did. The savings may have been related to just one of the many projects in the program.
Even the LAUSD can’t back a project with a payback transcending centuries. Probably.
What was disturbing was Kelly Schmader’s take on the cost-benefit relationship: “Every nickel we spend is bond money, but all the savings are going to the general fund. People look at these and ask, `How can they afford to build projects when they’re laying people off?’ I ask, `How can we not afford them?”‘
Yes, the savings accrue to the general fund, but you would think Ms. Schmader believes that bond proceeds are not real money.
Any sensible person would calculate the savings net of maintenance and financing. You do not have to be a Harvard MBA to come to that conclusion.
The debt service on bond proceeds is paid by taxpayers, along with the installation and maintenance. To tout gross savings without mention of the other components is being disingenuous.
Too many bureaucrats silo themselves and refuse to look at the total picture, especially in this town.
Schmader seems to fit that characterization. She is another reason why the LAUSD cannot manage its finances.