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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

“THIS DEBT IS A HANGOVER OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED HERE.” Miss Fortune Examines Gaping Holes In MLive/Bay City Academy Deficit Report; Discovers 20-Year Non-Cancelable Operating Leases Bind Tipsy Charter School To Convicted Felon Steve Ingersoll Until June 2032!

“This debt is a hangover of what 
has happened here.”

Michael Randel
Mitten Educational Management co-owner
MLive.com, November 20, 2015

Where do I start exposing the hypocrisy, dishonesty, cronyism and bad character in a place charged with imparting ethical leadership to children?

Where else? In New York City!

With the flyest hair in North America, New York City resident James “Jimmy” McMillan (shown at left) is best known as the founder of the ‘Rent Is Too Damn High Party’, a New York-based political party. McMillan has run for office at least six times since 1993, most notably in the 2010 New York gubernatorial election. He declared in December 2010 that he would run in the 2012 U.S. presidential election as a Republican. He did not appear on the ballot in any state and suspended his campaign to return to the Rent Is Too Damn High Party and run for Mayor of New York City in the 2013 election. He attempted to run for Governor again in the 2014 election but he did not make the ballot. 

According to the Bay City Times, Craig Johnston, president of Bay City Academy's Board of Directors, blames Steven Ingersoll for the faltering charter school's screwed up financial mess. With the school hobbled by a $1.3 million dollar deficit, Johnston appears to have conveniently forgotten its board was appointed to act as stewards of our tax dollars, not Ingersoll's.

Or instead of swearing an oath of office, were they just collectively doing their best Diana Ross “Stop! In The Name of Love” impression? 

Back on April 14, 2014, Johnston was quoted in the Bay City Times, telling its reporter the board was keeping Steven Ingersoll's Smart Schools Management of Bay City LLC in place and planed to allow Ingersoll's legal proceedings to play out before making any decisions that would impact the school. 

And what a great decision that was! Now pointing the finger at Ingersoll, Johnston stated the “previous management company helped us get to this point and now it's up to us to dig our way out of it.” 

Will someone please take this ineffective D-bag out in the hallway and school him on reality: the management company works for the board, not the other way around!

Of course, it may be difficult for Johnston to know where to point his loyalty beam. After all, he did form a Michigan corporation (Bay City Academy Steering Committee, Inc.) on December 30, 2009 to obtain the preliminary financing for a new Bay City charter school — an action generally undertaken by a management company. 

And, sure, he formed the corporation while living in Milford, not Bay City where his longtime running buddy, Steven Ingersoll, still lived. 

Folks, what we have is yet another board member, effectively recruited by a management company (in this case, Ingersoll's Smart Schools), completely lacking the independence and judgment necessary to be an effective steward of public money. But that's exactly what he, and the other board members, swore to do.

Here's a dirty little secret about Michigan's charter school law: although the law requires charter schools to sell property, if purchased with state aid funds, for fair-market rate, there’s nothing that says a charter school has to buy or lease property at fair-market rates. 

Especially if you have a non-cancelable operations lease for your facility with a 20-year term, just like the Bay City Academy has with Steven Ingersoll. And that brings us right back to Jimmy McMillan: the rent's just too damn high! 

According to the Bay City Academy's 2015 financial report (still not available on the schools website), minimum future lease payments under its non-cancelable leases after June 30, 2015 are as follows:

2016 $ 759,972
2017 $ 690,948
2018 $ 690,948
2019 $ 690,948
2020 $ 690,948

And Steven Ingersoll set himself up real good, with a 20-year lease term that isn't set to expire until June 30, 2032! And while the Bay City Academy buildings are likely to be seized by the government and sold to satisfy Ingersoll's expected $4.0 million tax debt/trial tab, what makes you think some other smooth operator won't buy the buildings and rent them back to Lynch and Company?

What's that I smell...another LLC?

But you didn't read that in the Bay City Times — a report that reads more like a press release.



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