On Tuesday, Iowa Auditor of State Rob Sand released recommendations to Davenport Community School District Board Members over the sale of the former Lincoln Elementary School.
In 2019, the school board sold the school for $30,000 to the local non-profit Together Making a Better Community that is affiliated with the Third Missionary Baptist Church despite receiving two other bids, including one for $290,000.
Auditor Sand stated that by accepting the higher bid the property assessed value would have been added to the County’s tax rolls, generating revenue for the district. The discounted sale to a non-profit is essentially a donation said Sand, which doesn’t comply with the Iowa Constitution.
Also, Auditor Sand reported a clear conflict of interest in the sale involving Board member Linda Hayes was ignored. Hayes, who was employed by Third Missionary Baptist Church, continually discussed the sale of the school and eventually made the motion to sell the school to the non-profit, but she did abstain from voting on the sale.
Sand recommended Board members are transparent in decisions made on behalf of the district otherwise a lack of transparency can create skepticism or potential misuse of authority.
The full report of recommendations is available for review on the Auditor of State’s website.
The document is also attached below: