The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

GSD head skirts law in golf cart sale


Public records from GSD THE TRANSACTION: This Washington Department of Licensing bill of sale shows Mark Heid's signature on the bottom left, confirming the purchase of his own golf cart for the Goldendale School District after its ownership of it had been transferred to Victor Valenzuela. Valenzuela's signature as the "seller" is seen on the bottom right. His address and zip code have been redacted by The Sentinel.

In May this year, Goldendale School District Superintendent Mark Heid sought to sell the district his used golf cart for $4,500. When the district was advised that the sale was likely in violation of state law, Heid transferred ownership of the cart to an acquaintance in Yakima and then pushed through the sale of the cart to the district from the "new" owner.

The transaction was discovered through documents obtained in public records requests from The Sentinel.

On Jan. 20 this year, district Business Manager Kay Hill wrote an email to Dustin Kinley at Educational Service District (ESD) 105 in Yakima. ESD 105 serves as a support site to schools in southcentral Washington, including Goldendale. In her message to Kinley, Hill wrote, "Our schools are on one big campus with athletic fields in the middle. Our Tech guys walk between buildings several times a day, rain or shine. They have requested a cart of some sort like a golf cart. Our superintendent has one that he paid $4,500 for and then had it painted purple and gold, got a cab put on, new batteries, got it licensed for road driving, and a few other upgrades of about $1,500 to $2,000... He will sell it to us for $4,500. Do you think it's acceptable for him to sell it to the district?"

Kinley responded the same day, writing, "I would not recommend the purchase. State law limits contracts with municipal officers to $1,500 per month as follows: 'RCW 42.23.030 (6)(a) The letting of any other contract in which the total amount received under the contract or contracts by the municipal officer or the municipal officer's business does not exceed one thousand five hundred dollars in any calendar month."

Hill replied, "That's sort of what we thought."

In an effort to still sell his cart to the district by circumventing the letter of the law, Heid then transferred ownership of the cart. A bill of sale dated May 6 this year shows that the district completed the purchase of a golf cart for $4,500 from Victor Valenzuela of Yakima. Valenzuela is an acquaintance of Mark and Cora Heid and shows Cora Heid as a friend on his Facebook page.

According to reports, the golf cart never left Goldendale.

Heid did not respond to a request for comment by press time.


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