Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Online forum is swap shop for surplus Pinellas school supplies

LARGO — Karen Coffey put the finishing touches on an online posting for a bunch of old headsets that she thought would sit there awhile.

After all, school's out.

But a day later they were gone. Sitting at home, a teacher called dibs on the dozen headsets.

At a workshop Tuesday, Coffey described the new online forum created two weeks ago to allow Pinellas County School district employees to browse through surplus supplies before they are auctioned off.

Like Craigslist, the online forum lists free items with descriptions and photos, but only school district employees can access it.

No longer needed at one school, a projector might be in great demand at another. Already school employees have snagged other items like desk chairs and printers.

"We've made a lot of progress so far," said Coffey, the district's budget specialist.

A Times story last month detailing a Pinellas Park pawnbroker's experience at a school district auction sparked concern that equipment was being sold that could be used at other schools.

Tim Russell raised questions after he spent about $900 on electronics and other items that he expected would resell for more than $25,000. Though he hasn't sold everything yet, he said, so far the items have netted about $18,000.

Russell agreed to serve on a committee the district created to look into other ways of auctioning the surplus property and figure out why so much excess property exists when the district is facing a $14 million budget shortfall for next year.

"They're making an honest effort to try and improve the situation," Russell said, and called the forum a great idea.

In the past, the district has held on-site auctions once or twice a year. The last one brought in $206,906 for the district and $28,188 for the auctioneer that takes a cut, Harrow's Auctions.

Although shipping might be a hassle, Russell said, moving to online auctions could solve most of the problems. Hillsborough and Pasco county school districts use the auction website GovDeals.com.

Coffey said several sites already have contacted Pinellas, but she doesn't want to copy other districts without researching all the options.

Online forum is swap shop for surplus Pinellas school supplies 06/26/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 5:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dade City's Wild Things touts cub encounters as conservation, but experts say they lead to too many tigers languishing in cages

    Wildlife

    DADE CITY — A lifelong animal lover, Lisa Graham was intrigued when she saw photos on social media of friends cuddling and petting baby tigers at zoos.

    A tiger named Andy is seen at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. Big Cat Rescue is a nonprofit sanctuary committed to humane treatment of rescued animals, often coming from exploitive for-profit operations. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

  2. Once close to death in Ukraine, sick girl finds hope in Tampa Bay

    Human Interest

    Everything was packed for Walt Disney World. Clothes for three nights. The pressurized air vest and pump that travel with her. The dress she would wear to meet Cinderella.

    Marina Khimko, 13, pauses for a moment during a walking exercise to test her prosthetic legs at a fitting appointment Dec. 7 at the Shriners Hospital for Children's Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services in Tampa.  [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]
  3. What you need to know for Thursday, July 27

    News

    href="http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2015/graphics/macros/css/base.css"> Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Marina Khimko, now 14, pauses for a moment during a walking exercise to test her prosthetic legs at a fitting appointment at the Shriners Hospitals for Children's Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services in Tampa.  [ANDRES LEIVA | Times]
  4. Colors and culture in Cuba overwhelm first-time visitor

    Travel

    I landed in Havana with many questions about what we would witness in our brief visit. There was so much rich history and culture I wanted to experience, but the stories I had heard from Cuban refugees rang in my brain. After the death of Fidel Castro, some Cuban immigrants danced in the streets of Tampa and told …

    Havana is a photographer's dream. Bright colors abound, from the walls to the classic cars to the streets filled with tourists, musicians and locals. All of these elements are a part of photographs that were so rare for Americans to capture until very recently. I loved photographing this scene in front of this perfect yellow wall.
  5. Tampa council scheduled to discuss new program to finance energy-efficient upgrades

    Local Government

    TAMPA — A state-authorized program to help property owners finance energy-efficient or storm-resistant renovations faces another test at the Tampa City Council today.

    Air conditioners are among the home improvements that can be financed through the state-authorized Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, program.