Letter – Chaotic way to fund schools

Published 4:30 pm Monday, June 17, 2024

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

It’s absolutely insane that Isle of Wight County Schools had a revolving door for the job of chief fInancial officer. It seems that the books for the schools are so awful that each person hired quickly jumped ship to run away rather than deal with the quagmire of craziness.

The absolute worst idea was to impose another disgusting tax upon people under the guise of generating money for schools, a never-ending sales tax that would be a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

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It’s the greatest stroke of luck that we have a great governor who helped defeat this misguided, irresponsible tax. What’s pathetic is the huge number of “leaders” who thought it was such a terrific plan the same people responsible for the financial boondoggle in the first place.

What should have happened from the very beginning was creation of a responsible plan, both by the School Board and supervisors, for a long-term, 75-year approach to school infrastructure. Common sense will tell you the lifespan of a given building, so it’s easy to know that in 10 or 20 years, a new school building will need to be built. There’s no excuse for waiting until the last minute.  

But, no, the county doesn’t operate this way: Instead, a massive project like a school building is conveniently forgotten until suddenly someone says, “There’s a crisis!” and then it’s pandemonium as complete chaos upends the budget like a freight train slamming into 100 cars.  Desperate pleas go out in the media and cyberspace as the lunacy consumes the county, with everyone knowing from the get-go that there’s no resources to support funding such a massive project under awful Bidenflation. It’s total and complete reckless mismanagement, starting from the top and going all the way down.

And for all of this, school officials still wanted millions more in increased budget, because just like any bloated bureaucracy, they are addicted to spending someone else’s money and don’t care if taxpayers can’t afford to make it from one paycheck to the next. The huge cutbacks next year are a welcome splash of cold water to the face of those who haven’t been paying attention nor being a good steward of the public purse.

People expect their local government to operate effectively and as cheaply as possible, not become another carbon copy of the current incoherent, lost and confused administration in the White House.


Dave Lyons