Too Many Chiefs and NOT enough Indians


Million Dollar Staff but NO Workshop Agenda & NO Cost Estimates

By: Pat Hunter



The School Board met on December 15, 2008 to discuss the School Building plan. The room was packed with  people wanting to hear all the details about the school building plan and Director Honeycutt's recommendations. Video ClipHe recommended the PRE-K through grade 8 concept.


After a lengthy discussion, the School Board requested additional cost estimates for the following workshop meeting, which was scheduled for Jan. 5, 2009.

Video Clips Leroy Tate School Board request 1          Larry Proaps School Board request  2


After a 2-week Christmas break, the School Board met at the Tech Center as planned. Again, the room was packed with parents and citizens to hear follow-up details about the cost of the school building plan.     


The workshop Agenda was emailed to the School Board and other interested parties on the same morning of Jan. 5th; but, the follow-up school building costs was not on the Agenda and the cost information was not available to the public or press.  


The new school director receives far more pay than the former school director yet there was no timely agenda or cost estimates as per the School Board's request.


This is the second time that the school director and staff went off on their long sabbatical without first making sure that the School Board received their agenda on time. One school board member likes to point out that the School Board shouldn't micro-manage but following rules and procedures is essential and attending Board meetings un-prepared is unacceptable.


The present school director is paid $112,000 est. along with perks including insurance for his spouse while the former school director received $94,500 in pay plus benefits.


At the school director’s finger tips is a wealth of talent and manpower with the Central Office staff and IT department with a taxpayer price tag of $ 1,100,000 (est.) for salaries alone. This does not include long vacations, benefits and other perks.


The following excerpt is from the Herald Review Illinois newspaper..."Schools operate differently in Tennessee, Honeycutt said. Unlike Illinois school boards, Tennessee boards don't have the authority to levy taxes, and any extra taxes must be levied and approved by the county board. Loudon schools are badly in need of a building plan, and one of Honeycutt's first priorities will be to get that under way. It will require working with the school and county boards. "My job will be to try to come up with a compromise plan to get a building program going and completed," he said. "Virtually all the buildings need work done to them. The original plan was to build two new schools..."

School Director Honeycutt knew from the front end, the obstacles, hurdles, challenges and goals, which he faced. He's been here six months and that's ample time to get costs and whatever else is needed.

The School Board requested that School Director Honeycutt bring back cost estimates; why was this matter left off the agenda? Why didn't Director Honeycutt follow though? How can the School Board continue to ignore these issues? 

The School Board will consider and vote on a School Building Plan on Thursday, January 8, 2009. This doesn't leave much time for research or follow-up information! The School Board and Director Honeycutt has yet to discuss the operating cost related to the school building plan.

Many people took time to attend the workshop meeting. Its not what you say but what you do and finishing whatever you start!