THE HUNTER REPORT
Why was Commission kept in dark?
"Politics" in the School Building Program!
By: Pat Hunter
At Thursday's (Dec. 10) school board meeting, board member Lisa Russell asked school director Wayne Honeycutt about Monday's (Dec. 7th) Commission meeting and the Board's request to Mayor Arp and Commissioners. This matter was not on the school board's agenda for follow-up even though a motion for action had been made just one month earlier by board member Leroy Tate.
After Monday's commission meeting where there was no answer about our Board's motion for Commission to give us a number, was the answer no, asked Russell? She wasn't sure about the response. Is Mayor Arp going to get with Tracy (Finance Director) and give us a number, inquired board member Lisa Russell. Honeycutt replied that he thought that Mayor Arp and Tracy and Leo (Purchasing Director) were working on that. Even though they voted not to do that asked board member Craig Simon! Good question; why would the Mayor now ignore Commission's Dec. 7th vote?
To put Ms. Russell's question in perspective, some background information must be shared:
BOE ask for dollar figure from Commission
At the Dec 7th Commission meeting, Commissioner Austin Shaver spoke about his motion. Shaver requested that the finance director obtain interest rates and options from lending institutions to fund the school building program. He read from the Nov. 12th school board minutes regarding the school board's request to commission about getting numbers to fund the school building program. Director Honeycutt attended the same commission meeting yet he did not speak or inform commissioners about the school board's request.
Mayor Arp also attended the same commission meeting. After Commission voted down Commissioner Shaver's motion, the mayor acknowledged speaking to director Wayne Honeycutt. He then gave a litany of excuses including how the finance director had received a "well deserved vacation" and how she had been out of the office for a long period and she had not been there.
Thumbs Down - Funding options to School Building Program - Mayor’s race heats up
The Mayor publicly accused Commissioner Austin Shaver of not following procedures and of seeking headlines for himself and his father Van Shaver who is running for mayor. But who ignored procedure? If the mayor and school director had disclosed the school board's request to commissioners, would Commission's vote been different? What are the mayor's political motives? Who does the school director work for; mayor or school board?
Five commissioners (Nancy Marcus, David Meers, Wayne Gardin, Roy Bledsoe, Harold Duff) just voted down a motion to obtain financial information about funding the school building program adding to further delays to the school building program.
(Note: Although Commission did not vote a property tax increase many property owners like myself will pay higher taxes because of property re-appraisals! The increase is estimated at $1million).