Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Why didn't you use that money wisely last year?"; Culpeper BOS Manhandles Spendy School Board!

One of the best lines I've ever hear coming from a Supervisor! If only Spotsy Supervisors were so courageous... but then again, you probably aren't telling them to stop spending your money–are you?

from today's Free Lance-Star:

After hearing School Board Chairman George Dasher spend nearly two hours defending a $6.7 million FY-09 budget increase, Supervisor Tom Underwood was brutally honest.

"Given the tax increase necessary relative to the current economic situation, I don't believe [$6.7 million] is affordable," Underwood said. "In fact, I don't think half that amount is affordable."

Then Underwood asked Dasher, "Do you have a contingency plan for lower levels of funding?"

"A lot of things are being explored," Dasher replied, "including the possibility of not opening one of the two new schools."

The School Board's $75.7 million funding request came at the end of a long day for the Board of Supervisors, who yesterday spent eight straight hours listening to various county departments ask for money for next year.

When it came to the school system, which consumes the lion's share of the county's budget, the supervisors were not in a very good mood.

Supervisors Sue Hansohn and Steve Nixon reminded Dasher that the school system got almost $3 million in new money last year and they chose to give teachers and administrators an 8 percent to 10 percent raise.

"You're coming in here and asking for $6.7 million when you could have used some of that money," Nixon said.

"Why didn't you use that money wisely last year?" he asked, reminding the School Board chairman that his body knew a year ago that two new schools would be opening this year.

Supervisor Larry Aylor followed suit, saying, "I don't think that [8 percent in raises] gives the kids a better education."

Aylor also said he was tired of hearing "the School Board say that we have to compete with [school systems] up north."

Nixon also said that he couldn't justify teachers getting a 1.5 percent step raise when all other county salaries were frozen.



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