05/20/06 — Here’s the report: The facilities analysis is in; now it’s time to do the budget

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Here’s the report: The facilities analysis is in; now it’s time to do the budget

After multiple delays, the Wayne County Board of Commissioners finally has the long-awaited consultant’s report on school facilities needs and the county’s ability to pay for them.

Contained in the report is information the commissioners said they needed before they could make a decision on what they could afford to spend in the 2005-06 budget.

Too bad they are now only a few months away from needing to make the same decision for the 2006-07 proposal.

The commissioners and the members of the Wayne County Board of Education have pledged to work together to come up with a plan that best suits not only the needs of the students of this community, but the wallets of the taxpayers as well.

They have promised also to set aside any territory- defending and name-calling. After all, they say, they are all in this for the same reason — the welfare of the community and its students.

Great. That’s exactly what local taxpayers want to hear.

Now that the results are in, it is time to get busy, not only sharing the consultant’s findings, but really examining how best to pay for what the schools need.

There might have to be some compromises, and everyone is probably already aware that all the county’s facilities needs cannot be taken care of this year. There might even have to be a cut or two or a couple of alternative funding methods proposed.

But the most important task before the commission and the school board is to get together — quickly.

Too much time has elapsed, and the need to develop a manageable plan is critical.

After both sets of leaders have had time to review the findings, taxpayers will want to hear proposals, ideas and possibilities. And they will want to hear them soon.

Published in Editorials on May 20, 2006 11:42 PM