05/16/07 — Here we go again: Enough finger-pointing. Enough stalling. Get job done.

View Archive

Here we go again: Enough finger-pointing. Enough stalling. Get job done.

For those of you who are wondering, it is true, politicians will do anything to take the heat off themselves when it comes to making tough decisions.

That is evidenced as — once again, not for the first, second, third or fourth time, Commissioner Jack Best has led yet another public rant against the school board — and at least one other community member — regarding the county’s continuing battle with the schools over facilities money.

This time it is that the school board has once again not provided enough information about its priorities for the money and has still not adequately addressed programming concerns.

Sigh. Here we go again.

The continuing bickering is getting tiresome — as are the one-sided digs by both parties while they claim they are united in their efforts to care for the futures of Wayne County’s children.

So, here is the bottom line.

The Wayne County Board of Commissioners has to watch the use of county funds. Commissioner Efton Sager — one of the more reasonable of the board members — is right. The commissioners are charged with watching spending and thinking of the bigger picture. And that is exactly what they should do. His charge to the schools to work with the county is the right one.

But the school district has a responsibility, too. And since the recent plan presented to the commissioners is basically the same one submitted nearly a decade ago, the current leadership has a right to assume that the commissioners are pretty familiar with it by now. School officials claim they have provided reams of paper and plans to the county — with no results, just more demands.

Asking for a priority list is a bit unreasonable at this juncture. If you get a budget for $5 million, that might mean repairs are your priority. But if that number jumps to $25 million, there might be a few big ticket items that could take precedence.

The school board is within its rights to make a few demands about specifics, too — and to have its efforts to improve programs in the schools acknowledged.

But right now, someone has to decide something about what county residents are going to be asked to support this fall. Will there be a bond levy? How much? Those are critical questions — and the responsibility of this county’s leadership to provide.

Hurling names and pointing fingers has not gotten this county any closer to a solution to its facilities problems in nearly 10 years. Now it is time to do something different, quickly.

If it is really “about the kids,” it is time to get to work.

Published in Editorials on May 16, 2007 11:43 AM