‘Disgust’ and ‘disappointment’

Most Floyd County Supervisors claim they hear lots of support from constituents over their hardline stand against increasing funding of the school system and determination to hold the line on taxes to pay for increases.

But the majority of speakers that come before both the Supervisors and the county school board say otherwise.

Twelve of 13 speakers at a public hearing on the proposed budget for the next fiscal year expressed strong support for increasing funding for the schools and used words like “disgust” and “disappointment” with the performances of the majority of supervisors.

The sole speaker who supported supervisors thanked them for support of a specific program and did not address the controversy over reductions in funding and programs at the schools.

14 Responses to ‘Disgust’ and ‘disappointment’

  1. 12 is not a majority of the folks compared to the number of people I have heard support the Board of Supervisiors . Why not question the wisdom of drilling two wells to water the football field when money is tight with threats of layoffs etc? Seems to me the School Board has their priorities misplaced!
    The Board of supervisors are just being good stewards of our money.

    • Actually, when you add up the speakers at public comment periods of both the school board and supervisors, the number is over 100. Have you talked to more than 100?

  2. You didn’t answer my question about asking about the unwise and silly need they feel they have to water a field verses busses and teachers. yes I am comfortable in saying there are far more than a 100 people in the county who support what the supervisors are doing. What are the salaries of some of the people at the school board compared to the average salary? Important questions like that should be asked if the reporting is to be unbiased and factual. The school board really needs to re-look at its priorities, for instant, the use of school busses to take people to Floyd Fest and the money in return was well below the cost if a person was in a business to use his vehicles. It wasn’t an emergency as some say. Isn’t an emergency where people are taken AWAY from some event that endangers life? I don’t think that was the case. So look at the over all bad decisions the School Board had done that could have done without and used the money for teachers or bus replacement as they stress.

    • As a property owner in Floyd and other counties in Southwestern Virginia, I can say that the taxes I pay here are far less than other counties and a hell of a lot less than the taxes we paid on a 1400-square foot condo in Arlington County during our 23 years in the National Capitol Region. The check I will write to the Floyd County treasurer next week will be the smallest tax rate we have paid on any property in all of our adult lives and a tax increase to support all of the budget requests from all county departments and agencies would not have substantially hurt any citizen of Floyd County.

      The irrigation system was a specific request the school administrator presented to the supervisors and it was approved by them. The cost that system was less than one-tenth of one percent of the total budget for education in Floyd County yet that miniscule amount seems to be what most critics focus on. Critics also focus on school salaries that are among the lowest in Virginia. Sorry, but that sounds a lot of tea party rhetoric to me and such things play on emotion with little regard of facts. My point in this article was to point out that while I hear a lot of claims of support for the board of supervisors’ position on the budget, all those “supporters’ never seem to make it to meetings or public hearings. Sounds a lot like Richard Nixon’s mythical “silent majority.” I also find it interesting that not one “supporter” of the board of supervisors has used their full name to post here or on other such web sites. Is that a “silent majority” or a cowardly one? 🙂

  3. You want good schools, you gotta pay tax.

    And it’s not only for your own children – It’s for the guy who’s mowing lawns to save up for college vs. the guy who’s mowing lawns to see if he can break into your house later on.

    A tax is a small price to pay for giving all the children the opportunity and saving yourself from their opportunism..

    J.

  4. Oh, and if you wanted children to look up to and respect those who govern, perhaps you could publish more about those who accomplish academically and less about those who happen to be able to push a ball over a line.

    You got the government you deserve, quite frankly, when you extol the virtues of those who athletically excel and ignore those who intellectually excel.

    Happy Barracuda Palin.

    J.

    • Jon, there is widespread publicity locally to the accomplishments of the forensic teams from Floyd County High School and good coverage this week to the Shaley Martin’s semi-final appearance in the National Spelling Bee. I focus heavily on sports and music here because they are better subjects for photography and film.

      For the record, I was a member of the high school debating team as a student at Floyd County High in the 1960s and was on the team that represented the school in state debating finals in 1964.

      You’ve used these arguments here before but they are both wrong and insulting to claim the county does not recognize academic achievement.

      • Hello, Mr. Thompson.

        You’re correct in that ‘ignore’ was probably too strong a word. There is coverage and support of academic prowess, but compared to the publicity of and on sports – not merely here on Blue Ridge Muse, but everywhere – the publicity and fame for academics pales into practical obscurity.

        I’d like to see that change. As a journalist, you’re in a position to cause that change to occur. It’s not supposed to be easy – or readily photogenic.

        For the record, when I was in middle school, I received a check from the United States Marine Corps for winning a science fair; something I’m sure nobody on the athletic fields got. Wasn’t a giant check, but for a 7th grader, it was quite impressive.

        I do not intend to insult – I offer these as constructive criticism.

        I will continue to make these arguments as long as you let me.

        Thank you,

        Jon

        PS – Congratulations on resuming motorcycle riding. I’ve never ridden a Harley, but an old Honda CB350 was my lifeline, many years ago. J.

  5. I have to agree with Randy. The point is that adequate funding is there but the Supertendant and School Board fund and pay enormous salaries to one at the school board office and not find teachers and busses. Can anyone justify the expense now for wells and irrigation to water football field? Common sense should prevail. A lot of people are on fixed incomes and “a small price to pay” to you could mean food or meds for others. There has to be common sense oversight. Spending is out of control.

  6. I agree with Randy, Jon and Doug, to some degree. I do think the schools need more money for programs and teachers and all county employees, but when you add a sprinkler system to a football field or replace all the basketball goals at the high school or get proposals from contractors to rebuild the tennis courts, it makes a tax payer and a parent concerned where the School Officials priorities are. I also do not understand how you can have some where around 1.5 million dollar surplus one year and within 2 years be running a shortage of 2.2 million dollars.

    The other issue I see is Floyd county collects approx. 16 million is taxes, one way or another. Approx 10 million comes from real estate taxes, the rest is other sources. These numbers come from looking at the 2013 Floyd budget. The rest comes from the State and other sources. If Floyd Co. does raise taxes on real estate alone that would be like a 20% tax increase on each land owner or somewhere around $0.12 per hundred, that is a lot. I add this, I may have misinterpreted the budget so don’t shoot me if I did.

  7. Exactly Eddie , money is being spent on non essential items then cry and scream “we don’t have money for teachers and busses”. I applaud the Supervisiors for their attempt at oversight of nonessential spending. Greater oversight is needed.

  8. Doug you are comparing apples to oranges. What is the cost of living in Arlington and other places? What is the average salary . Put that in perspective and you can argue fairly. Why do you have to resort to name calling? Cannot you debate on facts? The “minuscule” spending you spoke of could easily buy a bus, couple of teachers salaries. Isn’t that more important? That is what’s needed not irrigation , or turning the tennis courts so the sun doesn’t get into the Supertendants eyes are poor proposals and shows the mentality of spending and what’s important.

    • As noted Jason, both the irrigation and tennis court projects were requested for program approval and approved by the supervisors. They approved both requests for last year. The school system cancelled plans for tennis court improvements this year to help with the budget problems. And, as I also noted, I owned land in other Southwestern Virginia counties that have a similar cost of living to Floyd. Taxes, however, are higher in those counties too.

      While I may not agree with everything the current superintendent does he is a big improvement over what we had before him and many of the problems are ones that were inherited, not created.

  9. As someone who has owned land in Floyd, Roanoke, and now central Pennsylvania, what stands out to me is how shockingly low the tax rates are in Floyd.