Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

August 6, 2013

Local issue visited

Let me start this column by stating that I do not profess to be an expert in leadership and organizational behavior. I do profess to having learned a lot in these areas and have the scars of many mistakes to show for it.

Over 40 years in one of the most brutally competitive oligopoly’s in the world and you receive some knowledge by osmosis. I just never understood the way entities work that get their money through fees and taxes or a more simple way of saying it; by spending other people’s money. I am going to stay local for this column and use a current issue in an attempt to convey a message.

I am talking about the controversy about cost and design of the new high school. You have to give the Past Presidents Council and present Chamber members kudos for bringing this issue to the public and their attempt to represent the will of the people.

I do not want to even discuss the concept of a new school. Everyone had their chance to discuss that subject prior to the vote. The majority voted for it and that should be the end of that conversation. What is appropriate is to challenge what the people voted for and what is surfacing now in terms of cost and design.

When you have board members resigning over reportedly ethical and transparency issues; somebody needs to wake up. When you hear that knowledge was available that the cost was going to be much higher than the voters were told; somebody should wake up.

I attended the presentation by the financial advisor and architect of record at the request of a Past Presidents Council of the Chamber. A lot of questions from knowledgeable folks were raised. The true answers will only be known when the bids are finalized and ready for review. I think the school board would be wise to keep it inside the boundaries of what they sold to the taxpayers; find a way to keep the total at $62 million and $19.8 million local share the folks voted on. We shall see.

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