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Munson wants school funds cut to help pay for roadwork

August 31, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County Commissioner John C. Munson said he favors cutting funding to the Board of Education to come up with money to fix the county's worn-out roads.

Munson made the comments at a County Commissioners meeting last week as Director of Public Works Gary Rohrer proposed repairing Gossard Mill Road.

Munson has been saying for some time that the county should make fixing its roads a top priority.

Last year, Munson said education should rank third among the county's top three priorities. The sheriff's and roads departments should rank first and second, he said.

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"We need to pour into your pockets next (budget)," Munson told Rohrer.

"I like that sound," Rohrer responded.

Munson then proposed reducing the county's contribution to the school board in order to fix the roads.

"I want these roads repaired," Munson said. "If we got to cut the Board of Education a couple of dollars ... we got to do it."

The commissioners didn't discuss Munson's comments and continued going over Rohrer's proposal to fix Gossard Mill Road.

On Monday, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook still did not want to respond to Munson's statements.

"I'm not going to comment on that," Snook said Monday. "That's his opinion."

Commissioner James F. Kercheval said he didn't support Munson's position and that it would be like "robbing Peter to pay Paul."

He said funding roads and the school board were separate issues.

"We need to maintain the course of Board of Education funding," Kercheval said.

"If John's (Munson's) priority is roads, then I guess we need to talk about that," Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell said. "But the pot's only so big."

Wivell said he's worried that increasing the number of county priorities will become a burden for county residents, eventually leading to a tax increase.

"That's not where I want to go," Wivell said.

Commissioner Doris J. Nipps did not return a phone call Monday.

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