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December 22, 2008

Last week's question:

Gary Rohrer, Washington County's director of special projects, recently said that the school system is bypassing a volunteer group of advisers on school design. What should the county commissioners do?

o Seek General Assembly legislation forcing the system to consult with the committee.- 11 votes (15 percent)

o Withhold construction funding until the school system cooperates. - 40 votes (56 percent)

o Huff and puff angrily at school officials until an apology is forthcoming - 2 votes (3 percent)

o Don't do anything. School officials should know how schools should be built, shouldn't they? - 18 votes (25 percent)


o Posted by Five on Dec. 12

There are two solutions to this issue. First, everyone needs to sit down and lay out a more specific sequence of events. Second, everyone needs to sit down and understand what items can or cannot be utilized to save funds, based on limitations that exist for public projects that do not apply to private projects.


o Posted by notlaffen on Dec. 12

The county commissioners should give the BOE as little money as legally possible. This won't happen because the commissioners don't understand that WCPS is mediocre, at best, and will never get any better if all the commissioners do is keep giving the BOE more money to spend with no accountability.

I believe the advisors on school design is a state requirement - but the state didn't require the BOE to pay any attention to the advisers and, lo and behold, our BOE doesn't pay any attention to the advisers.

If the advisers had any dignity, they would quit en masse and let the BOE scramble to find more people to meet and have all their recommendations ignored without any consideration given to them at all.

New elementary schools for 700 students shouldn't cost $20 million to $30 million each. It is past time that the taxpayers in this county woke up to the fact that WCPS has problem, that money is not spent as well as it might be and that children are not getting all that they coud.

o Posted by blessedbe on Dec. 12

The General Assembly takes too long and, let's be honest, they could care less about dinky little Washington County and the oversized children who are squabbling (that would be the County Commissioners and the Board of Ed). Pitching a hissy fit might render an apology, but an apology won't fix the fact that the law is being ignored. If it were me, I'd freeze the money until things were done properly, but with the way things tend to go, I'd say that absolutely nothing will happen.

Next week's question:

Last week a majority of the Hagerstown City Council voted to spend $58,000 to hire four local firms to market the downtown and bring higher-paying jobs there. Is that a good idea?

o Yes. The malls and outlet centers promote their product and the city should as well.

o Yes and hiring downtown businesses to do it makes sense, because they have a stake in downtown's success.

o No. Downtown will never succeed until city officials do what a consultant told them to do five years ago and bring in residents who have some money to spend.

o No. This is just one more example of what government does when it doesn't know what else to do - they throw money at the problem.

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