Ask — are Fayette tax dollars being wasted?

Leon Ivy stated that Fayette Board of Education spent county monies properly.

Properly and wastefully are two completely different directions. You can spend monies correctly and waste tens of thousands of dollars.

Recently it was discovered that items and services have been purchased and paid for by the BOE under the leadership of Dr. Serena Starcher (Editor’s note: no longer in Fayette Schools) and Terry George. Here are a few examples presented to the State Board:

Numerous trucks and Jeeps were purchased and upon purchase tires were removed and disposed of and new, bigger tires added with accessories and snow plows. The trucks were used to remove snow from school lots; bus garage employees are paid $30 per hour overtime to remove snow which could be done cheaper by local people. Many parking lots were torn up because of lack of experience operating snowplows.

The Jeeps had Emergency Response Vehicles painted on them and one is used daily to drop off students at school. I thought we had the 911 Center and the sheriff for emergencies.

A Skidsteer, $54,000, and back hoe, $50,000-plus, were purchased. Again local contractors previously did work much cheaper when needed.

Starcher hired an educational firm last year, which her husband worked for, at a cost of approximately $500,000. This year George hired Starcher’s husband to teach teachers how to teach. This cost is unknown, but I do know that every day he is at a school, the substitutes cost about $1,000. Let teachers teach. Keep them in the classrooms.

The county wants to hire a firm to write policies for a cost of $24,000. I thought that is why we have Central Office employees. The county is also contracting with a Beckley firm to design a new webpage. Do we not have a technology staff and Fayette Institute of Technology that could do this?

Last month, legal fees were $5,000. There are many more. This is just a tip of the iceberg. Board members Holiday and Jones have asked repeatedly about the spending and keep being told the state is in charge while other board members rubber stamp everything.

Following proper purchasing policies and being financially responsible are much different than what Ivey stated. It is difficult to understand with all these purchases and other spending that we are laying off employees and cannot fix parking lots, buildings and take care of our students’ education while Central Office employees drive around in new vehicles and monies are spent like there is no end. Easy when it is not your money.

All should ask questions to the county and state. Are our tax dollars being wasted — $95 million budget to educate about 6,600 students? I know my answer; what is yours?

 

Randall Patterson

Meadow Bridge