A few days ago I blogged about a Petition for Referendum circulating Fluvanna County about the School Board-proposed Domino Plan. I personally printed out this petition and took it with me to various places this weekend in order to obtain signatures.
The first place I took it was church. I was unable to request permission from the Pastor in time to personally approach members of the congregation after the service because I tied myself up speaking with two individuals in particular. One was a previous School Board member who was in favor of the Plan going forward, the other was a close relation to her.
While she did not discourage me from asking others to sign, in fact she said for me to do what I felt was right, she declined my request for her signature. She felt she could not in good conscience sign the document because she did not want it to go to referendum. The reason? Because she knew the plan would be killed if it ever went to referendum. How could she be so sure? Everyone votes against higher taxes, she said.
While I agree many (if not all) people don’t like to have their taxes raised, many are of the opinion that if it’s for a good enough cause, then they will vote in favor of the increase. The ol’ cost/benefit analysis. If the cost outweighs the benefit, no. If the benefit outweighs the cost, yes.
The public school situation in this county is a very popular and controversial subject. Everyone (100%) I’ve spoken with agrees, something needs to be done regarding the schools here in Fluvanna. My first question is “At what cost?”
The Domino Plan presents one solution to the problem but some feel it is not the right solution. Another plan (Flex Plan A) was recommended to the School Board by a joint committee formed specifically to review the many options. Supposedly this plan was considered by the School Board, but for sketchy reasons was turned down.
So my next question is “How does this Board-proposed Domino Plan benefit the county (considering the current needs)?”
It is my opinion the choice (or analysis) to proceed with the Domino Plan (and the benefit it provides) at the nearly $100 Million price tag (the cost) should be left up to the people footing the bill.
The Board of Supervisors were elected to act on the part of the people, and they have done so time and time again. But when such a controversial issue comes before them with such a high price tag I would think they would want some outside help…meaning they want to hear from their constituents.
Let the Public Speak
They called a public hearing last week for the purpose of hearing the public speak on this issue. The public spoke and the majority requested a referendum be called. Unfortunately the Board of Supervisors cannot comply to these wishes because it is not their place to do so. It is up to the School Board.
Members of the School Board were present but as of this writing, they have not done so.
So a petition began circulating over the weekend. I and many others have been diligently seeking signatures on whether or not a referendum should be called on this issue.
To Sign or Not To Sign
The next place I went to was Kidd Store on the corner of Rte 620 (Rolling Road) and Rte 6. Of the people asked and who lived in Fluvanna County agreed to sign it.
I asked neighbors on Ruritan Lake Road and received 2 out of 2 signatures.
I asked the UPS guy…while I didn’t have the petition with me, he felt a referendum was in order, and he’s a Fluvanna County resident. (It turns out I think my father got him to sign when he was making a delivery at a flower store yesterday.)
My father asked some folks at his Weight Watchers meeting and had 95% of those asked sign the petition.
Where will it go from here?
There’s a continuance of the Board of Supervisors meeting this Thursday, October 25, 2007 that ended in chaos last week. The Board is scheduled to vote on the funding of the Domino Plan. It appears Don Weaver and Gene Ott may vote no, with the remaining members voting yes. Doug Johnson feels there are three members locked into their “yes” vote regardless of those constituents who oppose the plan. He suggests Marvin F. Moss may allow the voice of the people to effect his vote.
If you are able to attend the special meeting this Thursday night, you may want to pop in. Otherwise if you have not yet signed the petition for referendum, I urge you to print a blank sheet out, obtain as many signatures as you can and forward it to Doug as soon as possible.