Full Speed Ahead: New Fluvanna High School or Bust

Uncle Sam has Dollar Signs in his eyesWhat is it with our Board of Supervisors? Are they insane??? I thought this idea of throwing taxpayer money around was just a fancy of the federal government’s, but it seems that there are folks in Fluvanna County who are equally reckless in managing our pocketbooks…four folks in particular. Their names are John Gooch, Charles Allbaugh, Mozell Booker, and Marvin Moss.

It seems there was a special meeting called Monday night to discuss the bonds for the new high school project. While I was unable to attend, I assumed the purpose was to deliberate over the reasonableness of pushing forward the search for bonds to fund the $100+ MILLION DOLLAR building project and that sound logic would win out. Evidently I was wrong. It was determined by a handful of folks that despite a HUGE external change of events (you know, the Economic Crisis we are all facing), AND evidence that the projected population growth has reversed (enrollment is DOWN this year), our local government (in little ole Fluvanna County) wants to still SPEND, SPEND, SPEND.

Maybe it’s just me, but I saw the fact that we had not yet obtained any bonds for this monumental capital project when our economy tanked over the past few months (and is still continuing to drop) was a blessing in disguise.

For Sale By Owner Sign

We weren’t yet obligated to pay anything when this disaster ensued: when it was obvious that many of our residents’ retirement accounts were under seige, that the bottom of the housing market fell out…including here in Fluvanna (has anyone else noticed that building has virtually halted in various developments all across the county let alone all the “For Sale” signs?), that major companies have gone belly-up, and that many folks are rightfully fearing the loss of their jobs. Phew…thank God, we hadn’t signed on any dotted lines yet for the “new high school”.

But NO! These elected officials of ours have gone loopy. And where is the School Board on all of this? Over a year ago, there was a public outcry demanding the School Board call for a referendum on this Domino Plan when it was discovered that the price tag had jumped to over $100 MILLION DOLLARS…the largest county expenditure in our history…we’re talking over 12 TIMES the cost of expanding our existing high school. People came out of the woodwork (myself included with a 3 month old baby in tow), pleading for the opportunity to have a say in this lavish expenditure. “Put it to a vote”, is all we asked. But the School Board plugged their ears!

They have been consistently turning a deaf ear to the many folks who have continually cried out against this plan…pointing out that the premise for which this plan was pushed is bogus…our school population is NOT growing at the rate the School Superintendent would like us to believe. In fact this year it is dropping, but the folks that are supposed to care about the EDUCATION of our youth are insisting on ramming this BUILDING PROJECT through when it is abundantly clear that the basis for the project is seriously flawed.

And now, with this “Economic Downturn” and Washington continually spending money we don’t have, weakening our dollar by the second, a handful of folks in our rural community insist on making these huge financial decisions without us!

STOP THE INSANITY! I’m calling on all of my neighbors to speak out NOW. Pick up the telephone and call each of our Supervisors today…right now, walk over to the phone, pick it up and dial their numbers starting at the top and tell them that it is their duty as an elected official to act on OUR behalf. With this large of a sum of money and the economic conditions we are living in (historical in nature), tell them it is COMPLETELY reckless of them to act without our consent and that you respectfully but firmly request they stop moving forward.

Then, dial the number for each of the School Board members, and tell them also that it is COMPLETELY reckless of them to continue pushing forward with this HUGE CAPITAL PROJECT considering this historical economic period without putting it to a vote from the people who are expected to foot the bill. Call for a Referendum Immediately!

Here is the contact information for our Supervisors and School Board members:

>> Board of Supervisors

Board of Supervisers

Back row: Gene Ott, John Gooch, Charles Allbaugh. Front row: Donald Weaver, Mozell Booker, Marvin Moss. *photo by Nancy Miner

COLUMBIA:
Marvin F. Moss, Chairman
home: (434) 589-4839

RIVANNA:
Charles W. Allbaugh, Vice-Chairman
home: (434) 589-5015

FORK UNION:
Mozell H. Booker
home: (434) 842-3311

PALMYRA:
John Y. Gooch
home: (434) 589-2971

RIVANNA:
Gene F. Ott
home: (434) 589-4876

CUNNINGHAM:
Donald W. Weaver
home: (434) 286-2687

Additional contact information can be found online at: http://www.co.fluvanna.va.us/

>> School Board

FORK UNION:
Mrs. Bertha Armstrong, Chair
842-3649

RIVANNA:
Mrs. Vivian Leach, Vice-Chair
589-5856

COLUMBIA:
Mrs. Shirley LeVines
589-3923

CUNNINGHAM:
Mr. R. J. Searcy
286-2720

PALMYRA:
Mr. Thomas Muir
295-3585

RIVANNA:
Mrs. Barbara Gibbons
589-6878

Additional contact information can be found online at: http://www.fluco.org/schoolboard.htm

Finally, there is a School Board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, December 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room of the School Board Office (located in the Old Palmyra School on Route 15). Please come! It is the School Board’s intention to consider and approve the final construction drawings at this meeting. Once approved, they will then advertise for construction bids. They hope to break ground the first part of 2009. Time is of the essence.

We need to show up in droves, bring as many folks as we can, and demand a referendum.

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