Belpre heard the outcry
July 20, 2010 - Jim Smith
The Belpre Board of Education apparently heard the public outcry and saw the handwriting on the wall when it killed a proposal to enact inside millage to finance school improvements.
Board officials had told the public, via comments to The News and Sentinel, that it would not take a vote Monday night at a special meeting to discuss the inside millage proposal and technically it didn't. But board President Bobbi Simmons told the more than 200 citizens at the special meeting the four of the board members in attendance did not support the inside millage end-around voter rejection of previous levy votes.
Of course, that begs the issue if the board president knew three other board members were opposed to the issue: why was it brought up in the first place and how would she know that if there hadn't been questionably illegal discussion of the issue outside a board meeting?
There is no doubt the board of education has facilities that need serious updating and the cost of everything, including education, has and will continue to rise, the board probably needs to sharpen its pencils to cut expenses where ever it can and then make an open and dedicated campaign to get a levy passed by the voters.
As one former board member said Monday night, it's all a matter of "confidence" in the school administration and school board, which has been lacking and the inside millage attempt at increasing revenue only substantiated. The board and the administration needs to clearly, openly and specifically tell the voters what it wants to do with money from a levy increase and do so in a manner voters can feel confident will be how it is used.
The children of Belpre need and deserve the best education possible ... and it is the responsibility of the school administration, school board and voters in the school district to prove it.