Last year, there was a surplus in Parkersburg of near $750,000, which was given out as pay increases and various items. In the midst of a jobless recovery following our financial crash when there was more than enough misery to go around, it was unseemly to be giving pay increases at a time when belt-tightening was required.
Putting this money toward the bleachers at PHS would have been a more practical usage, and a policy for doing this could have been put in place. I would think that the need for replacement bleachers at a high school would be a part of the purview of the city government. PHS has a foundation and this money for the bleachers could have been put through the foundation and a strict accounting would have occurred by law.
I'm at a loss as to explain why the contractors could not put this project together competently. We have a well-meaning group of people (the committee) who had a heart to see this project through. It appears there was more heart than competency and with the hands-off policy of the board of education, the problems kept increasing. It is hard to pass this buck to some other entity, and we have people retiring - passing the buck.
We all know about the funding of public projects. The low bid is never a true assessment of the cost and the high bid contractor is in it for the money only. Hey, this is called a Catch-22. Well, as usual, the job was not completed on time and now the problems outnumber the solutions. The solution is to write consequences into the contract to protect the board of education, the project, and the taxpayers' money. The rub is the board of education not getting their contractor of choice.
Children may get away with this type of relationship and lack of communication, but not grown men who are responsible for millions of dollars, the property of others and taxpayer money. This is the kind of foolishness that makes taxpayers not want to sign on for new school levies.
This appears to be a mess that could have been prevented if anyone had done their due diligence and remembered who they are and who they're working for.
Michal K. DiClemente