$10 A Month

The debate on funding the schools building program is about over. Commissioners will decide the matter Thursday night one way or the other. I have neither indorsed nor opposed the tax increase but simply tried to lay out the facts as they are so that everyone could decide how they feel about the matter. Let me try one last time.

If you as a home owner discovered a leak in your roof you would probably call a roofer to fix the leak. After looking at the leak the roofer would tell you that to repair the leak it would cost you $120. You might think that was a lot of money to fix the leak and tell the roofer you just couldn't afford the $120 repair bill. The roofer gives you a second option. He could just come back each month and patch the leak for $10. Sounds like a great idea and you would save a lot of money. Alas, after twelve months of paying the roofer to patch your roof it dawns on you and you realize you've spent $120 to patch a leaky roof that you could have repaired a year ago for $100.

The sad fact of the matter is the Loudon County School Board has now been theoretically patching the roof for many many years. In fact the board has spent millions of dollars on patch work instead fixing the problem. What's being proposed as the Phase I building program is not a patch but a permanent repair for a large part of the Loudon County school system. Is it the end-all forever? Probably not but it will finally address the most pressing problems facing the school system as facilities go.

I guess we could just continue to pay for the $10 patch but does that really make any financial sense? At some point you have to fix the leak.   

The debate ends Thursday.