Hurry, Hurry

I've been in one form or other of government for a long time now and over time you learn to watch for the warning signs at meetings that something's not right. One of the biggest red flags that tell you something's wrong is when government officials say "we need to hurry and do this" whatever "this" might be at the time. Let me give you a prime example.

At last Thursday's school board meeting, the biggest issue on the agenda was the budget. Knowing the complexities and detail and the time needed to discuss and vote on the next years budget, board chairman Scott Newman, suggested that we set a special called meeting the first of this week solely to discuss and debate the budget. Unfortunately a number of members did not want to wait and wanted to proceed with the budget.

After a lengthy discussion/debate, back and forth, take out put in, it was obvious we were getting nowhere. At that point it was again discussed to postpone further discussions to a special called meeting. School director Wayne Honeycutt told the board that we really needed to get a budget adopted. Honeycutt said that Mayor Arp said they, commission, had to have our budget by Monday (4/19) so the budget committee could present it to the commission at Monday's commission workshop. We needed to hurry and get it done.

With that the board went back to business and ultimately adopted a budget that by most standards was absurd. The board voted 6-4 to ask commission for an additional 1.2 million dollars in new operating costs. But the most important thing was that we got the budget passed so commission could get it by Monday. We hurried up.

I attended Monday's commission workshop to hear the discussion on the newly adopted school budget. Well, guess what. The topic was never discussed. In fact it was announced that there would be no more meetings to discuss the budget till May 5th, one day after the election and the school budget would not be presented to the full commission till May 24th.

The school board was told it had to get the budget done by April 15th but the commission will not get the budget for more than a month. Good thing we hurried up.

Back to the start. When government officials say something needs to be done right now, quickly, in a hurry or time is of the essence, look out. Something's not right.