Not One Penny

Here's a short little story that helps explain why so many people have lost confidence in their elected officials.
Some months ago, I think it was December, the school board was informed about a grant we had received. It was an ARRA, American Reinvestment and Recovery Act or Obama bucks grant, called Project Diabetes, issued through the Tennessee Department of Health for $250,000.00. It was for a walking/running track for the Loudon High School football stadium. There was never any mention of needing a rubberized surface for the track. 
The board was assured over and over that the project would not cost us a penny. It was fully funded by the grant. The one stipulation was that it had to be completed and paid for by June 30th, 2011 or we would loose the grant. You gotta love that "free" Obama money. There was never any mention of needing a rubberized surface for the track. 
We got the bids in sometime in March with the low bid being $246,400.00. The board voted to accept the bid. There was never any mention of needing a rubberized surface for the track. 
Now all of a sudden at the last minute, the track needs a rubberized surface. The idea of a rubberized surface, an additional cost of $57,000.00, being added was brought to the board budget committee at our meeting on April 7th. Everyone on the budget committee spoke in opposition to the idea citing the high cost.
Budget committee decision not withstanding, a motion was made at the April 14th board meeting to add the rubberized surface to the track. The motion failed on a 5-5 vote.
At the end of Monday's special called meeting to vote on the superintendent, Loudon High School principal, Cheri Parrish, told the board that if we wanted to rubberize the track we would need to decide right now due to construction issues. It was explained to Ms. Parrish that a vote had been taken and the request had been voted down. She gave a heart felt speech of how important the rubberized surface would be. So much safer, other schools would want to come here to compete even though it's too small to host any kind of regional competitions and so on and so on. You know, it's all about the children. It's all about safety.  
Anyway by the time she was through, the board decided to have a special called meeting next Monday just to hold another vote on the matter. I wonder what's changed since the last vote?

Anyway, from not costing the school board a single penny to now wanting the county to pay an additional $57,000.00 for the special surface the "free" Obama money could cost county tax payers not one penny but a pretty penny.

But, it's all about the children. Right?