While County Children do without,

Mayor Arp’s Palace gets Regal Columns, Crowning Touch!

By Pat Hunter

The Knoxville News Sentinel and WUOT public radio reported on Thursday morning (Nov.8th) how children in Greenback would be at home for the next two days over a backup sewer problem under the boy’s bathroom. At a school board meeting held the same day, a concerned parent went to the podium to speak. The microphone was not connected but her message resonated throughout the meeting room.

She shared her list of grievances and concerns including life safety issues, plumbing problems, no air conditioning and heating in some classrooms at the Greenback School.

She mentioned how last year her husband had walked into one of her children's classroom's and saw a sign on a teacher's desk that read, "We may not have heat but we are going to have a good day." She said that it was "shameful."    

Later, the Board of Education (BOE) politely thanked her for her concerns and agreed that something must be done but no decisive action was voted upon. The BOE will wait on Maintenance & Purchasing Director Leo Bradshaw because he is evaluating the heating and cooling units at the schools. Bradshaw will report his findings and cost estimates in early January 2008. The work will be placed on bid because of the scope of the project and will go through the budget process for funding.  

The wheel of progress grinds oh so slowly for children and schools caught in bureaucratic red tape.

What do you want to bet that Mr. Bradshaw and Mayor Arp have climate control comfort in their new offices unlike some classrooms of students trying to learn at county schools!

As Greenback children sat at home waiting for sewer repairs, on the other side of the county,  architectural columns were installed on each side of the mayor's new ornate grand entrance, which now adorn his new offices.

Wasteful Spending - Porker Award

County commissioners approved $200,000 of public monies for county office renovations and new furniture. This money could have been better spent for  maintenance at Greenback School for the children’s needs.

The mayor’s opulent columns should serve as a symbol and shameful reminder of politicians that place their own needs before the needs of our county students! For his wasteful spending, Mayor Arp has the dubious honor and distinction of receiving the Porker Award. What’s next on the mayor's decorating list, perhaps Gargoyles to sit on his columns?