Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Cox calls Seven Locks parents bullies; Weast says he doesn't care about community opposition

The following is the text of an e-mail message from a Seven Locks parent who attended the Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, March 8, 2005:

1. When they [school board members] talked about NEW school being less expensive, they just played with the numbers.

The numbers include:

a. Maintenance cost for the next 35 years (despite BOE insistence in earlier meeting that OPERATING budget and CAPITAL budget are treated separately) and Seven Locks cost more to run because it is an older school;
b. Cost of two-phase modernization;
c. Cost of rental of holding school, busing of kids, etc.

2. Sharon Cox viewed community opposition as people BULLYing the Board of Education. So for BOE to agree with the community view would be sending a wrong message to those people that BOE caves into their demand (somehow she forgot that she was elected to represent the people);

3. Board members are not very consistent with their statements. For example: BOE continued to make claim that there is NO plan to surplus the Seven Locks School site because of continuing population growth, and then a few minutes later, Sharon Cox popped a statement: "we were ready to surplus Kendale for public housing and now we decided to build a school there instead."

4. [Superintendent] Jerry Weast was very proud that regardless of community input/opposition, [the replacement] school gets built anyway. He said that 2 out of 3 schools built had picket lines outside, but they still got built anyway.

The whole process gave me the impression that the Board of Education just goes along and rubber stamped whatever is being proposed, instead of providing any oversight/supervision.