Thursday, May 26, 2005

Weast prevails with 'minor reductions and accounting maneuvers'

Creative accounting and a tight relationship with a County Council member helped School Superintendent Jerry Weast become one of the Washington Post's "winners" in the FY2006 budget wrangling.

Weast's spreadsheet maneuvering "proves he's as good a politician as he is an administrator," according to the Post.

Through a combination of "a few minor reductions and accounting maneuvers," he was able to make it look like "he was sharing in the pain" while really getting a 7 percent budget increase.

Michael L. Subin, Chairman of the County Council Education Committee, helped Weast with the sleight of hand, according to the report. [Note: When a constituent complained in a May 3 council meeting about "the potential inappropriate or unethical behavior of public officials" concerning county schools, Subin lost control of himself and lashed out at the taxpayer, prompting another council member to intervene.]

Some council members saw through Weast but lacked the courage to call him on it, because, in the Post's words, they "didn't want to appear as if they don't support schools."