Bath County Supervisors Address Budget Concerns
Another big topic of the recent Board of Supervisors meeting was how and why the school board was able to have its budget approved by the supervisors which included a raise for their staff while also passing the recent approval of a tax increase for property owners of real estate and personal property.
Jay Trinca and Carl Chestnut expressed these concerns saying,
“You gave the teachers a raise even though they are employed during this crisis and will not lose a day’s pay. What kind of rationale are you and were you using?” – Trinca
“You asked some of these people at the last meeting if you could take some of the stuff out of their category to help so you wouldn’t have to raise taxes and they agreed to you to take some of it out. After you took it out, then you go and give the school’s a 10% raise. I just don’t understand why you’d do it. The other board wasn’t that way. When the other people, the old people were on here 45 years ago they had to work for a living just to make a nickel, and they saved the county money by doing that. – Chestnut
Board representative of the Warm Springs district, Roy Burns, gave answers as to why this passed and the board was able to approve the school budget plan including the raise.
“The school system did enough cuts even in the midst of COVID-19 to request less money than they did last year and still show their appreciation to their employees. I want to remind you that in the school system, solely for the purpose to educate the young people in this county; and not only educate them but give them as much quality education as they could regardless of all the obstacles that COVID-19 brought. Many teachers work twice the many hours than they normally would. Working from home, doing all that they could for students that didn’t have any wifi, actually making all the curriculum to be delivered to that student. If tomorrow an entity came to me and said ‘You still have to perform your job and perform it with the highest of quality but now you have to do it remotely somewhere else, it would be impossibly hard. It would be, dare I say, 2 to 3 times more work. The school system found that raise in their budget. They cut out buses and other things so they could preemptively find that raise for their employees. They felt it more important to show their appreciation to their employees than the other expenditures that they had in place that they do need, and they gave it to us and allowed us to decide. Now I’m not trying to justify what the schools did- I’m just stating that the bottom line is what we’re looking at- can we save money?; they came back with a lower amount.”
For AMR News, I’m Abby Dufour