School board has used new schools as ‘battering ram’ to land use plan
Controversy about the last school board building program continues with issues related to the placement and number of schools being constructed.
First, board records (CitiGroup Prospectus 2005) show that the system administration and school board were planning to build schools with a capacity of 3,000 more students than would be enrolled.
That number is equal to three elementary schools and one middle school. This means that the cost to operate these schools is paid entirely by local taxpayers.
Second, the location of the schools away from population centers makes no sense. That is, until you place them on an overlay of the current Fayette County Land Use Plan.
Inman, Rivers and the proposed sixth high school are all located in low density residential or rural areas. This means that the only way these schools will be filled with students is to change the land use plan or to transport them from population centers.
The school board, by its actions, can now be used as the battering ram to significantly alter the land use plan in wide parts of the county. It is not surprising that people are angry.
The overbuilding and placement of the schools are the result of a “development regardless of the consequences philosophy” that dominates the board through [Board Chair Terri] Smith and [Board member Janet] Smola.
A vote for their candidate, my phantom opponent [Charlie Cave] will guarantee a continuation of this philosophy on the board.
A vote for me, the incumbent, will bring about a return to responsible planning along with fiscal accountability, both needed changes.
This is a most significant school board election and I am asking for your vote in the July 20 Republican Primary.
Dr. Bob Todd, member
Fayette County Board of Education