Don’t let the divide widen

Published 3:28 pm Thursday, May 11, 2017

There seems to be a divide beginning to form between the board of supervisors and school board in Buckingham County.

If you think I’m wrong about this, then great — call me and let me know.

Enter the 4-3 split vote April 24 by supervisors to allocate $90,000 to the school board’s annual operating budget. The unmet request for an additional $180,000 from school officials came above the original request of level funding “to mitigate an increase in health insurance premiums,” according to school officials.

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There was little-to-no discussion from District Six Supervisor Joe N. Chambers Jr., District Three Supervisor Don Matthews and District Four Supervisor Morgan Dunnavant, who opposed the motion to allocate the additional funding for the division.

After District Two Supervisor Donnie Bryan — a school teacher who would offer the motion to allocate the funds, voting in favor of the action — questioned how funding half of the request would affect division staff insurance premiums, District One Supervisor R.C. “Bobby” Jones questioned personnel changes the school division is going through — another part of the divide I see.

Jones asked Division Superintendent Dr. Cecil Snead, while standing at the podium regarding the $180,000 request, if the division could not replace “some people who are retiring (with) salaries that are quite high. …”

“Like you re-delegate responsibilities in the staff,” Matthews said.

“…Basically what you’re saying is not hire this person. And then spread out responsibilities among the staff who already exist, is that correct?” Snead asked.

“Right,” Jones acknowledged, leading Snead to note that his staff worked hard, calling them “loyal.”

Loyalty is an interesting word in this context. Supervisors are loyal to their constituents, who depend on them to keep a close eye on spending and how that affects their wallets. School board members are loyal to their constituents as well, but through the lens of providing a quality education.

JORDAN MILES is managing editor of The Farmville Herald. His email address is