On Tuesday, the gentlemen of the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors voted to increase the tax rate to support school funding. Three fourths of that funding is slated for pay increases.
Contrary to any consideration of logic, the following facts and figures were obviously ignored.
A comparison of school salaries published in the last two years show an increase of 8.5 percent. School employees on average earn over $200 more weekly than people employed in local industries. One hundred percent health care coverage speaks for itself.
County schools show declining results of student performances in the past several years. An indicator of sub-par teacher performance? In what private sector employment would one expect an increase in pay subsequent to such results?
At the public hearing, did the gentlemen of the board really expect to hear any unanticipated comments that might sway their decision? I would suggest their mind-sets were pre-established and they well knew that a predominately pro-education crowd would validate their upcoming decision.
That decision being made, we now resign ourselves to writing out a larger check to the county treasurer every six months. What we will not resign ourselves to is continued subjugation to hapless decision making on the part of these gentlemen.
Although the next supervisor election is 19 months away, I would suggest it is not too early to at least begin to direct our thoughts to plans and preparations toward this event. I feel assured that a combination of qualified candidates, along with current establishment dissatisfaction among voters, will ensure a successful outcome. Qualified candidates will be fully supported by any and all resources available, including financial. Checks will be written. Anyone doubting the effectiveness of these endeavors need only reference the results of last November's election.
Supervisors Cindy Bailey and Marsha Shruntz are performing courageously and admirably in their attempt to advocate for the welfare of all county citizens. Our goal is to provide them the assistance they urgently need and deserve. All can be assured that a failure to complete this task will not be a result from a lack of effort.
Mike Wakeman, Edinburg