Letter to the Editor: Curious that outside help needed for unbiased opinion

Editor:

I make reference to Northern Virginia Daily’s editorial of Dec. 10, “Outside help is needed,” concerning the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors decision to pay a Virginia Beach consultant $135,000 for a plan to redraw school boundary lines.

I found it curious that one supervisor voted “aye” because he felt the schools need to look outside Shenandoah County to find professionals with “unbiased opinions and no ties to the community so you can get a fair evaluation of the facilities and not have personalities become involved in it.”

I am assuming that the supervisor was referring to everyday people in the affected communities who might harbor “biased opinions” concerning their children’s educational outcomes. I’m sure that not having to consider such parochial views will save our big-city consultant a great deal of time in determining what’s safest and best for our youngsters. If our consultant knows how to draw school boundaries in Virginia Beach, then doing the same out here in the sticks shouldn’t be much different, should it? Heaven forbid that the local yokels’ “personalities” should gum up the works.

As for a “fair evaluation of the facilities,” our Shenandoah County employees may be surprised to learn that none of them are trusted to be professional or trustworthy in this regard. If this is the case, then perhaps the board should also hire another consultant (maybe from Alexandria or Chincoteague Island) to develop a new human resources plan for the county, to include better hiring and retention practices. I know several Shenandoah County employees whom I would trust with facilities evaluation, but perhaps that is because I lack a keen nose for bias and incompetence.

Anyway, this is probably just nitpicking. I saw no large county payments this year to Moseley Architects for another annual round of architectural studies, so that’s probably an extra $135,000 sitting in the county treasury – just moldering away in some account, doing nobody any good.  And surely, no county as wealthy as ours should be a penny pincher.

David Christovich, Woodstock

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