Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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County demands school system’s maintenance to-do list

Alamance County’s commissioners didn’t hesitate to approve a proposed pay raise for the Alamance-Burlington school board last week. But the members of the county’s governing board also made it clear that they expect their counterparts on the school board to earn their keep by providing them with more information on the school system’s capital needs.

The “quid” to the school board’s “pro quo” was ultimately broached by commissioner Craig Turner at the end of the same regularly-scheduled meeting last Monday where he and his colleagues agreed to raise the school board’s monthly pay from $100 to $300.

In his closing remarks, Turner told his fellow commissioners that he’s still waiting for a prioritized list of unfunded capital improvements, which he said he has repeatedly requested from the school system’s representatives since he joined the board of commissioners earlier this year.

“We were told in March that there was $50 million in unfunded capital improvements for ABSS,” Turner recalled. “I said at the time let’s have a list, a prioritized list, and a schedule for when certain requirements are due. That was in March. We were told at budget time that there was $73.6 million in unfunded capital improvements for ABSS, and I said again let’s get a prioritized list.

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“That’s haven’t happened,” he added, “and it’s almost August…I think we have been patient, but my patience is running thin.”

Turner went on to insist that, at the very least, the school system should pass along a prioritized top ten list to the commissioners by the end of July.

Turner’s exasperation struck an immediate chord with other members of the county’s governing board.

“That’s one of the things I wanted to talk about tonight as well,” commissioner Bill Lashley concurred. “ABSS needs to get on the stick and get us the stuff that we ask for…I actually look to them to help us here because we did them a favor today. Start earning your money.”

“I have also asked for a list from ABSS numerous times,” declared John Paisley, Jr., the chairman of Alamance County’s commissioners, “and I have not received anything as well.”

Paisley went on to ask his fellow commissioners to send him some ideas for a formal letter that he said he’d draft by the end of the week to reiterate the board’s repeated demands for the school system’s maintenance priorities.

“We have the right to see all those records,” he added, “and I’d rather see us do it on a friendly basis than on a demand basis.”

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