Set­ting the record straight

Rappahannock News - - EDITORIAL & OPINION -

Iwould like to set the record straight in re­gards to the re­port­ing of my com­ments in the Feb. 25 edi­tion of the pa­per. I did not re­quest the School Board to in­volve me in the bud­get mak­ing process. I did say that I have been in­volved in the process as a for­mer School Board mem­ber and as a pri­vate ci­ti­zen. It should be noted that any county ci­ti­zen can and should be in­volved in this process through pub­lic hear­ings, pub­lic com­ments, and by talk­ing to their School Board rep­re­sen­ta­tive and su­per­vi­sor.

The ar­ti­cle failed to state my first point to the board, that be­ing that the $75 fil­ters that are nec­es­sary to make the schools’ wa­ter drink­able for stu­dents and staff should be in­cluded in the bud­get and not rel­e­gated to the PTO. The fil­ters are, to my un­der­stand­ing good for 1,500 gal­lons of wa­ter. PTO funds should be used to buy the ex­tras that can’t be cov­ered in the bud­get. Drink­ing wa­ter should not be con­sid­ered an ex­tra.

I also com­mented on the lack of fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion in the School Board Doc’s site. A sub­se­quent speaker and for­mer School Board mem­ber in­di­cated that it was there and that I just did not know how to ac­cess it. That was, in fact wrong; the in­for­ma­tion is not avail­able. This was con­firmed, in an email to my wife, from School Board Chair­man Wes Mills. He had gone home af­ter the hear­ing and tried un­suc­cess­fully to ac­cess the in­for­ma­tion. He has since re­quested that the cen­tral of­fice take steps to make it avail­able and I thank him for his ef­forts. In 2016 there is no ex­cuse for not pro­vid­ing the cit­i­zens of Rap­pa­han­nock, through the school’s web­site, with all the fi­nan­cial and ad­min­is­tra­tive in­for­ma­tion that is re­quired un­der the Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act. You will find, as I have just ex­pe­ri­enced, that if you re­quest in­for­ma­tion that is not on the site, it is not free and you will be charged to get it. RON MAKELA


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