The topic of moving Christiansburg Town Council meeting dates continues.
The issue is the time/date conflicting with that of the elected Montgomery County School Board meetings.
Residents of Montgomery County have been whacked by higher property taxes as state and federal monies decline along with local real estate valuations. And the Blacksburg High School gym collapse and non-existent capital improvements budget for schools have more citizens - parents of school children or not - focused on how the Board of Supervisors fund local education.
The issue of removing the conflict of same time/same date meetings between Christiansburg Town Council and the School Board is not new -- it can be found in the minutes dating back a nearly a decade with numerous requests to change.
Citizens need to remember that "elected" school boards is something relatively new in Virginia, and not all jurisdictions do this. Some are still appointed bodies.
Yes, the Town of Christiansburg has been around longer than school boards. But having an elected school board is fairly recent and their meetings need to be aligned with their funding source - the Board of Supervisors.
As recently as this past May, Town Council again discussed the possibility of moving their meeting dates to prevent a conflict. This would allow parents and citizens or taxpayers to attend either or both meetings. This has been kept on the front burner by Councilman Steve Huppert, a former employee of the local school system.
Some Town Council members do not care about people's ability to attend either, depending on issues or agendas. They continue to hold firm saying "they" need to change while the town takes great pride in Christiansburg schools yet does not fund them at all (unless you count the 12% residential growth allowed over the past two decades).
The last time this came up as a vote for Town Council, the Mayor had to once again break a tie (he voted against a move and is also a former public school employee).
Just like this council's foot-dragging in moving Council elections from May to odd-numbered Novembers, it is time to make a change.
If Christiansburg Town Council members vote against removing this conflict in public meetings, it may be time to remove some council members in November 2013. Or get another referendum on the ballot.
A Cakewalk Blog entry printed December 8, 2013 at 5:45:40 PM. © 2012
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