Saturday, March 19, 2011

Who's wasting taxpayer dollars?

Recent reports have County Commissioner Chairman Jonathan Barfield taking the New Hanover County School Board to task for two empty buildings and a roof that was replaced on another. He expressed concern over how the school board was spending taxpayer’s dollars and sought “more fiscal oversight.”

Oversight of taxpayer’s dollars? Voters should be reminded that as a member of the WAVE Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority Chairman Barfield approved spending of up to $40,110.00 on a single piece of artwork. An inexplicable waste of taxpayer dollars, especially under the current economic conditions. Follow-up finds the piece is now in place and that it is surprisingly flimsy, which would seem to make it subject to damage from winds storms or an easy target for vandals.

A $40,000 piece of artwork was not the end of the spending binge. A visit to the new WAVE transfer station behind COSTCO reveals a layout that looks more like a ride at Disney World than a public bus stop. The buildings Leed certification, an expensive self proclaimed “eco-friendly” building technique, is used as an excuse to fend off those that might question the construction cost. However, the building practice is so cost prohibitive it is rarely used in the private sector.

 Fortunately our school board has taken a more practical, more cost conscience approach to the structures it builds, and are truly good stewards of the tax dollars entrusted to them. Chairman Barfield seeks to override the will of county voters by attempting to dictate actions of a duly elected school board. We shouldn't let that happen.

WAVE Artwork Request For Proposal
WAVE Meeting Minutes 2.25.2010