April 10th Storey County School Board Meeting Report
Last night I went to the SCSD Board meeting. You can check out the agenda by clicking here.
The meeting was perfunctory, but there was one teeny little (big massive) reveal I have suspected for years.
Choir, Gifted and Talented Kids On display
There were two great presentations by students. The choir returned from a trip to Las Vegas where they performed with 250 other singers from around the state. Board Secretary Dawn Miller shared that she participated in this event when she was in School and forged friendships that have lasted a lifetime. This was a great experience for the kids and it brought back memories from of my daughter was in choir. Fun stuff.
The Gifted and Talented class gave a talk about what they are up to and it was wonderful. The fourth graders were cute as little buttons as they showed their PowerPoint presentation. Up to 4th grade, kids are darling. They become socialized in 5th grade. By the time they hit 8th grade and have read the teenager manual. Game Over.
I had hoped the meeting might discuss the 4 day school week, but it did not. The 4 day school week struck a nerve with parents who attended the previous two meetings. The board was going to set up a committee and promised to do some outreach, but I haven’t heard anything up to and including last night.
SCSO Deputy On Guard
It was odd to see a uniformed SCSO deputy there, and after the meeting started Deputy Schroder, the SCSD safety officer, showed up as a parent and not in uniform. At the end of the meeting, Sargent Kern arrived to talk to a parent and former SCSD employee about a kerfluffle that is roiling. There were no outbursts or other disruptions during the meeting, but the three officers talked to this employee after the meeting for nearly a half hour. Interesting.
The meeting approved the tentative budget, the check vouchers (over half a million dollars spent) and upgrading the “Board Protocols” (a puffy “Mission Statement” document ) and a revisit of the District Policies. The SCSD is adopting the format which is, as we are told, the same as many other school districts in the area. For some unknown reason, this will take four years to accomplish.
SCSB chair Jeff Nevin described both the existing board protocols and the District Policies as “antiquated”. The policies will have their antique status for another four years.
Marty Johnson of JNA Consulting detonated a teeny little thermonuclear blast that went undetected by everyone but me. Readers of The Teller may remember Mr. Johnson when we discussed the embattled Effluent Pipeline the county foisted upon the taxpayers last year. He is the county’s go-to guy when it comes to floating bonds. In the conversations I have had with him, he strikes me as a smart guy with a ton of experience and a lot of connections.
Mr. Johnson was talking about bonds and financing and the capital expenditures the District is planning in the near future. While discussing the revenue stream that may support future bonds should they be considered, he made the following statement:
“As we all know, the abatements for Tesla and other companies out at TRIC are, by law, slated to end in 2024. However, I don’t think we should count on this happening. Laws are laws and they are known to change. Given the way things go at the legislature, we shouldn’t count on these abatements expiring until they actually do.”
No Virginia, There is no “Extra Cash”
Storey County Controller Hugh Gallagher told the Commissioners at the last Commission meeting that the county won’t have any real money to pay for the things that the county needs until the abatements expire in 2024. Johnson’s reveal is the first whisper of what we may or may not be able to count on in the future. This information might just contradict the hopes that Commissioner Gilman’s recent proclamation of Abundance 2.0 at the same meeting.
We have been holding our breath for the last 5 years expecting to hold it for another five years. From the sounds of things, we may be holding it for a lot longer than that.