LETTER: Save the Schools by Trimming Fat 

While driving back roads in neighboring counties, I would occasionally notice a spiffy new house trailer in front of an old frame house in various stages of decline. The story almost wrote itself. Someone had gotten possession of the house, lived in it without maintenance until discomfort forced them to move on, into the trailer.

It occurred to me that the same mentality manages our school system. Somehow, while we were distracted or too trusting, officials with that trailer-trash mentality have crept into positions of decision-making and allowed our public treasure to degrade.

Now comes the cry for new buildings and more money. It's akin to killing one's parents and then pleading, "Mercy, I'm an orphan."

Forgive this personal reference. My father was superintendent of schools in Mathews and Gloucester counties. His staff was one office secretary in each county. He and the principals ran the show. He visited every classroom, randomly, not infrequently. There were very few problems.

Trim the fat. Show me blood. How many roofs could be maintained with the salaries of Mayor Dwight Jones' staff of 20-some advisers at $200,000, none of whom can fix a pothole.

You officials with that trailer-trash mentality, do one final noble act. Just stay home. Let the system collapse. Maybe then the discomfiture will give rise to someone who understands the nature of money, protecting and maintaining the public treasure.

Sam Forrest
Richmond

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