Track records give little comfort

Published 11:43 pm Friday, August 27, 2010

We doubt the upcoming meeting between Suffolk School Board members and those on the Suffolk City Council will produce any resolution of the years-long debate on a new school in the southern end of the city.

And just why do we have such a pessimistic outlook on this meeting? Track records.

For some reason, both elected bodies have turned into a political mess what was a well-thought out and fiscally responsible plan to consolidate the student bodies of Robertson Elementary and Southwestern Elementary into one school.

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Unfortunately, it is the students in those areas and the taxpayers of Suffolk who are caught in the middle of this political arm-wrestling match.

Last summer it appeared the question of whether to merge the schools had been decided.

The consolidated school would provide a quality education center to hundreds of our children and, if the fiscal projections are correct, would save thousands upon thousands of dollars each year for a school system desperate for dollars.

The problem now lies not with the idea of a merged school. It’s the selection process for the school site that has become an absolute mess.

We have been highly critical of both groups for their inability to move forward. We have said that every minute, every month, every year this school remains a thought rather than a reality represents more money lost. Now it has become fiscally irresponsible to delay a decision any further.

This upcoming face-to-face meeting between the two bodies is the best move either has thought of in months. Rather than continue the sniping back and forth, finally sitting down together should prove to be productive.

Then again, we have their track records on which to base our expectations, and that is hardly something to be excited about.

We hope we are wrong, and we are just waiting to celebrate a decision — whatever it is, whenever it is.