Schools shortchanged, but not the jail

Published 8:27 pm Wednesday, April 8, 2015

To the editor:

The city manager can find $1.2 million for convicted criminals but cannot find $1.9 million for the education of our children.

Last week City Council approved an additional $1.2M expenditure for the Western Tidewater Regional Jail on the recommendation of the city manager’s staff. The same day, the city manager submitted a proposed budget that shorted the schools’ expenditures by $1.9M.

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Clearly the city manager is a reactive rather than a proactive. She would rather spend money keeping our citizens in jail than spend money to keep them out of jail.

What should be of even more concern to the citizens of Suffolk is where our council members will place their priority.

As close as can be determined from the city’s convoluted budget documents, the general fund has approximately $65 million of unassigned funds. Which council members will vote to totally fund our schools, and which will short change our children when they have the money not to?

Chris Dove