Valiant efforts

Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I am going to offer a commendation to some people involved in the current budget negotiations between Lunenburg County’s government and Lunenburg County Public Schools.

It is a difficult situation for all parties involved, so it may seem like an odd circumstance to address by commending anyone, but I’ll explain.

Lunenburg County school officials have asked the county government to increase funding for the schools by $794,786 for fiscal year (FY) 2017-18. In the proposed FY 2017-18 county operating budget that county supervisors have voted to advertise, the supervisors have recommended an increase of $250,384, more than $544,000 less than school officials requested.

Division Superintendent Charles Berkley Jr. said the school board’s proposed budget was based on needs only.

“We are doing the best we can to manage our current budget without impacting classrooms and academics,” he said.

He noted that to cut costs, the school system has not taken on any capital improvements, deferred purchasing school buses and given more duties and assignments to existing staff rather than replacing departed personnel.

“(There is) no more meat on the bone to scrape off,” he said. “We are operating on a ‘bare bones’ budget.”

At the same time, District One Supervisor T. Wayne Hoover indicated that significant time and effort had been put into seeing what the county could do for the schools, and that work translated into supervisors’ $250,384 recommendation.

“We know the school needs the money, and we’ve given every nickel we possibly can at this time,” Hoover said.

While the vast difference in requested and recommended amounts remains, imagine what the situation could be like if Berkley, Hoover and the supervisors were not giving their all to meet in the middle?

Because the circumstance is far from ideal, it could be easy to overlook their service, but I’d like to commend these men for their valiant efforts in trying times.

Titus Mohler is sports editor for The K-V Dispatch. His email address is