City leaders aren’t listening to the people

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2008

To the Editor:

Just a review of what has happened in our great city lately: The citizens have not been happy with our city leaders and the direction they have been taking the city. The city leaders told us if we care, to get more involved.

We did on many issues and it got us nowhere.

We then did the only thing left and elected two new reform-minded individuals to the City Council with an overwhelming message of change. Only problem is that they don’t take office until July. In the meantime, it’s budget time and the citizens were not happy with the city budget or real estate assessment increases. They went to the budget meeting and voiced their concerns and ways to cut the budget.

They were adamant about cutting back. What has happened? The City Council has not only passed the city budget as it was first proposed but has added more than $100,000 to it. You figure. They listened to nothing we said.

Now, let us look at our school board. It made the same mistakes over and over. Superintendent William Pruett was hired to be an interim superintendent. He never had superintendent experience. They never took time to look for a new one, which they said they would do, but quite unexpectedly signed him to a two-year contract. Still, Pruett announced his retirement. But what have we gotten from him? Last year’s SOL results are still haunting us. Teacher morale is low. We had a front office staff that took away from teachers and bloated in salaries.

Instead of looking and getting an experienced person, we got a part-time superintendent with no experience. He is over his head and he now realizes this. Do we need his help getting us out of this situation? No. But, how many more times will our school board make the same mistakes over and over while our schools suffer?

Next, the city is advertising for a network and system administrator. Why is this going from part-time to full-time status? Why doesn’t the person need a college degree? Why don’t you advertise the salary? Is this something that is trying to be hidden from the public here? Hopefully, this job will not be filled until after July 1 so our new City Council members can look into it.

Finally, the city takes pride in the new boat ramp and our new railroad museum. But let’s be honest. How many people will really enjoy this? You do the math. Why can’t someone in the city or chamber or community development do something to help get our movie theater back?

We all enjoyed the movie theater and people as far as North Carolina came to go see movies here. Can’t you get the shopping center owners and the movie theater owner together to get it back? If you worked as hard on this as trying to move the farmers’ market to downtown Franklin, it could happen.

As I said in the beginning, you figure.

Jennifer Bernocco