LETTER: There shouldn’t ever be ‘carryover’

Published 5:44 pm Friday, February 23, 2024

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To the Editor:

I live in Columbia, South Carolina, but I will always consider the Southampton County/Franklin area to be my home. 

I applaud Del. [Otto] Wachsmann and Sen. [Emily] Jordan’s opposition to the bills allowing state agencies to decide on local solar installations.  Sometimes, actions can be made more fairly and efficiently at the state or federal level rather than at the local level.  This is not one of those times.  I find it interesting the two sponsors of the bills live in Fairfax and Charlottesville, and I wonder if they’d have the same stance if a solar project were going up in their backyard.  As for Del. [Richard] Sullivan’s statement that “we need to find some way to implement this policy and goal that we’ve set for ourselves,” perhaps it would be more appropriate to ponder the wisdom of the policy and goal itself.

On denying “carryover funding” to the FCPS system, shame on the FCPS leadership, and good for the council.  A budget process provides the opportunity to study the needs of an organization and request funding to cover those needs.  In my opinion, there shouldn’t ever be “carryover.”  The needs outlined for this funding were likely clear a year ago.  If not, they are clear now.  In the former situation, the projects should have been budgeted last year; in the latter, they should be in this year’s budget.  It seems that the school system’s budgeting process needs improvement.  Throughout the year, there’s plenty of opportunity to look forward to the real needs of the system, and this request for “carryover” indicates to me that the budget process was haphazard at best.  Of course, there are always unknown and unseen issues that will pop up.  That’s called contingency budgeting, and it’s appropriate when used sparingly.  Put more effort into a realistic budget, FCPS, and stop playing games with the citizens’ tax dollars.

Doug Marks

Columbia, South Carolina