Tue
Jul 31 2007
09:13:am

According to Blount Today, Blount County Commission, the Board of Education, and the Public Building Authority are having a workshop on Aug. 8th to settle some differences:

...issues have been raised about the cost of PBA services and allocation of costs among projects, division of responsibilities between the mayor’s budget staff and the PBA, the necessity of written contracts between the PBA and the county and payment for PBA services.

I have to agree with Blount County Mayor Jerry Cunningham, who is quoted in the article as saying there should be a written contract. There's too much money involved and too many important projects to be left to verbal agreements and memory that tends to get fuzzy over time.

Watch how this plays in with

Watch how this plays in with the County going back to the Budget and Purchasing act of 1957.....

The good thing...

...about going back to the B&P Act of 1957 is that there will no longer be a discrepancy over who is in charge of the money allotted to the schools. According to TCA, the school board is in charge of the money. In the Act of '81 (if memory serves me on the name), you had Alvin Hord and Roads Superintendent Dunlap over monies allotted to all departments including schools. Now, that is truly blurry. I suspect if it had been challenged in court, it would have been a losing venture. However, everyone understood that the Act of '81 was invoked to take budgetary power away from Mayor Woodruff, who was thought to be "impaired."

Don't know how the PBA business will be affected. Hope Cunningham won't be able to ruin yet another good thing.

PBA and Bennett

The quoted statement adds some insight into the issues. I thought it was more of Cunningham's ego, but it looks like Bennett and his staff have some issues as well. But I agree, something needs to be in writing, and I do think the PBA is a good thing.

They were already UNDER contract!

IMHO, this really IS just a combo of Cunningham's ego and retribution for Howard Kerr's run against him for Mayor.

And who is paying the price? We citizens. There was no case where the PBA was taking advantage of anything -- things were working just fine. It was the Mayor who took advantage of any legalistic blurriness, if it existed. Now, the completion of a couple of schools is at risk, just because Cunningham inserted himself into the process. I mean, you DID catch that Bennett stopped paying the PBA, right?? I'm not implying he did it without orders from Cunningham, of course...

It is absurd to think the Mayor's office should take over the duties of the PBA and absurd to think it is okay to cut off funding of the amount agreed upon so long ago. Note that the school board was totally happy with the arrangement from the get-go.

We will not pay less in the end (and probably more) -- only the name on the check will change.

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