Thank You, Commissioners

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

I want to thank the five county commissioners who voted down the ridiculous property tax increase. Your votes reflected the wishes of the electorate – and that is exactly as it should be. The voting citizen is inundated by “promises” during pre-election campaigns. By casting our vote we select the candidate that will (we hope) best represent our best interests. Yes, there are always losers – campaign one platform, then once elected, enact a hidden agenda that serves only to honor secret promises made to secure campaign funds and satisfy special interests. 

This is now the time to restructure the school funding and administration systems. The HCDE budget is ever growing to a massive portion of the county budget. To control, secure and administer that large budget demands leadership at the reigns with a business background. A leader and supporting staff that realistically can develop a working budget best utilizing the resources in hand. Realize the HCDE is a business and must be operated in the same manner with logical, sane decisions as how to apply the resources (and personnel) in hand to sell their product - public education.

HCDE must be operated as a for profit corporation, its product is the student. HCDE is more than the “teachers” or “students.” Consider it to be two contributing factors (divisions). One, the physical properties and supporting personnel (buildings, maintenance, transportation, all non classroom related necessities, etc.), and the other being the classroom instruction (teachers, instruction materials, etc). Each division requires trained, qualified leadership in their field to work together to provide the best use of their budgeted resources in order that a saleable product (educated students) are produced and the investors see a return for the money they have invested.

Yes, education is a business, a big and ever growing business that demands it be handled and managed in a businesslike manner. Our elected county mayor and commissioners must spearhead a change in the HCDE structure to enact a tighter control and best use of its current resources. If HCDE were a private business that had to justify the massive production expense versus the saleable product (educated students) it would long ago have collapsed into bankruptcy.

Honestly that is where Hamilton County, Tennessee is headed unless the bottomless pit of the HCDE is restructured into a “for profit” business that generates a marketable product. That marketable product is a student who can successfully compete in the workplace.

Our Hamilton County education system needs a qualified business manager for each of the two above mentioned divisions. Have each of those divisions reporting to the HCDE CEO who has a very strong business background and is focused on the financial aspects of managing such a massive budget.  If the educational superintendent is relieved of the financial /budgetary responsibilities he/she can spend 100 percent of their time focused on the student.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

Tom Wheatley
Soddy Daisy


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Opinion

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