Friday, January 26, 2007

Stop it Mr. Mayor, You're Hurting the City

Today I sent this email to Mayor D0ug Wilder:

Mr. Mayor,

I read with dismay your statement in the January 21 Mayor's Visions Newsletter "School Money Cannot Continue to be Wasted." Coming after your similar comments in your "state of the City" message, I can only conclude that your statements are intended to inflame public opinion against the School Board, the Superintendent of Schools, and others in the Richmond Public Schools administration. I consider it extremely irresponsible for the mayor of a city, whose job should include uniting the various factions in the city, to try to stir up so much animosity against decent public servants.

Your assertions that the school administration is wasting millions of dollars of taxpayer money while getting little in the way of results, is extremely misleading. The fact that you do not agree with some of the actions of the School Board does not mean money is being wasted. To assert that the Richmond Public Schools is not making progress in improving student achievement ignores that our schools have improved significantly in the past few years.

I am sure that the members of the School Board and the Superintendent are not satisfied with the progress that the schools are making. They are doing what they can to improve the quality of the schools.

You, on the other hand, can do nothing other than criticize, limit the City's share of school funds, exclude schools from your City of the Future and dispossess the School Board from its offices. In your January 20 speech, as reported in the Times Dispatch, you said you were not trying to pick fights with school officials. You said that "this has nothing to do with personalities" and that you have no desire to run the Richmond Public Schools. Unfortunately, your statements and actions make it hard to believe that your intent is innocent.

Mr. Mayor, I suggest that you keep eating the stuff that is already on your plate and allow the School Board and the Superintendent to do their jobs.

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