Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mayor Wilder, again

Mr. Mayor,

I am deeply disappointed by your press conference yesterday, in which you suggested that spending by Richmond Public Schools is somehow related to increased real estate assessments in the City. Mr. Mayor, you know as well as I do that real estate assessments, by law, are based on a determination of the fair market value of property. These assessments have nothing to do with spending by RPS or any other city agency. Yet you are using obvious citizen dissatisfaction with their increased assessments to stir up public outrage against RPS. I believe your statement, which seems deliberately misleading, is highly irresponsible.

In your conference you also indicated that you intend to spend taxpayer money for a second audit of RPS. You apparently made this decision despite the fact that the city auditor just completed an audit which resulted in a report that is 149 pages long and contains over 50 recommendations. For you to procure a new audit is a total waste of public funds. As a taxpayer, I object to your wasteful spending.

Finally, I am very upset that you continue to try to divide the citizens of Richmond with your inflammatory language. When you were elected mayor, I expected that you would be a unifying force. Instead, I see you as the great divider. Mr. Mayor, please stop playing politics with the Richmond Public Schools. For those of our children whose parents cannot afford to move to the suburbs or to put their children in private schools, our public schools our the only hope they have to succeed in life. Your constant attacks can only harm our public schools and our children.

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