LOUISA, Ky. — Some controversy arose this morning after the smoke cleared from the awesome 2022 Lawrence County Fair over the weekend.
Questions swarmed about Martin County school busses used at the Fair to shuttle fairgoers to the various events on Saturday night.
Who sent the busses since Martin County BOE officials told Preston they did not approve sending them?
Why weren’t Lawrence County busses used?
Lawrence County BOE chairman Heath Preston posted his answer to the questions on his FB page today at 6:00 pm.
As bad as I hate to acknowledge the ignorant slander from a few self-centered egoists that believe everything is because of themselves, I guess I must respond.
The Board of Education voted ‘no’ to lend buses for the County Fair because of policy, not politics.
Board policy states; The Board will not grant, lease, or lend school vehicles to groups or organizations that are not part of the school program. Policy 06.5
It simply would be breaking policy. This was put in place in 1998.
You may ask, “Well just change the policy?” Its not that simple. Most of our policies are based on laws, recommended by KSBA and written into law from our state legislature and federal government. These policies are put into effect to be able to protect funding sources we use currently. There are a few ways we purchase buses, specials programs and grants, leases, bonds, and purchasing them ourselves. We are required by law to carry insurance on all vehicles, and they require policies that protect their interests and ours.
I have been asked, “Well what about the Noah Concert?” The concert was on BOE property and was a school sponsored event, which allowed us to participate.
I have heard, “Well you’ve done it before, why not now?’” Well, I believe our board has always followed policy and law, and we have a board attorney that we continuously ask to provide legal advice to protect our school system. Which we did in this case also.
We want to help, we always try to help, but we must follow the policies put in place to protect our schools and our people and our taxpayers. We will not make it up as we go, and dictate nonsense that could potentially damage our hard work or break policy. I took an oath of office to uphold the law and protect the schools’ best interests for the public’s wellbeing, and no one will bully or persuade me to do anything illegal or unethical. It may work on many, but not me.
Martin County from what I have been told, did not consult with their board attorney, did not get board approval, broke their own policy, and just as I was concerned, was involved in an accident that will now go against their insurance and cost themselves additional expenses. I have spoken to their people, and apologized for this nonsense surrounding the situation. They were just trying to be good neighbors, and there are no hard feelings.
Also, these are volatile times. We cannot and should not put our school system in a situation where it could even potentially cost us additional funds. With the new open borders law, a school now inside of our own district, inflation driving basic expenses through the roof, staff deserving more raises, buildings needing repairs, ETC. We must protect ourselves as much as possible from the extra unaccounted for expenses. That includes extra risk. If we lose 100 students it would decrease our funding in the range of $450,000 dollars. That would put us back into a situation where essential items would have to be cut, like services, staff, and programs. A lawsuit or additional cost to insurance would only increase those cuts. We must be fiscally responsible. We must think not only for today, but tomorrow, next year, and ten years from now.
I made the right decision, our board made the lawful, correct decision. We listened to our Board Attorney and others.
This is just another feet-stomping, childish temper tantrum from someone who did not get their way, trying to make something from nothing. The continuous circle of picking fights only causes embarrassment to us all.
We see it every………single……. time……..
If you must continue the slanderous disinformation, please focus it on myself, I will take it all with pride. As our board and Superintendent are good people serving with honor, and no one deserves how we are being treated, no one deserves to have to waste their time on manufactured lies designed to attack, which is why most people won’t run for office.
As for myself, I will continue to serve with dignity, honor and respect. I will continue to uphold the law and policy and the best interests of the taxpayers. I will continue to work to improve student safety and enhancement, I will continue to work to improve the livelihood of our staff, and I will continue to give my all to Lawrence County Schools. I could easily take my gloves off and give them more than they would ever want, but as my father always told me, “If you deal with a fool, you become one.”