I live in the middle of the Blair Oaks campus. The students are great. They never walk through my yard. They are always courteous and say things like, "How are you sir?"
I feel like this is because of our superintendent, Jim Jones, his staff, Deputy Ralph Lemongelli and the parents.
People often ask how can you live in the middle of all that goes on between activities and events at the school buildings and sports complex; to be honest, we miss it when there is not something going on.
That was the letter I was going to write. However, since the surtax misdistributions came up, I have contacted the Cole County Presiding Commissioner two or three times and he will not return my calls.
I did request a copy of the statute of limitations. Again, no response from Marc Ellinger. That leads me to believe that it does not exist.
Blair Oaks does a good job with the funds they receive. For the last four years, Blair Oaks has spent less per pupil to educate students than any of the other 522 school districts in Missouri.
I think that Cole County expects Blair Oaks will figure out a way to come up with the money to pay back the county. This is unfair that Blair Oaks should be punished for doing a good job. It appears to me that we take care of the people who do a lousy job and we punish the people who do a good job.
I think Ellinger is missing the point. He should congratulate Jones for repeatedly questioning Cole County officials about increases in surtax revenues that did not reflect economic trends.
It was not the fault of Jones or Blair Oaks that the Cole County officials turned a deaf ear to annual concerns expressed. This is not about Ellinger or Jones. This is about the children living in the Blair Oaks school district and I feel they should be the most important thing. I think it is about time that we start working together and get this mess straightened out. If we think of the kids, the solution is simple. My son taught me a long time ago, you never make something like this personal. Ellinger has made this personal between himself and Jones.