Most Columbia County citizens would probably agree with a comment made last week by School Board Chairman Roxanne Whitaker: We dont want to hear about it any more.
Whitaker was referring specifically to an ongoing struggle between the School Board and County Commission over payment of late fees for the school systems stormwater utility bills.
Set aside, for now, any opinions of the stormwater utility (or rain tax); the things tangled up in court, and wont be cleared up for a while yet. This argument over late fees says less about the stormwater utility than about strained relations between the countys two taxing and governing bodies. Represent-atives of both governments met last week, and while the meeting was mostly cordial, there clearly is strain.
Examples? In addition to being dunned for late fees on the stormwater utility, school officials are upset that county building officials forced them to spend more than an engineer said was necessary on paving Lewiston Elementarys parking lot. And County Commission Chairman Ron Cross was incredulous when Superintendent Tommy Price admitted former School Board Chairman Wayne Bridges had thrown away a letter from Cross without replying to it.
There have been other little things, but they all boil down to communication. Though last weeks meeting between the two bodies was tense at times, its a start; more conversations between the two governments clearly would help.
It may not solve the squabble over rain tax late fees, but at least it could head off future arguments. Cooperation is something wed much rather hear about.
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