December 5, 2012
The Fluvanna County School Board and Board of Supervisors tried something new on Wednesday night. They sat face to face, much earlier than past years, to talk about next year's budget.
"Planning, thinking ahead and bringing that information back to the boards respectively. We said you know, often times we never sit down with the Board of Supervisors until February, and that's too late," said Fluvanna County School Board chair, Camilla Washington.
Wednesday night's joint meeting was a pleasant surprise for Fluvanna parents, school staff members and the board members themselves.
"I felt like they were generally looking towards the future and working well together. Listening, respecting what one another had to say without having to compromise their vision," said parent and school social worker, Susan Daly.
And that respectful conversation lead some to believe that both boards are willing to take a big step forward together.
"They were focused on the future and kind of stop looking backwards and start looking forwards and working together as a team," Daly said.
With a lot on the school board's table to consider for next year's budget and with the federal and state government's putting pressure on local governments, both boards are keeping an open mind about 2013.
"At the end of the meeting, Mr. Ullenbach said you know he learned from tonight and I think the school board actually learned from some information that we got from the Board of Supervisors," Washington said.
"I'm grateful for Mr. Kenney for saying 'I think we need to have this conversation again next month,' I think that's very important and I think that sets the tone for our budget season."
One thing both boards agreed was definitely in Fluvanna's future is a new elementary school. They said conversation needs to start on that now, to avoid any fiscal issues in the future.