Bill O'ConnorCity - County Gov.HendersonvilleNews Stories

Like mice and flies, and blood-sucking mosquitoes


By Bill O’Connor –

You just can’t make this stuff up. When the Henderson County Public Schools (HCPS) / Board of Public Education (BOPE) presented their budget request to the Commission at its special May 28th meeting to hear budget requests, “Chairperson” Bazzle of the BOPE stepped forward for the schools: “And I am going to talk in terms of increases from last year. We start at a zero budget like everyone else and then add in the budget for last year.” What can you say about this sort of ignorance except that, from the “Chairperson” of the BOPE’s mouth to Commission Chairman Messer’s ear, it is close enough for government work. As most of you know, what Bazzle describes as a zero budget is the perfect definition of the corrupt practice of assuming-increases-every-year that actual zero based budgeting was DESIGNED TO CURE. If our public officials do not even know the definitions of the terms with which they misinform us, what else might they not know? Bazzle might as well have said we honor the Seventh Commandment by stealing a wallet; come to think of it, that analogy is perfectly appropriate for what we are talking about here.

Today is day 20 waiting for the (un) timely response of HCPS to our request for copies of all English tests and examinations given to 4th and 5th graders in our schools since the first of this year. We requested these papers in order to see the other pages of the test given by Mr. Kinsey to 4th graders at Marlow Elementary, whose first page is shown nearby, and whether or not this test was a one time “incident”, or a common standard for all schools. The stonewalling we are experiencing points clearly in the direction of indoctrination in so-called progressive policies being wide-spread, throughout Henderson County surely, perhaps even state-wide. We will include the test page nearby in each future weekly column on our schools until they comply with our respectfully made request, which represents our, and your, right to know. Too much time has passed, way too much for an uncorrupted county school system, for a timely response since the documents were requested. Our prior requests of the Finance Director were handled in a businesslike, cooperative way. This request was made directly of the Superintendent’s office; different standards seem to hold sway there, or fear of exposure. We will look into alternatives to waiting.

The indoctrination of our children in support of ever more wasted spending is intolerable. The incredibly poor academic showing in our Dewey inspired totally wrong-headed approach to education is part of a national shame and disgrace. These and having 80% of our money support teachers come back to us with Raleigh/Washington strings and under the direction of National Education Association (NEA) (NCAE) here in North Carolina, lead us to believe that serious consideration must be given to local control. HCPS and the County Commission may try to scare you that it might cost everyone a thousand or more for each household’s taxes; but the vast majority of our state taxes go for schools. And a thousand per family less to the state would give the county over $50 million more for the schools we certainly want to, and definitely need to, reform.

These are the most important issues with our Henderson County schools, but not the only ones. We are in the specific season of taking; that puts the school budget on the front burner. HCPS asks you and me, through our Commissioners, for our fifth of $20 million or so more than is reasonable which they use to hire more people than can ever be productive for educating, and let it be known how they turn out those votes for politicians willing to go along. You have probably heard it said that a little corruption is just a cost of liberty; really? Aren’t we better than that? Remember the incredible turn around in policing made in all crime in New York under Giuliani just by paying attention to the little things like vandalism and simple muggings. It isn’t pretty and it is corruption, and it is our corruption; and it will continue, and grow, and contribute to worse things, as it already does, unless and until WE decide to stop it.

It is not just the HCPS/BOPE that needs close monitoring (they meet each second Monday, 6:30, at Fourth and Buncombe Streets) but the Commissioners actions on the budget request. Proper oversight is not micromanagement. The Commissioners meeting schedule can be found at, as can that of the BOPE at These are the two branches of government with the greatest effect on our day-to-day lives. It takes millions to elect a President; and hundreds of thousands to elect a Senator or Representative to change all that needs fixing in Washington, but just a few hundred of us can often turn the tide locally. Join me and a handful of others. Get involved in government at a level at which we can be effective every two years ourselves. In just two elections, four years, we can change any or all of our Commissioners or BOPE members as we choose. Until then the thousands of tax consumers supported by HCPS spending will continue to decide our local elections.

It would be helpful if you would make the effort to, at the very least, demand that HCPS purchases be monitored; that the BOPE do the monitoring as the least part of its duty; that low prices, at least for equipment, that is offered on the web be considered to be bids; that HCPS provide justification for spending more than the best bid off or online. If citizens don’t watch and listen, corruption of all kinds slips in like mice, flies, and blood-sucking mosquitoes through the open door.

If your child is in Mr. Kinsey’s class or has been subjected to testing similar to that reportedly of Mr. Kinsey’s fourth grade at Glen C. Marlow and you have concerns contact me with complete confidence in our respect for your privacy at: or

Share this story
Show More

Related Articles