The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 10, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013

Fayette schools chief is misleading public

Open letter to Keith Butcher, superintendent of Fayette County Schools:

I am amazed at your continued comments and behavior in regard to the decree by the State Board of Education. As I understand, you were appointed superintendent by the state board, therefore you work at its will and pleasure.

In September, you were assigned a task by the state board. Now you continue, as I see it, to disagree with the assignment and join forces with Leon Ivey. At the September state board meeting when Mr. Ivey spoke and at the conclusion of his comments, only one person applauded (very loudly) and that was you.

You continue to promote doom and gloom for Fayette County Schools. I disagree. I have worked in numerous Fayette County schools and know most of the personnel at the schools. Fayette County teachers and service personnel are doing a great job and going above the call of duty to educate our children.

If we are in such financial problems, I suggest you begin by looking at Central Office where I see an overstaffed office with extremely high salaries. Much misinformation is continued to be supplied to the press concerning Fayette County and Meadow Bridge area.

Fayette schools have been poorly maintained for years, monies mismanaged and weak administration.

The information about Meadow Bridge schools has been very misleading. There are only 68 Summers County students, pre-school through 12th grade, less than half in the high school. There are three students from Greenbrier County.

If the high school students are relocated, then the buildings are not going to be closed like other schools that were  closed.

Yes, the school is small but it is successful. Why not share the correct information with the public. There is so much hostility in this country and county that is not needed. 

I would like to suggest, Mr. Butcher, that you begin working again closely with the State Board of Education and Dr. Phares and let Mr. Ivey continue his attack on Fayette County Schools and Meadow Bridge. Mr. Dials did not cooperate with the state board and he is not in Fayette County at this time. Will and Pleasure are big words again. I suggest you let Mr. Ivey do his dirty work and that you do the task you were assigned by the State Board of Education.

We in the Meadow Bridge Area feel like Israel in the Middle East. (Nuke)

Randall Patterson

Meadow Bridge

TWV not only place with reduced funding

In the article: “Council sees businessman’s vision for ‘the hole’ in the Wednesday, Sept. 25, issue of The Register-Herald, Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh is referenced as saying “a lot of funding went to Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, but $20,000 in funding was cut for TWV.” This statement is misleading.

In fact Lewisburg’s Carnegie Hall, like Theatre West Virginia and arts organizations throughout West Virginia, received less money from the state this year than in past years. These smaller allocations reflect Gov. Tomblin’s request for state agencies to trim their budgets by 7.5 percent last year. There was simply less money to go around. Unfortunately, arts organizations around the state were affected.

Gov. Tomblin has always been fiscally conservative and has recognized the need to make small cutbacks across state government until the economy fully recovers. Nevertheless, these cuts are painful to arts organizations that make such a different to the quality of life in our communities.

I am sorry that the cuts to Theatre West Virginia were significant enough to cause it to close; however TWV is not alone in dealing with the reality of reduced state funding for the arts. I applaud the efforts of arts organizations that use this funding wake-up call to sharpen their pencils, re-examine their missions and their audiences, and emerge stronger.

John Manchester


City of Lewisburg