Editor,

I read (Mecklenburg County) Commissioner (Karen) Bentley’s letter to the editor this week and must respectfully disagree. The new “rank order” mandate from the county is far different, in my opinion, than what she described in her letter. As with most things in this world, the devil is in the details.

Although the new rubric may have good intentions on the surface, in my opinion it is a power grab by the county at best. This new system is not just about managing our tax dollars – it is about setting and mandating the priorities of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools when it comes to construction and upgrades within the school system.

I am more than comfortable with being fiscally conservative and protecting the county’s pristine credit rating, but this is more than that. And the issue I am concerned with is larger than just building Stumptown Elementary.

I urge all readers to contact the county and review the presentation they gave us all at Torrence Creek Elementary recently. I urge the readers to review the new “scoring system” that the county is so proud of, that involved Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools “at all levels.” And then look at the details and make a conclusion for yourselves.

Call your school board member and ask them what they think of the new Board of County Commissioners’ ranking system. Call school facilities staff and ask their opinion of how involved they were in this new process. The left hand isn’t talking to the right hand at this point, folks.

Do we need to sit down and prioritize whether to build parks, schools or a jail? Yes. That is important in this new economic environment we are in. The Board of County Commissioners should focus on that. However, presumably we elected and/or hired the people within Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to do their jobs. Presumably, we have the right people within the school system to set their own priorities. If the county does not trust the school district staff, then we should fire them all. If the residents of the county do not believe that we have elected the right people for the school board, then we need to vote them out. Otherwise, my request of the Board of County Commissioners is to get out of their way and let school system leaders do their jobs!

– Todd Bowland, Huntersville