In rejecting the school and library levy on Saturday, voters in Kanawha County did not let the school system down.
School officials let voters down by not appreciating the plight of the people for whom they work.
Charleston 2013 is not the same as Charleston 1983. The mills are small and the Chemical Valley is a shadow of its former greatness.
Yes, companies and industries rise and retreat. For example, coal mines succeeded the salt mines in the 19th century. But in the 21st century, the successors to the factories have been shopping centers and box stores.
No one knocks those jobs, of course, but retailers cannot support as many institutions as strongly as the chemical industry.
But four of the five members of the Kanawha County Board of Education think it's the golden age of the
Regatta, when we had corporate sponsors willing to spring for an Alabama concert.
Only school board president Pete Thaw gets that the taxpayers of Kanawha are tapped out. Twenty years ago as the chemical industry began to fade, voters rejected a 100 percent school excess levy for the first time in nearly 60 years.
After much histrionics from tone-deaf school officials, the board countered with a 93 percent excess levy, which voters approved.
Over time, the capped levy fell to 65 percent.
In recent years, though, Kanawha school officials have worked to get more money out of taxpayers, even as enrollment in grades kindergarten through 12 fell over the decades; the addition of pre-K has puffed up enrollment.
First, they sued to kick the library system off its levy, adding $3 million to the school budget.