New Board Will Tackle Old Problems

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 27, 2010

Two new Davie County commissioners were installed Monday, provoking this question: Is the new board any smarter than the old?
Across the nation, local governments are sailing into difficult weather as the economy languishes. Even Washington has finally started worrying about its spending habits. With tax revenues continuing to decline, Raleigh is putting the brakes on spending. Santa’s bag isn’t as big as it used to be.
In biblical terms, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth at all levels of government as lawmakers come to grips with wants and needs.
Close to home, Davie County has a festering need to resolve its high school dilemma. Plaguing us for more than a decade, the high school inaction has become an embarrassment and source of ridicule. Students have been left with a maze of trailer classrooms to negotiate as they wait for their parents to quit fighting.
In Greek mythology, King Sisyphus had to constantly push a rock uphill to escape death. As soon as he reached the top, the rock fell back down, starting his task over and over and over. Fixing Davie High has been our own Sisyphean labor. To borrow another metaphor, every road map to the Promised Land has returned us to Egypt. This has been a case study in frustration.
New commissioner Robert Wisecarver has talked of building a new high school in the middle of the county. Commissioner Mark Jones has said the scuttled Farmington Road site was the best idea brought to the table, but he opposed the way it was to be funded. Everybody has an idea about how to deal with Davie High. That is part of the problem. All those ideas are in conflict.
Much as they would like, the county commissioners don’t decide where or how a school will be built. That is the Davie County Board of Education’s jurisdiction. Logic would suggest merely dividing the school, but this is not a logical world. Davie High evokes emotions in us that defy reason. Twice, very loudly, voters have indicated they prefer one high school. Twice, notably, eastern Davie voters have asked for their own school. That battle line is a problem. Once the great county unifier, Davie High is now an emotional stumbling block.
A diplomatic settlement should respect …