Boyle should have chosen cheaper option for flowers

Published 7:02 pm Thursday, February 28, 2019

As a concerned citizen group taking interest in local government and taxpayer spending, a recent fiscal court meeting concerned us.

Jennifer Kirchner of the Constitution Square Visitor Center asked the magistrates for $2,200 to supply the Governor’s Circle flower bed at the park, with an additional $2,000 to be requested later to maintain said flower bed.

Magistrate Sammons is to be commended for attempting to save the taxpayers’ money and support local students by asking why we couldn’t purchase flowers from FFA greenhouses helping the organization and saving the court money. Ms. Kirchner said the FFA had supplied flowers in the past, but she wanted a group currently providing flowers for Danville locations to also provide them at the park to achieve “color flow, aesthetics, and continuity.”

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Taxpayers don’t care if hanging baskets exactly match the flower bed as long as we can save money!

Magistrate Cullen asked Ms. Kirchner outright what was the difference in price between using the FFA versus the city group, to which he DID NOT get a direct dollar amount answer, just a vague reply about having a “bundle” and if we bought the flowers elsewhere we would have to pay more for maintenance. So, why are we paying $2,000 to water and weed the bed? 

I believe we could find local volunteer groups to maintain the bed as community service at no charge and I believe that allowing our students to grow and plant the flowers can foster pride having their work displayed in a historical setting and community service participation.

I applaud Magistrates Sammons and Cullen for questioning the price tag for flowers. I would remind all magistrates that Constitution Square Park is going to be submitting a hefty list of repairs at the next budget session and the exorbitant cost of $4,200 for flowers and maintenance could have gone toward vital repairs.

Recently, County Treasurer Mary Conley stated that the county is spending more than we are taking in and with so many groups approaching fiscal court seeking financing, we need to look at cheaper ways of achieving goals. Again, I appreciate Sammons and Cullen for their endeavors and urge them to continue questioning these requests as they promote fiscally responsible spending.

Deb Arnold

We the People Concerned Citizens Group