Monday, September 10, 2012

Answers must follow McGonegal resignation

Tim McGonegal fell on his sword Monday.
He had to.
It was the only way to go for the Manatee County school superintendent, whose resignation effective immediately was announced at Monday evening's school board meeting.
The dramatic development was just the latest in a chain of events that has staggered the school district and left the community wondering, What's next?
Last Wednesday when McGonegal announced his retirement, there was little or no surprise.
Considering the mounting problems he had been trying to deal with since he took over in January 2009 --- budget cuts, a fractured school board, personnel problems, etc., etc., etc. --- it made sense.
What happened two days later did not.
When the other shoe dropped on Friday, it did so with a resounding crash.
A $3.4 million budget deficit?
McGonegal's forte was his financial acumen.
So how something like this could happen on his watch is difficult to understand.
Fifty-eight new teachers are hired and that's not calculated into the budget?
Given the questions that have arisen over time about how the district spends our tax dollars, this egregious oversight absolutely warrants an audit from top to bottom.
If ever there was a crisis of confidence in how our school system conducts its business, this is it.
McGonegal said Friday he'd made his decision to retire long before there was a hint of this whopping discrepancy.
One had nothing to do with the other, he said.
Human nature being what it is, people will suspect otherwise.
So McGonegal did what he had to do.
He fell on his sword.

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