Mayor Mitchell’s Failure to Fulfill Fiscal Duties Costs Taxpayers $1.6million

Two weeks ago WBCR AM1470 requested the cost of the contracts issued by the school board to resolve it’s backlog of failed maintenance issues resulting in a $90+ Million High School
Renovation Project for Wm. Blount and Heritage High Schools.

 Blount County Schools in August and November 2017 signed contracts with Lawler Wood LLC for $489,740 and Michael Brady Inc. for $1.16 to provide a renovation construction plan for  Heritage and William Blount High schools for which they will by contract receive another 5.5 percent fee or approximated $5million for services rendered in the execution of the project.

TCA 5-6-106  outlines other duties of the County Mayor beyond Chief Financial officer include
serving “as a nonvoting ex-officio member of each committee of the county legislative body”.
Therefore he has failed to assist the Education Committee or the School Board  over the last two years to find a way to finance backlogged  maintenance projects.

 The maintenance projects at the root of these renovation projects have been needed for several years,
such as failing to repair and maintain the science lab classrooms, at both high schools, the visitors dressing room in the Heritage Gym and the HVAC Air Conditioning pipes that are the source of the “Water Intrusiion” at William Blount requiring the running of 19 industrial dehumidifiers down the south hall next to the library and adjoining classrooms.

 If Mayor Mitchell would have attended to these issues coming before the Education Committee over the past 9 years he has been in office he would have been able to have his budget director 
or maintenance management team offer solutions to addressing these maintenance and repair issues before they have become a health and safety threat to some of the William Blount students in WBCR’s opinion.

Instead the unmanageable $90 + million renovation project has been rejected by the Mitchell administration suggesting that Fund 177 be used to fund these needs.  Had Mayor Mitchell been visiting the Education Committee as TN Code requires the schools could have avoided spending $1.6 million in Architural fees and solved several of the underlying maintenance and repair needs for our student and teachers. 

 A prudent Mayor would have been going to school board meetings or at least meeting
with board members and or the Director for schools frequently enough to head off the failed $1.6
expense the the humble opinion of WBCR.

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