Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mystery Solved

An editorial in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette cuts to the chase. They point out that it remains a mystery who was behind the alleged $60 million option offer-of-sorts to buy the Fayetteville High School, presented as a surprise by Bobby New for the secret group he had been meeting with for weeks. They also point out that it is irrelevant, which sounds right, unless one could see it as a reflection on the character of those involved in bartering away public property behind closed doors and a corporate veil.

Then the editorial makes a solid deduction. "Now the only remaining offer for the fire sale of the campus is from the University of Arkansas, a bid of $50 million. No doubt to be paid for by higher tuition from future students at the university. And if the high school is sold, especially for a low $50 million, residents of Fayettteville will be asked to make up the higher cost of a new, relocated campus with a millage increase. Things are getting more expensive for everybody involved."

Next, they solve the problem -- and the real mystery, which is why Bobby New and the majority of the Fayetteville School Board have not been able to understand the best solution. "Here’s a suggestion that isn’t mysterious at all," the editor says. "Find a way to re-do the high school where it stands, which is on one of the finest pieces of real estate in Northwest Arkansas. That way the cost—for all—will be lower and the kids get to stay at the school’s traditional location. It’s a simple, straightforward solution. "

Elementary, my dear Percival.

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