Montgomery County: Fantasy vs. Reality

On the financial front, anyway.

Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday claims the performance of Montgomery County Schools under Joshua Powell’s management will be part of his decision to approve his termination. (Hello? Change this, Frankfort, give boards the authority to fire corrupt jackasses)

Financial performance would be part of that.

Powell has claimed in the media, various letters to officials ($9.2 million in a letter to Holliday) and during school board meetings that the district has much as $9.5 million in contingency/reserve. It’s one of his talking points — that he brought the district out of dark financial times and left it with millions upon millions of dollars.

Powell’s definitely not impartial auditor, Artie White, claimed during a December school board meeting that the district had about $8 million in reserve and would finish the year with about that. White’s audit (Warning: External PDF Link) indicated huge numbers on the cash front. $8.02 million huge:


Unfortunately for Powell and White?

The district’s own budget — prepared by Powell’s inner circle — say the year will finish with about $6.3 million in contingency:


And next school year? Just $5.5 million:


Fascinating stuff.

Being off anywhere between $2 million to $4 million is not a small thing. Not a miscalculation. It’s a flat-out lie.

It doesn’t help matters that the district is bringing in more money while the contingency fund shrinks.

Since we’re talking about government, we may as well call it what it truly is: potential fraud. Deceit and trickery perpetrated by Joshua Powell. And he’s definitely gained from it because he continues to use the district’s financial health as a talking point in defending his actions. Even though his claims clearly don’t hold up to reality.

In one of Powell’s letters to the editor, he claimed the district had suffered significant budget cuts. But the district’s own budget proves otherwise.

This is why Montgomery County still can’t have nice things.