This week at the Waynesboro City Council meeting, council members witnessed nearly 200 people passionate about getting their help with next year's school budget.
Many of them reminded Mayor Frank Lucente that he was up for re-election.
“There's always a lot of stuff that gets presented at election time,” said Lucente. “Sometimes people try to get things done then by putting pressure on the people in office that are up for election.”
Lucente said that the council should be able to work out some way to help the school board.
On Friday, he was presented with a 75 page petition from the community looking asking him to find the funds.
His opponent, former Council Woman Lorie Smith, said that the council has a surplus from last years raised taxes that should be used to help the city's schools.
“I believe that council needs to provide some leadership,” said Smith. “I think they need to step up and they need to partner with the school board and say this matters, our children matter. And we're going to help you close your gap.
Mayor Lucente says that the help is in the works, and it won't be coming in the form of tax increases for the next term.
“We're not raising taxes,” said Lucente. “We have a growth rate which we're able to give our employees a raise and do the things necessary for the city that people want. But we can do it without tax increases.”
Smith said that there is a simple solution to increase the city's funds.
“Really proactively going after business and industry which we have a vast opportunity to do here in Waynesboro,” said Smith.
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