To: Bill Horne, Clearwater City Manager
Bill ... I hope the Mayor was misquoted in the paper this morning, when he reportedly said "I think it's something (they) should pick up." Although from later remarks it doesn't appear that he was. You may need to remind him that he personally lobbied me to maintain the current relationship with Clearwater PD, just last year, as did the Chief and a number of your council members.
You may remember the gnashing of teeth last fall which prompted those pleas - when I wanted to relieve you of the now "apparent burden" by contracting for SRO services with the Sheriff's Office, which then would have saved taxpayers and the district thousands of dollars - for the Mayor to just now find this new religion is perplexing at best. Please let your council know that we will do the right thing- if they do not fund the positions, we will reallocate resources to pay for the service, but I will likely recommend the option that I was trying to put in place last year.
The current relationship between the city and school system has existed for years and has been protected by the Chief and previous Mayors and Councils and I sincerely hope that it can be maintained, after the uncertainty of the session is resolved. However, you and the Mayor know that simply shifting the "burden" from one taxing authority to another - may be expedient but it is poor public policy. But then again ... like many of your residents find - I find the current posturing by local governments through the media and the juxtaposition of de-funding SRO's and traveling to baseball games in the name of economic development interesting and perhaps a public policy issue as well.
On a personal note Bill - I would have expected the courtesy of a call before the news media started to call or at least word given to your administrative assistant to let my call through - rather then to say you were in meetings and be left to ask for someone I could speak to - only to be sent to a PIO who didn't pick up ... and then bounced to a secretary who didn't pick up.
Clayton Wilcox, Superintendent of Schools
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