School board must address root of problem


The following letter was written and hand delivered to the members of the Sumter School Board by Loyd Young on Dec. 20, 2016:

The Sumter Item reported the finances of your district are a mess. Mr. Baker has a plan to fix the problems. Now you are having a secret meeting to discuss the matter.

Little in the paper has focused on the real problem, Mr. Baker. Many of you have ties to him. He has promoted you or your family members. For once, think about your children and grandchildren and Sumter's children.

We know Baker told you there had to be no bid contracts for millions of dollars over the last few years. When I questioned that, he said it was done because of an emergency. He never could really explain the emergency but said there would be no more no bid contracts. When contracts were bid, the company that got the no bid contracts didn't even bid!

Baker tried to get you to approve millions and millions to do construction projects. But he didn't want you to select the projects! He just wanted you to approve the money. Then he got upset because some of you questioned the process. You wanted to see how other districts did it. You were told no.

Now the district is critically low on money. Baker knew about this months ago and did not tell you. He should have known about it all along but he does not have qualified people fully focused on keeping track of the money, over $2 million a week! That is just not right. It's costing Sumter millions. Worse, it is not helping our teachers and schools. Our children need and deserve better.

I'm not questioning Baker's honesty. It's just that the outcomes for Sumter are too bad to continue. He has no vision and his administration is just not working.

Baker's solutions for current problems, pay and work cuts for others in the district. No! You should cut his pay or simply fire him.

Put your personal connections to him aside and take action for Sumter. That is your job as board members because you are personally responsible for the future of our children.