Lesson Learned - May 7

By George, George Carver did it again! Over a long and distinguished career, our Treasurer for the Upshur County Schools has saved us a bundle of money while managing to secure good deals for our school system. Usually, he is humble about his feats of business management, but sometimes he crows a bit like he did at our April 14th public Board of Education meeting.

“Nobody else has done this—I do not know why!” Mr. Carver proclaimed. The “it” he did this time, is save us $80,000 on the purchase of four new school buses. We are continually in the market for buses, as we operate the largest public transport system in our county. And for about five years, West Virginia was suffering severely in a prolonged recession. The Governor and Legislature ordered the State Board of Education to keep our buses beyond the recommended time for most efficient operation because new purchases just were not possible.

George Carver kept our Upshur County BOE in the information loop, pointing out the potential difficulty with carrying our children on older buses. He kept his eyes on our goal of having a safe and efficient system but also our goal of remaining in the black with a positive balanced budget, as is required by law.

What Business Manager Carver did for the betterment of all is seize a win-win opportunity. The Environmental Protection Agency announced an opportunity to purchase up to four buses at a $20,000 savings on each bus, so as to get old diesel buses, with their dirty emissions, off the highways, replacing them with energy efficient, cleaner running machines. The EPA Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) proved to be a great deal on many levels for Upshur County Schools.

All of us breathe the air and want it to be clean. All of us have concern for climate change with the release of excess carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And we put the safety of our children first, so well-performing buses are a must.

So, George Carver sharpened his pencil one more time before his retirement—applying before others for the lawfully allowed rebates for four new buses. His eagle eye spotted the deal. The EPA agreed! All our BOE needed to do was agree to retire four old buses, which is what we did at our mid-April meeting.

Certainly, George, you deserve to crow! 

And Jeffrey B. Perkins was approved by the BOE at the same meeting to be our next Upshur County Schools Treasurer / Chief School Business Officer. He will assume duties on July 1, 2020. With his leadership, we will continue to put the education of our children and grandchildren first. By now, as he surely knows, Mr. Perkins has some mighty big shoes to fill being left by Mr. Carver.


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