Fri, May 24

Editorial: Cornville proved squeaky wheel still gets the grease

Folks in Cornville this week proved the old adage of the squeaky wheel being the one that gets the grease still rings true today.

From the onset of the budget nightmare facing the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District, it was the folks in Cornville who made their voices heard loudest and longest at school board meetings.

The budget issues facing the district are such that school administrators first threw out the option of closing down both the Oak Creek School in Cornville and Tavasci in Verde Village. That sparked the Cornville rallying cry of “Save Our School” that continued loud and long until Tuesday when the School Board backed down and agreed to only close Tavasci. Oak Creek will remain open as a “restructured” K-8 campus.

The protests from Cornville unfortunately bordered on threats that should the district close Oak Creek School, parents would not allow their children to be bused into Cottonwood. They made it known that Beaver Creek in Rimrock, Big Park in the Village of Oak Creek and Cornville’s own Desert Star charter school would gain greater numbers from the closure than C-OC would be able to retain by busing Cornville students to Cottonwood.

It wasn’t pretty, but contentious political battles seldom are.

What’s most important for the community now is the realization that Tuesday’s decision did not really solve any problems. The same budget issues that prompted the talk of closing Oak Creek still exist. The Tavasci closure no doubt eases some of the burden, but further restructuring and cutbacks still must be addressed.

The budgetary bloodletting is far from over.