Fluvanna County voters should be very cautious of candidates who use misinformation, manipulated data and scare tactics. Elizabeth Franklin appears to be a candidate using all three.
In last week’s Fluvanna Review, Elizabeth Franklin’s full page political advertisement contained a number of anonymous quotes. Since no names were used, there’s no way to validate who said what. One quote speaks of the certainty of a $20 million elementary school. As Ms. Franklin knows from her attendance at the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors and planning commission meetings (as well as the September town of Columbia meeting), there are no immediate plans or commitments to build a new school. In fact, the School Board hasn’t even raised the need for a new elementary school. It is irresponsible for anyone running for office to knowingly use a “quote” that misrepresents the facts. Of course, she can distance herself by saying that it came from “someone” in the district in which she is running, a tactic used by candidates seeking state and national seats.
Ms. Franklin also co-authored the Fluvanna Taxpayers Association’s (FTA) School Cost Study that set out to show that we are the highest funded school district in our area by using formulas that are not recognized in credible school cost studies. The truth is that Fluvanna County spends less per pupil than any other surrounding county, with the exception of Orange County. Voters should be concerned that her insistence to paint our schools as over funded through the study while with the FTA has now transitioned into political ads citing concerns about teachers paying for supplies and class sizes.
While Ms. Franklin has worked very hard to show that the sky is falling, she has failed to share how she will work to prevent it from falling with a sustainable budget and expanding the tax base.