Re: Sheridan Press stories

The Sheridan Press’ staff is to be commended for an outstanding job of investigative reporting on the SCSD2 proposed multi-purpose recreational facility.

Regarding the story in Friday’s (March 21) newspaper, I don’t understand how the SCSD2 board president Richard Bridger can state that this proposal is still in the “exploratory” phases when the school district has given $17,500 to Ballard*King and Associates of Colorado to do a feasibility study, contracted with a Billings, Mont. (Hilltop Public Solutions) for a public relations campaign to ‘sell’ the idea of a bond initiative to pay for the recreational facility, and hired a lawyer in Powell to produce an opinion as to whether Whitney Benefits foundation funds could or should be used to pay for the facility — all this while still withholding the proposal from public knowledge, public discussion by the board, and a district board vote on the proposal in the presence of the public.

These are public funds that were spent and were generated by Sheridan County resident property taxes, money generated through fees collected from state lands, and the state’s Legislature appropriations – all given for the education of our children. Certainly, the community should have a say in whether this facility proposal will contribute to the education of our children and how it should be funded.

I suggest two actions need to be taken:

• First, our county commissioners and our local legislators should contact the state’s Attorney General’s office in Cheyenne and request an investigation as to whether the SCSD2 superintendent Craig Dougherty and SCSD2 board president Richard Bridger have acted contrary to state law and whether fiscal irregularity of funds (expenditures) has occurred. If criminal activities have occurred, the state should pursue recovery of those funds from those responsible.

• Lastly, I hope the community will feel a sense of outrage over the collusion between Sheridan Community College President Paul Young and SCSD2 Superintendent Craig Dougherty over the timing of their respective bonding elections behind the public’s backs, and demand their resignation/firing.


George Walker