Good News, Bad News in Hickman Mills

This past weekend has been spent reflecting on the drama recently played out in the Hickman Mills School district. Judge Kanatzar ruled that Evelyn Hildebrand should be issued a certificate of election for last April’s school board election and she was finally sworn in at Thursday’s meeting after Shawn Kirkwood tendered his resignation. I have to wonder, though, if you can actually resign from a seat that wasn’t yours to begin with.

Then the Kansas City Star ran an editorial about the whole embarrassing mess not mentioning the wrongful use of tax dollars to defend Kirkwood’s position; but misinforming the people with regards to the Cerner Innovation Campus. According to the editorial, Hickman Mills is “soon to be the beneficiary of heightened cash flow” from the project. There are a couple of things wrong with that statement. First, it will be a total of $6 million, won’t begin to “flow” until Cerner has money coming in, and will be highly regulated as to how it can be spent. It also glosses over the fact that, with the backing of John Sharp and Scott Taylor and the support of Kevin McManus, Cerner not only has a TIF but a super TIF. Even if Cerner employees were to flood into Hickman Mills as Mr. Sharp led the community to believe would happen, the school district couldn’t afford to educate their kids, with that kind of diversion of tax dollars.

Hopefully, now with Ms. Hildebrand seated, the school board will be able to put its focus where it needs to be, which is holding the superintendent accountable for the district remaining provisionally accredited. Hopefully, also, in the future the Star will serve the community better by getting all the facts straight before publishing another article regarding the school district and its community.