Isle of Wight, Va. – Trying to bring light to Isle of Wight’s budget woes. Vice Chairman Byron Buzz Bailey joked the county’s troubles would go away if the South were to rise again.
“I guess you know, if we’d be like Washington, can we print some money in Isle of Wight County? Save the Confederate money, the south will rise again,” Bailey said.
His comments weren’t taken well by school superintendent Katrise Perera, who after hearing Bailey’s comments, left the meeting.
Perera wouldn’t return any of NewsChannel 3’s phone calls, someone with her office says “She was understandably very upset by those comments.”
“It made me give pause just for a second, but you have to realize that this was five seconds of a three hour meeting,” Board of Supervisors Chairperson JoAnn Hall said. “In retrospect, maybe I should have stopped and we could have addressed the issue right there.”
JoAnn Hall is the chairman of the board of supervisors. She was there with Bailey Monday morning as they tried to work with department heads to shrink the budget by five percent.
The department heads though weren’t cutting much, to the frustration of Bailey.
“Again, you go back to no cuts. It’s not a five percent it’s not a one percent, it’s not anything,” Bailey said.
“There were so many requests for money and there’s so little money to go around,” Hall said.
Hall doesn’t believe what Bailey said came from a bad place, he was just trying to bring humor to what had been a very stressful budget workshop.
“Perhaps it wasn’t the best way to break the tension,” Hall said.