ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WTKR) — 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 did not sit well with school superintendent Katrise Perera, who after hearing Bailey’s comments, left the meeting.
Perera wouldn’t return any of WTKR′s phone calls — and someone with her office said that “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.”
Hall was there with Bailey Monday morning as they tried to work with department heads to shrink the budget by five percent.
“There were so many requests for money and there’s so little money to go around,” Hall said.
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.
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.