Then again, a role of government is to pay for things the citizens do not support enough to fund with their own resources. Following an abysmal private-sector attempt at fundraising, the Jackson County Commissioners approved spending another $205,635 to leverage a $200,000 NFL grant for artificial turf at Smoky Mountain High School. The school system had pledged $315,000, private solicitations had raised $21,025, and uniform sales collected $600.

“You did know commissioners that these fields have a 10- to 15-year lifespan and you have to replace them? You did know that, didn’t you commissioners?” said Carl Iobst, the lone dissenter in the audience. “Buy school supplies for the teachers and the classrooms. I suggest everybody, instead of donating your money to this boondoggle, donate the money to a teacher and supplies for their classrooms.”

The cost, now at $945,000, is somewhat a moving target, but I take a previous report about the county contributing $515,000 to indicate another $200,000, not routed through the school system, had already been pledged. Since I’m trying to read between the lines, correction is welcome.