Mr. Hensley hurts Mr. Nagy’s butt. (Film at 11.)

The Woronoff Daniels Corporation has apparently decided to allow the op-ed page of its money-bleeding flagship Moore County property be transformed into editor John Nagy‘s personal anti-butthurt ointment stash.  Nagy and the missus  — apparently upset over her now having to commute to work in Raleigh — are waging a war of words on said op-ed page against Moore County Board of Education vice-chairman (and stellar conservative) David Hensley. 

The WD Corporation needs to realize that the personal nature of the Nagys’ offensive via the op-ed page is really turning off the paper’s dwindling number of subscribers.  Meanwhile, Hensley and his conservative cabal are nowhere close to slowing down the pursuit of their mission.

Apparently, the Nagys are now school construction experts.  (*Who knew? She’s Beth Wood’s press flack. He runs a struggling newspaper.*) A recent op-ed blasts Hensley and the board for pushing a construction budget roughly one-eighth of what the former regime at the school board tried to sell:

[…] Everyone wants to make the most of limited construction dollars, save money and solve the most problems we possibly can. But at the risk of repeating the same mistakes, albeit at a different school? Replacing some fascia here, some windows there, some new air conditioning and patches to make things pretty — that’s not a serious construction strategy. […]

Yes, folks.  THAT is the word from Beth Wood’s flack and the boss at Pravda-on-Pennsylvania.  If ANYONE should be able to recognize an “unserious” strategy, it’s those two.


[…] Moore County has already been short-sighted at least twice with school construction. The first time was not building Crain’s Creek fully, and paying more now for work that would have been cheaper then. The second time was not being aggressive enough with historically low interest rates a few years ago and trying to borrow more money to accomplish more work. Yes, it would have meant more debt — but at interest rates the likes of which we may never see again. Now, it’ll either be to borrow at higher rates or pay-as-you-go, which will take longer and cost more in the end because of how construction costs rise over time.

And before Mr. Hensley tears his rotator cuff patting himself on the back, he might want to hold off the self-laudatory behavior until he gets in solid construction estimates.

We’ve been here before and done a good job of congratulating ourselves on our resourcefulness — only to realize later how wrong we really were. Yet here we go again …

If Hensley doesn’t have “solid construction estimates,” do Mr. and Mrs. Nagy? The Nagys are mad at Hensley for coming in at one-eighth of the old architect’s $8.5 million estimate. ( By the way, my understanding is Hensley HAS been talking to construction pros about his numbers.) 

I’ve actually got construction experience.  I can tell you that the school construction process is typically one of the biggest wastes of money perpetrated by government.  Architects know NOTHING about construction costs.  They are famous for drawing pictures of Versailles when the client can only afford a cottage at Knollwood. 

Architects typically make six percent of a project’s total cost.  So, there is no incentive on their end to keep project costs down. The higher the final price tag, the more cash in the architect’s pocket. 

Bidding contractors have no incentive to correct architect errors — of which there are typically plenty — during the bidding process.  So, taxpayers and government bodies don’t learn the true cost of a project until well after the bidding process is over and all the change orders have been processed.  Rarely is the low-bid number in the competitive-bid process even close to the actual cost of the project.

Hensley’s strategy of working with contractors – who actually are familiar with current construction costs and procedures –  to identify potential issues and repair / maintain them on a case-by-case basis is actually pretty smart.  It’s more of a long-term approach, but it’s a much more responsible way to manager taxpayer money.

As your home ages, do you simply abandon it and build a new one?  Or do you do repairs and maintenance?

We get it.  The Nagys hate David Hensley.  But their personal vendetta — in this case, aided by some butthurt former school construction partners who were cozy with the old regime — is doing serious damage to the credibility of our community’s already-struggling drive-by paper.

The Nagys should show some respect for the paper’s employees and readers, and Move On to something else.