Commentary: Wesley College caught up in ‘legislative mathematics’

OK, folks, gather round to hear the latest installment of “Legislative Mathematics”. The Delaware State News (June 19) reports that $1.375 million designated by the state of Delaware in the Bond Bill for the old Dover Library building project will now be used by Wesley College for operating expenses. In doing so, Wesley College promises to “ultimately use other funds when available”.

That’s all well and good, but DSN also reports that Wesley College has been spending more than it makes since at least 2015, when it spent $51.2 million while bringing in only $50.8 million. I’d say that the notion of “when available” quickly becomes “not likely – ever”.

Now, also think back to last year when Senators Bonini and Lynn promised $1.05 million of their Community Transportation Funds to the city of Dover so that the city could sell Wesley College the old Dover Library building for $1.00 (seems like that should have had more zeros attached, but I digress.)

Now, after we add all of this up,

  1. The city of Dover dumps an unneeded asset and walks away with $1.2 million in operating funds.
  2. Wesley College gets a building for $1.00 and walks away with $1.375 million of operating funds. (Just curious, Wesley College, whatever happened to the $1.0 million you received from the Longwood Foundation in June 2018 for the very same project?)
  3. The building in question sits empty.
  4. The state of Delaware taxpayers have shelled out $2.425 million to fund (a) a municipality’s operating expenses, and (b) a private college’s operating expenses.

Meanwhile, Delaware Tech is holding bake sales and car washes to fund upkeep on their buildings.

This all speaks volumes, almost as much as the disturbing number of Wesley College graduates who have been involved in this whole sweetheart deal since the beginning.

Are none of you familiar with the phrases “conflict of interest” or “appearance of impropriety”? If you want to donate to your alma mater, how about writing them a personal check instead of soaking the state of Delaware’s taxpayers?

James Frazier is a resident of Magnolia.

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