Subject: LOA Expansion Bond
The Greene County Commission, via a majority vote before the end of this year, intends to pass a $20 million bond to fund expansion needs for Lake Oconee Academy. A one mill tax increase on all property owners south of I-20 would pay for this bond.
Per discussions we have had, I offer the following personal opinions:
1. LOA has been an asset to our community and, though I continue to be opposed to attendance zones, deserves and needs expansion funds in the near future to increase the number of grades and the number of classes per grade.
2. The intense current effort to hastily pass this bond before Christmas thru a less than forthright process damages trust in our government (e.g. an attempt at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning to have the Development Authority authorize funding before the county commissioners have even discussed this bond publicly or voted upon it).
3. The following negative fallout will occur if we do not slow down (6 months maximum)to publicly vet, improve upon and then sell a comprehensive county wide plan that would benefit all children and all taxpayers:
· Further divides instead of unites our community into geographic, economic, racial and taxpayer silos.
· Justified taxpayer blow back will doom any chance for a positive ELOST vote for the foreseeable future, thus negating more than 4 million dollars a year, paid in part by out of county consumers, for necessary capital projects throughout our school system. And yes, I know they need to do a much better job managing and prioritizing those dollars.
· Ignores several short term events which could/will improve the performance of Greene County’s public schools.
· Marginalizes a very promising work-ready jobs initiative with Caterpillar and Baxter that would provide hundreds of very good blue collar jobs for many of our young citizens –a key step in economic development.
· The constitutionality of elected county officials seizing some of the authority of elected school board officials is very debatable.
Key Pending Dates
(A Moving Target)
· Brief Town Hall meeting at 5:00 pm (Spotlight Theatre) with a format which might not sufficiently facilitate a true exchange of ideas and opinions
· County Commissioners vote on the bond at a to-be determined time.
DELAY A VOTE FOR A MAXIMUM OF 6 MONTHS SO THAT A MUCH MORE COMPREHENSIVE WIN-WIN PLAN CAN BE DEVELOPED, VETTED AND THEN SOLD TO OUR ENTIRE GREENE COUNTY COMMUNITY.
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