Sunday, October 9, 2011

SPLOST IV: The Referendum Just About Covers it All

Care to read the exact text of the Referendum voters are asked to vote on in November? 


NOTICE OF ELECTION TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF DEKALB COUNTY TO CONSIDER A SPECIAL ONE PERCENT SALES AND USE TAX FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES

NOTICE is hereby given that on November 8, 2011 an election will be held at the regular polling places in all the election districts of DeKalb County, Georgia, at which time there will be submitted to the qualified voters of DeKalb County for their determination the question of whether a special one percent sales and use tax for educational purposes shall be continued in DeKalb County for a period of time not to exceed twenty calendar quarters, beginning the first day of the calendar quarter (July 1, 2012) following the calendar quarter in which the sales and use tax for educational purposes currently in effect expires, to raise not more than $______645,000,000 and shall be used and applied for capital outlay projects for educational purposes of the DeKalb County School District, the City Schools of Decatur and Atlanta Independent School System, respectively, as specifically described below.
(a) For the educational purposes of the DeKalb County School District the following capital outlay projects (the “DeKalb County School District Projects”) at a total maximum cost of $607,384,422:
(1) Improvement projects to make reasonable accommodations for the Americans with Disabilities Act at various schools throughout the DeKalb County School District;
(2) Upgrades, including turf installation, at stadiums and renovations to Athletic Facilities and Stadiums including, but not limited to Adams Stadium, Arabia Mountain High School, Avondale Stadium, Cedar Grove High School, Chamblee High School, Clarkston High School, Cross Keys High School, Druid Hills High School, Dunwoody High School, Hallford Stadium, Lakeside High School, Lithonia High School, McNair High School, Miller Grove High School, Martin Luther King Jr. High School, North DeKalb Stadium, and Panthersville Stadium, Redan High School, SW Dekalb High School, Stephenson High School, Stone Mountain High School, Towers High School and Tucker High School.
(3) Capital Renewal Program to include renovations, modifications, and upgrades to existing buildings and facilities that will include, but not be limited to, roofing, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, kitchens and program-driven modifications as needed including, but not limited to Allgood Elementary School, Ashford Park Elementary School, Austin Elementary School, Avondale Elementary School, Avondale Middle School, Bob Mathis Elementary School, Bouie Elementary School, Briar Vista Elementary School, Briarlake Elementary School, Brockett Elementary School, Browns Mill Elementary School, Canby Lane Elementary School, Cary Reynolds Elementary School, Cedar Grove Elementary School, Cedar Grove Middle School, Cedar Grove High School, Chamblee Middle School, Champion Middle School, Chapel Hill Elementary School, Chesnut Elementary School, Clarkston High School, Clifton Elementary School, Columbia Elementary School, Columbia Middle School, Cross Keys High School, DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts, Dresden Elementary School, Drivers Ed N & S, Druid Hills High School, Dunaire Elementary School, Dunwoody High School, Eldridge Miller Elementary School, Evansdale Elementary School, Fairington Elementary School, Flat Rock Elementary School, Flat Shoals Elementary School, Freedom Middle School, Hambrick Elementary School, Hawthorne Elementary School, Henderson Mill Elementary School, Henderson Middle School, Hightower Elementary School, Huntley Hills Elementary School, Idlewood Elementary School, Indian Creek Elementary School, Intl Student Center, Jolly Elementary School, Kelley Lake Elementary School, Kingsley Elementary School, Kittredge Elementary School, Knollwood Elementary School, Laurel Ridge Elementary School, Lithonia Middle School, Livsey Elementary School, Marbut Elementary School, McLendon Elementary School, Meadowview ElementaryMcNair High School, MedlockMeadowview Elementary School, Midway Elementary School, Midvale Elementary School, Miller Grove Middle School, MLK Jr. High School, Montclair Elementary School, Montgomery Elementary School, Murphey Candler Elementary School,Narvie Harris Elementary School, Oakcliff Elementary School, Oak Grove Elementary School, Panola Way Elementary School, Pine Ridge Elementary School, Rainbow Elementary School, Redan Elementary School,Rowland Elementary School, Robert Shaw Elementary School, Rock Chapel Elementary School, Sagamore Hills Elementary School, Salem Middle School, Sam Moss Service Center, Shadow Rock Elementary School, SW DeKalb High School, Snapfinger Elementary School, Stephenson High School, Stephenson Middle School, Stone Mill Elementary School, Stone Mountain Elementary School, Stone Mountain High School, Stone Mountain Middle School, Stoneview Elementary School, Tech South High School, Toney Elementary School, Towers High School, Tucker Middle School, Vanderlyn Elementary School, Wadsworth Elementary School, Warren Technical School, Woodridge Elementary School and Woodward Elementary School.
(4) Modifications and upgrades to existing buildings and facilities to comply with health/safety and other building codes as required by DeKalb County or other local governments;
(5) Modifications, upgrades, and renovations to Coralwood Diagnostic Center;
(6) (5) Development of an Early Learning Center in the Wesley Chapel area to include design, acquisition, construction, renovation, and modification of an existing structure;
(7) (6) Modifications, upgrades, and additions to Avondale Middle School for an Arts School;
(8) Modifications, upgrades, and renovations to Southwest DeKalb High Schoaol and Stone Mountain High School;
(9) (7) Design, construction, renovation, modification, additions to and equipping of replacement elementary buildings and facilities atfor Austin, Fernbank, Gresham Park, Pleasantdale, Peachcrest, Rockbridge and Smoke Rise Elementary Schools, including the acquisition of land and the demolition of all or portions of existing structures, if necessary;
(10) (8) Design, construction, renovation, modification, additions to and equipping of buildings and facilities at Henderson Middle School, including the acquisition of land and the demolition of all or portions of existing structures, if necessary;
(11) (9) Design, construction, renovation, modification, additions to and equipping of buildings and facilities at Redan High School, including the acquisition of land and the demolition of all or portions of existing structures, if necessary;
(12) (10) Acquisition of replacement Chamblee High School pursuant to Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB) lease-purchase financing;
(13) (11) Design, construction, renovation, modification, additions to and equipping of replacement buildings and facilities atfor McNair Middle School, including the acquisition of land and the demolition of all or portions of existing structures, if necessary;
(14) (12) Local School Priority Requests, involving minor projects deemed necessary to meet interior and exterior facility needs at various local schools;
(15) (13) Repurpose and/or demolish surplus properties as needed;
(16) (14) Modifications and upgrades to security and life safety systems for existing buildings and facilities, including, but not limited to, camera installation, lighting, intrusion alarm systems, fire alarm systems, closed circuit television, and video recorder installation;
(17) (15) Upgrade classroom technology (including interactive boards, student response systems and projectors), upgrade and refresh to hardware (including desktops, laptops, and servers), software, wireless infrastructure in all schools, digital communication technology (including video conferencing, virtual and learning technologies), enterprise content management solution, upgrade and increase data storage systems, upgrades to telecommunications and implementing a mass notification system;
(18) (16) Acquisition of buses, upgrade bus radio communications to comply with FCC regulations, and GPS reporting equipment and construction of three bus parking locations to serve various schools throughout the DeKalb County School District;
(19) (17) Acquisition of support service vehicles; and
(20) (18) Facility improvement projects throughout the DeKalb County School District, including but not limited to building and site renovations, replacements and demolition; code required renovations and upgrades; HVAC renovations and replacements; roofing repairs and replacements; electrical and low voltage repairs, renovations, and upgrades; technology additions, renovations and upgrades; transportation improvements; environmental and air quality control; and site acquisitions for new facilities.
If imposition of the tax is approved by a majority of the voters within the DeKalb County School District, such vote shall also constitute approval of general obligation debt of the DeKalb County School District in the principal amount not to exceed $150,000,000200,000,000 for the purpose of funding a portion of the DeKalb County School District Projects, including capitalized interest and the costs of issuing such general obligation debt. Such general obligation debt shall bear interest at an interest rate or rates not to exceed ______4 percent per annum as determined by the DeKalb County Board of Education prior to the issuance of such general obligation debt, may be issued from time to time in whole or in part in one or more series and shall mature (serially or, at the option of the DeKalb County Board of Education, by mandatory sinking fund redemption) in the years and amounts as follows:

Maximum Principal Payable in Such Year
2014  $36,655,000 
2015  37,145,000 
2016  37,755,000 
2017  88,445,000

Click here to view the SPLOST IV referendum with mark-ups.
Click here to read the exact text of the referendum on the ballot.
Click here to view the SPLOST IV Capital Planning Powerpoint.
Click here to view the school system's SPLOST IV project list.

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

After much thought and agonizing over the decision, my family will vote "no" for this year. First, a "no" vote sends a strong signal to this Board and administration that they should not spend millions more without cleaning up their house first. They have not earned the public's trust and respect.
Second, this is not an irreversible vote- only a one year hiatus. SPLOST can be placed on the ballot again in one year.
Third, despite spending millions on consultants and meetings, the Board and administration completely failed to produce a true vision for the future of the school system. They have not addressed in any whollistic way how they will provide for the education of our highest achieving students and our lowest. How are they addressing the growing ELL population? What are the plans for the most valuable property the system owns-on N. Druid Hills Road? Why do we still have more properties than we need? What are the plans for Avondale High, Avondale Middle, the old Chamblee
Middle building?

Dunwoody Mom said...

I was a strong proponent of SPLOST IV, but after witnessing the behavior of Copelin-Woods, Cunningham, Edler and Walker during the Superintendent search and the early "leaks" to the press, I am voting NO. I will vote NO until these 4 jokers are off the board.

Has anyone considered this item:

Acquisition of replacement Chamblee High School pursuant to Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB) lease-purchase financing

My point is not that CHS does not need a new facility, of course it does and has needed one for years. However, if SPLOST IV does not pass within the next year or two, the repayment of the Bonds will have to be made from the General Budget - or so I've been told. How much will be "cut" from the budget to pay for this? The school board should have waited to build this school until they were sure they had the funds to pay back the bonds until they went ahead with the project. In my opinion, another example of the lack of fiscal responsbility of this board. It was unbelievable to me that some board members actually thought the bonds were "free" money? Huh?

Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

I am in agreement with our first two posters. I will, with some regret, vote NO for SPLOST this year. It breaks my heart to think that basic improvements to buildings cannot or will not be made without this funding, and that my vote will contribute to that.

But...I cannot reward bad behavior, and this board most certainly behaves badly. And...I think it will be telling to see how this Board reacts to a "NO" vote from the community...will they moan and groan and blame the community for the lack of funds, or will they push up their sleeves and find creative ways to fund the necessary building improvements that will keep our children safe and healthy?

This vote will tell us a lot about who belongs on this Board and who does not. And this will be food for thought when Board elections come around again next year.

Anon said...

One quick addition to the comments above, the current SPLOST does not expire until June 30, 2012. It can be revoted on in November 2012 -- which is less than 6 months after the current SPLOST expires.

This is not much of a delay and it sends a strong message not only to the board of ed bur also to many of the other powers in DeKalb, ie the DeKalb delegation.

Cerebration said...

For clarity,this is what will happen to property taxes if SPLOST is not approved:

With the removal of the extra $2500 in homestead exemption that we receive in DeKalb because we have an active e-SPLOST, each home’s property tax will increase by a set $57 and some change.

This will not vary due to housing value; it will be the same for every house. It is the tax from the portion of the $2500 in value of your house that you will now have to pay the school taxes rather than being exempt from (2500 X 22.98 mils).

So, homeowners will pay a flat $57 a year more but save 1% on their sales tax on every purchase throughout the year.

Cerebration said...

Looking back on SPLOST III -

Below is the text of the brochure encouraging us to vote for SPLOST 3 before that vote --

WHAT IS SPLOST ?
Referendum: March 20, 2007
This Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) is an opportunity for voters in DeKalb County to continue the onecent sales tax for school improvements. This sales tax extension is limited to 60 months or until an established cap of $645 million has been reached, whichever comes first.

If the continuation of the one cent sales tax is approved by the voters on March 20, 2007, improvements for our kids are funded by everyone who buys goods in the county, regardless of where they live.

With the extension of SPLOST ...

• Over 2,646,000 Square Feet of New Roofing
• Another 201,800 Square Feet of Roofing Repairs
• 2,535,000 Square Feet of School Renovations
• 185 New Technologically Advanced High
School Classrooms
• 183 New Innovative Elementary School Classrooms
• Over 1,206,000 Square Feet of durable Asphalt
Paving
• 7,000 Square Feet of safe Concrete Walkways
• 6 New State of the Art High School Teaching
Auditoriums
• 22 New Advanced Career Technology Instructional
Centers
• 25 HVAC Replacement, Repair, and Upgrade
Projects

OVERVIEW

In order to maintain a healthy and safe learning environment for the students of the DeKalb County School System, a Capital Improvement Plan [CIP] has been developed and approved by the Board of Education.

The CIP outlines the most pressing facility needs.
The CIP is aligned with Board /Superintendent Goals, the Facility Needs Assessment and the Demographic Study. The plan is educationally sound, philosophically based, and fiscally responsible. To that end, the focus of the plan directly addresses the High Schools That Work principles and the commitment to learning environments that are healthy and safe.

The Capital Improvement Plan will touch every facility, school and center in the DeKalb County School System.

The main areas of focus for the CIP are as follows:
• Retirement of existing COPs* financial debt
• Completion of deferred SPLOST II work
• Major Roofing, HVAC, Code & Life Safety Improvements
• High School Improvements
• Career Technology, Fine Arts, & Classroom Additions
• Renovations of Classrooms from floor to ceiling
• Technology Upgrades to ALL Facilities
• Transportation Additions of New Buses to replace
Aging Vehicles
*Certificate of Participation

Facilities Affected

•Technology Improvements & Upgrades will be completed at ALL Schools & Centers

•Other Specified Projects Elementary Schools
Allgood, Austin, Avondale, Bob Mathis, Briar Vista, Cedar Grove, Chapel Hill, Chesnut, Clifton, Evansdale, Fairington, Fernbank, Flat Shoals, Forrest Hills, Glen Haven, Hambrick, Hawthorne, Henderson Mill, Hightower, Hooper Alexander, Huntley Hills, Idlewood, Indian Creek, Kingsley, Knollwood,
Laurel Ridge, Livsey, McLendon, Meadowview, Midvale, Midway, E.L. Miller, Montgomery, Murphey Candler, Nancy Creek, Oak View, Oakcliff, Pleasantdale, Rainbow, Rockbridge, Sagamore Hills, Sky Haven, Snapfinger, Stone Mill, Stone Mountain, Terry Mill, Vanderlyn, Wadsworth, Woodward
Middle Schools Champion Theme, Henderson, McNair, Miller Grove, Salem, Sequoyah, Stephenson

High Schools
Chamblee, Clarkston, Columbia, Cross Keys, Tech-North, Tech-South, DECA, Druid Hills, DSA, Lakeside, McNair, Open Campus, Redan, Stone Mountain, SW DeKalb, Towers Centers Clarkston, Coralwood Diagnostic, Transition Academy, Doraville Driver Ed, Fernbank Science, Freeman Administrative Building, Heritage, Sam Moss, Warren Tech

•Large Model Additions
Dunwoody, Lithonia, M.L. King Jr., Miller Grove

• New Schools
COPs Retirement: Evans Mill ES, Dunwoody/Chamblee Area ES, Rock Chapel Area ES
Tucker High School

Cerebration said...

And finally, the famous 'PRIORITY LIST' - from SPLOST 3

Capital Improvement Plan
Approved by the B.O.E. on 11/17/06

COPs Financial Debt Retirement $ 66,000,000

1. Deferred SPLOST II Work $ 25,000,000
2. Cross Keys Renovation with Career Tech
$ 16,927,348
3. Tucker Replacement High School $ 66,330,016
4. Roofing $ 9,877,168
5. HVAC $ 17,168,224
6. ADA $ 4,730,336
7. Local School Priority Requests $ 2,656,419
8. Site Improvements $ 8,417,986
9. Facility Improvements - Druid Hills High School
$ 9,739,800
10. DSA Relocation $ 10,000,000
11. Relocation of Open Campus, Jim Cherry Center & DECA to Mountain Industrial Center $ 29,836,296
12. Buses $ 4,000,000
13. Land/Property Acquisition $ 3,000,000
14. Career Tech/Classroom/Fine Arts Additions
$ 63,292,805
15. Technology – Refresh Cycle for All Schools & Centers $ 19,418,581
16. Lithonia High School Addition $ 11,447,624
17. MLK Jr. High School Addition $ 10,178,779
18. Miller Grove High School Addition $ 5,874,487
19. Dunwoody High School Addition $ 4,819,395
20. Site Improvements $ 5,000,000
21. Facility Improvements – Clarkston High School $ 4,000,000
22. HVAC $ 10,716,737
23. Roofing $ 10,681,471
24. ADA $ 2,052,729
25. Local School Priority Requests $ 2,500,000
26. Buses $ 4,000,000
27. Technology – Media Center Upgrades
$ 10,000,000
28. Buses $ 4,000,000
29. HVAC $ 17,408,662
30. Roofing $ 7,125,137

CIP TOTAL $466,000,000

Cerebration said...

For more on how SPLOST 3 was spent, read this post:

SPLOST 3 projects vs enrollments, capacity and racial make up at DeKalb High Schools

dundevil said...

SPLOSTs I through IV will have collected about $2 BILLION. there is $3.5 BILLION more in projected needs according to the recent survey.

It will never end. It is too easy a source of $$ to fatten the administration.

DCSS, without SPLOST, has the second highest tax rate in the metro area (22.8 mils). You would think that they should have some money for capital improvements. I am tired of pouring money into this fetid cesspool.

SPLOST should be like HOST. 80% for the taxpayer and 20% for DCSS.

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different a result. What makes you think that DCSS will change?

Anonymous said...

What are support service vehicles and why do we need them? These are a separate line from buses.

Cerebration said...

Notice there was $4 million for buses in SPLOST 3. Did we purchase $4 million worth of buses? Any way to ever know? Is there any way to ever really know how much was spent on a lot of these things?

FWIW - we do know that SPLOST 3 has cost taxpayers over $15.5 million in legal fees - and they're still mounting. These legal fees do not come out of SPLOST money - they come from the general operations budget - but they are buried and not clear.

Time for the Check Register Online!!

Cerebration said...

Does anyone know what else needs to be done at SW High School? Seems they'll have spent enough to have built a brand new Tucker-like facility once it's all added up over the history of the SPLOSTs.

Cerebration said...

See, IMO, this is an example of what is wrong with how this is written. It's not specific enough really. For example, this is the entry relating to SW DeKalb HS:

Referendum Detail

Item 8: Renovation of Southwest DeKalb HS and Stone Mountain HS -- $11.8M

Replacement Of
Ronald A. McNair MS
Chamblee HS
Additions & Major Renovations At:
Comprehensive Arts School at Avondale MS
Henderson MS
Redan HS
Major Renvovations At:
Southwest DeKalb HS
Stone Mountain HS

Exactly how much will be spent on each project? This bundling is dangerous. It leaves the door open to over-spending on one place and leaving someone else in the lurch.

Anonymous said...

Buses are basic operating expenses and should not be funded through SPLOST. Non DCSS businesses that need vehicles to operate a business (lawn care, tree service, UPS, plumbing and HVAC companies) include the cost to purchase and maintain vehicles as part of their operating expenses. DCSS takes the easy way out instead of having to manage their operating budget efficiently.

Anonymous said...

Clayton went down because of problems with their Board, Atlanta went down because of test cheating, and Dekalb will go down because of financial mismanagement and corruption.

Anonymous said...

DeKalb wins the jackpot! They have all 3!

Anonymous said...

Given that about 90% of the operating budget goes towards salaries and benefits, you expect the remaining 10% to take care of all the buildings and transportation needs? Before you say 90% is too much, you want to check what SACS says about the percentage of the operating budget salaries actually should be.

Anonymous said...

It does seem hypocritical that citizens that got a new Tucker high school, a new Chamblee high school funded, major renovations to Cross Keys, Druid Hills, Dunwoody high schools say they can't support another SPLOST. Add to that, citizens also say they want to keep small neighborhood schools and not consolidate them and build larger ones thus having to maintain many old buildings.

Does this make sense?

Atlanta Media Guy said...

When the trial of CLew and Pope is finished. When there is a forensic audit of all SPLOST's and General Budgeting during the CLew years and those complete audits are made public, then I will consider to vote FOR SPLOST IV.

Clew hid the old E&Y audit from public eye and then he proceeded to bury it from public view forever. I feel that the majority of parents would prefer an open and transparent BOE and staff. RICO charges are serious and if there is other fraud found in the previous SPLOSTS, wouldn't it be a good idea not to pass another one until we know what happened to first three?

We know the BOE and staff totally disregarded the SPLOST III funds, since they directed funds to the Palace and the $2500 chairs from the actual items on the list.

How can anyone trust DCSS right now? The Palace guard just keeps on getting larger and the legal fees continue to mount. Let's hold off on any spending until we find out who took what, when they took it and who knew about it and when did they know about it? Turk has been flying under the radar and he did let our former Super know that it was illegal for him to take a trip on his P-Card. But it's time we question everything and everyone!

Anon said...

Anonymous 11:21 PM

You are making the vote on SPLOST one that is about the list of projects -- that isn't what this vote should be about.

It is about whether or not there are reasons to trust this board and this system with 500 million more dollars.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:57 AM, when I read this post, the first thing I and everyone else saw was the list of projects. Ultimately that is what this vote is about, renovating buildings. Board members don't actually perform the renovations, they simply authorized to money for the projects presented to the public.

Do it really matter who the current Board members are for the current state of Chamblee? It became the way it is over a period of years. And if you vote No, how do you think the new Chamblee will be paid for? If there is a No vote, property owners will see an immediate increase in taxes. The problems do not go away with a No vote, you just have to find other ways to pay for them or delay some with the problems getting worse.

How do you think the Chamblee people would feel if that project was cancelled because of the No vote?

Cerebration said...

Again, for clarity,this is what will happen to property taxes if SPLOST is not approved:

With the removal of the extra $2500 in homestead exemption that we receive in DeKalb because we have an active e-SPLOST, each home’s property tax will increase by a set $57 and some change.

This will not vary due to housing value; it will be the same for every house. It is the tax from the portion of the $2500 in value of your house that you will now have to pay the school taxes rather than being exempt from (2500 X 22.98 mils).

So, homeowners will pay a flat $57 a year more but save 1% on their sales tax on every purchase throughout the year.

Dunwoody Mom said...

The project at Chamblee will not be cancelled. The bonds to finance this project have been sold and the project has begun and must be complete within 3 years of the sale of the bonds. If SPLOST does not pass within 3 years, DCSS will have to come up with the money to pay back the bonds somehow.

Cerebration said...

Also, as DM posted, Chamblee will be built using an interest free federal loan. It's already approved whether or not SPLOST passes. If SPLOST doesn't pass, the payments will come from the general fund, as most school systems do. Sadly, our general fund is squeezed, due to the over $15.5 million paid from those funds to lawyers for the school system -- in lawsuits over SPLOST money.

Does anyone know the future plans regarding Chamblee? The area students who attend Chamblee from the local zone are only about half the population I believe. Then right down the street, we have Cross Keys, a sprawling campus that has absorbed what's left of the DeKalb Tech HS North, and still only has about 1,000 students. Will we actually fill all the seats created by a new Chamblee HS or will something have to happen to Cross Keys in order to fill Chamblee? Will Chamblee have to pull even more transfer students into the building in order to fill the seats? (New capacity should be at least the same as Tucker : 1600. Oct. 2010 enrollment was only about 1500 at Chamblee and 900 at Cross Keys. In Gwinnett, these two combined would be smaller than a regular high school.)

Anonymous said...

Cerebration and Dunwoody Mom are correct, the Chamblee project will not be cancelled. But as pointed out, it will still need to be paid back and the plan was to use SPLOST money.

What do you think will happen to the other projects that have not been funded like Chamblee? Will we rob Peter to pay Paul or will schools simply do without?

Anonymous said...

The window to pay back the Chamblee bonds is fairly long and does not begin immediately.

Remember the system gets another bite at this apple -- reform themselves and bring SPLOST back the next year.

Cerebration said...

Yes, that's what people forget. It's not "now or never"... if SPLOST 4 doesn't pass this time, they can put it right back out again next year. In the meantime, there is still a lot of SPLOST 3 work to finish.

Anonymous said...

Correct, you can bring SPLOST back up again for a vote if it fails. Who is to say it would pass? In the meantime, would the needs of every site except Chamblee get worse then end up costing more?

Dunwoody Mom said...

The window to pay back the Chamblee bonds is fairly long and does not begin immediately.

I understand that - my point is that DCSS went ahead and committed funds that was designed to be paid back in SPLOST IV without knowing when or if SPLOS IV would ever be passed.

Remember the system gets another bite at this apple -- reform themselves and bring SPLOST back the next year

This board reform themselves? After the behavior we have seen from them the last 6 months?

dundevil said...

How come that no one seems to count the $135 million that DCSS is going to recover from the Heery Mitchell lawsuit? That will a bit more than 1/4 of SPLOST IV. Most of the recovery should be gravy since the legal fees to date have been paid out of the operating budget. Have you no confidence in our leaders ?

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the school closing program? Wouldn't that save money on repairs and rehabilitation?

Leo said...

Due to financial mismanagement within our system, I will be voting No on Splost IV. If you look at prior Splosts, you'll note that not all of the actions cited and approved will occur.

Frankly, I think this is our school board's fault. They waited too long to find a new super, so long that we won't see whether their choice will be effective in instituting any changes until after this vote. I will certainly reconsider next year if we see improvement in our system, but there's no way I'm giving these folks more money so that they can continue to spend the vast majority of the money that they have unwisely and in an unaccounted for manner.

Anonymous said...

I realize that many people are mad at the board and want them to be replaced, but please remember that the students and teachers are going to be the ones getting hurt if the SPLOST IV doesn't pass. Parents will still demand the buildings be replaced or fixed, computers be replaced, technology be added, ect. So the money will have to come from somewhere. Do you think they will cut the six-figure salaries of the administration? The people involved in the day to day operations (teachers, paras, ect.) will see more furlough days to make up the difference, having a greater impact on your children's education. I am all for sending a message to the board, but will the board members be the ones hurt by not passing the SPLOST? Will they actually get the message?

Anonymous said...

The problem that I have with this decision of yes or no for SPLOST is that the board has all of the power. We can vote No for SPLOST, but the board can turn around and raise taxes again. The individuals running the district on the board have no idea of how to do more with less or how to be responsible with tax funds, as the palace should have been the last bit done and paid for with so many schools having leaky roofs and all. Much money is wasted and I fear that the board will get the money they want via SPLOST or raising taxes. My taxes are already over priced for the quality of education available for my child.

Leo said...

I thought that our most recent tax increase put us near the ceiling. Is that not true? Other than removing the homestead exemption is there any room for the county to further raise taxes to get this money?

Anon 1:05. I completely hear you on this one. I do hope that our new administration will realize that parents are expecting just that, reduction of six-figure salaries not negative impact to teachers. I'm fearful that you're right and that teachers/students may be the ones that suffer, but I don't feel good about continuing the status quo either. This is a hard decision any way you look at it. I hope that if SPLOST doesn't pass, someone will get the message and do something proactive to earn the trust of parents and tax payers so that they believe this money will be well spent and people will support it when it comes back on the ballot in 2012.

Anonymous said...

@Leo County taxes and DCSS taxes are different. The recent 4.5 mil increase was for the inefficient and bloated County Government job factory, the twin of DCSS.

DCSS taxes are about 60- 65% of your total tax bill County taxes are reduced because of the HOST 1 cent sales tax. (They should do the same for school taxes. If 50% or more of the SPLOST went to offset my school taxes I would vote for it.)

DCSS can charge a maximum of 25 mils. It already is up to 22.9 mils (second highest in the Metro area) so it can only charge us an additional 2.1 mils. Dr Walker is very unhappy about this. Last year he wanted 4 or 4.5 mils.

Anonymous said...

Remember that it is less than 6 months between the end of the current SPLOST and the Nov 12 election, when the system can offer up SPLOST again.

It failed once in Cobb and then passed the next year after the Cobb BoE came up with a better plan to insure the money was well spent.

DCSS Teacher said...

Look at SPLOST this way: If your teenager repeatedly wrecked each new car you gave him, should you buy him yet another new car this year? The argument that improved buildings benefit teachers and students is logically sound, but in practice, what handicaps teachers and students most are badly thought out, non-SPLOST "gadgets" like Promethean Boards that teachers aren't properly trained on, already-built science labs that sit unused because science curricula are poorly developed, constant disruptions all day long from blaring overhead announcements, and ineffective, inconsistent discipline practices.

Make the Board wait for new funds to disburse until it's shown some ability to put its non-SPLOST funds in the right place. Kind of like giving the kid the car only AFTER he's gotten his gradepoint up.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Whatever happened to the school closing program? Wouldn't that save money on repairs and rehabilitation?

8 schools were closed. So, I am all the more curious as to how the electricity bill is over budget - there are 8 less buildings to cool.

But, hey, it's GA Power's fault, right Eugene Walker?

betty said...

Is everyone aware of the project goin on at William Bryant Bradley? They are adding a cooling floor, a new data center, upgrading rooms, adding offices....I thought that was why they built the palace? I don't understand why this project is going on. I know they voted to use the "left over" splost 3 funds, but I thought those were going to Chamblee. How do we ask for an accounting of splost 3? Or has one been done, I am speaking about specific costs not generalizaations they woul like to give. They are spending millions at WBBC and why? Why couldn't they have used the splost to update school playground equipment, etc.? I am not understanding why we need a state of the art data center complete with cooling floor and a new breakroom,offices, etc. Do You????

Anonymous said...

Splost is tied to all of the following, ATlanta city school, decatur city and DCSS. If it doesn't pass, it effects them all. Each one of these school districts has had some real challenges lately. It is not likely there will be voter turn out for it to pass this November. I like the Cobb county solution. Make them work for it.. Show me how you spent the previous splost and how you are going to report this splost 4 funds with an ongoing website link to see the projects/payments. Finding this information right now is like a needle in a haystack on their website.

Anonymous said...

All of the money that is being spent at the William Bryant Center is to bring all of the data and computers from Building A and B over to there. The entire palace and leaving Building A and B has been a ton of money misspent in my opinion. These things weren't needed and money was wasted. They were wants rather than needs.

Anonymous said...

On WSB TV tonight. Heery legal bills now up to $17 million. There is some sort of a contingency fee arrangement. King & Spalding gets another $19 million if it wins the suit. Potential damages are estimated to be $100 million. I had thought that it was $135 million. It was not clear what
K & S gets if the damages award is less than $100 million.

Tom Bowen touted this as limiting the expenses to the taxpayer.

DCSS should have hired one of the law firms that advertise on TV. No recovery... no expense. Here, DCSS is out the $17 million if there is no recovery.

Anonymous said...

Here's the ajc article - Heery Mitchell is asking the judge to remove DCSS's lawyers (King and Spalding)!! If that happens, DCSS will be in a huge mess (as if they aren't already!) The amount of money DCSS would have to spend to get another firm up to date on the lawsuit would be millions more!

Anonymous said...

oops....forgot the article:
http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/construction-firm-to-ask-1198212.html

Anonymous said...

It is supposed to be: dekalb/construction-firm... but it keeps cutting it off

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/construction-firm-to-ask-1198212.html

Dunwoody Mom said...

Does anyone know why last night's Board Meeting was not televised?

Anonymous said...

According to a Tucker Patch letter to the editor, "the e-SPLOST must be in place in order to cut the school board from 9 members to 7" per the legislation written by State Rep. Mike Jacobs that was passed this year.

Therefore, "renewing SPLOST this November will also reduce the number of board members from 9 to 7".

That might tempt me to vote for it.

http://tucker.patch.com/articles/opinion-to-change-dekalb-school-board-we-must-keep-e-splost-13a04ac3

Cerebration said...

What a tangled web they wove! The legislation describes DeKalb without naming DeKalb. Part of that description includes having an eSPLOST. Legislators are already looking into rewording that bit of text.

Anonymous said...

After reading through the SPLOST IV announcement, why do I see Southwest DeKalb High School listed again and Sequoyah Middle School being omitted? If you have been following all of the SPLOSTs, you will recall that SWD holds the record for SPLOST miss management with extensive, expensive change orders. To my knowledge, only routine maintenance has been performed over the years at Sequoyah, with the exception of changing the sign out front from "high" to "middle." Why does the Board of Education continue to overlook or ignore the needs of DeKalb's growing Hispanic/Latino population?

Anonymous said...

@anon 11:29

Because Hispanics/Latinos are considered "white" by African Americans and the goal of the majority of the board (and the county) is to take revenge on anyone they think is "white" for past injustices.

Then they turn around and wonder why the "white flight" continues. Becaues "white" people don't want to be forced to live with corruption just because the perpetrators are "black". Corruption is corruption no matter who is doing. The difference is, if you speak out against corruption by blacks, you're labeled a racist.

That's the answer. I hate it too.

Dekalbparent said...

@What Atlanta Media Guy said!!

@Anon, I read the article from the Tucker Patch, and it says that Dr.Roberts co-chairs the Friends of DeKalb Education.

That organization rang a bell - looked it up and it is chaired by Amy Powell (pres. of Fernbank PTA). I found another reference and it pointed to a pro-SPLOST article in the Druid Hills Civic Association newsletter:
http://druidhills.org/2011/10/06/special-purpose-local-option-sales-tax-splost-faq/

On their Facebook page, they urge readers to comment on the Get Schooled blog entry asking whether people are in favor of SPLOST.

We should, too:
http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2011/10/11/e-splost-are-you-voting-for-or-against-it-tell-the-ajc/?cxntfid=blogs_get_schooled_blog

Cerebration said...

Some truths: This is not a now or never vote. As Dunwoody Mom pointed out, SPLOST III will continue another year. If our new superintendent is able to wrangle the administrative bloat, create a deep, valuable curriculum, attract and maintain great teachers and principals and work on a vision for the future, then perhaps we can vote on a plan that has an educationally-driven focus. They have much work to do. They need to do the work first, lay out a cogent plan and ask for the taxpayer's support. They also need to create a much more transparent way to show how the money is being spent as we go. A separate accounting firm may be in order. Our in-house CFO should only handle the operating budget, which is a billion dollars on its own!

We are still currently involved in a $100 million civil lawsuit over SPLOST II that has cost us over $17 million from our operating budget(!!!) (not SPLOST money) for ATTORNEYS! We are also paying for the defense AND the prosecution in the criminal cases against our former superintendent and his COO - Lewis and Pope.

I will be voting NO this time around, simply because the "plan" doesn't have an educational vision and has everything thrown in but the kitchen sink. I think it would be prudent to make the board and administration fix and finish the messes on their hands resulting from past SPLOSTs and laying out a respectable reliable plan for the future. There is time. Let's take a breath and spend the upcoming year fixing and tweaking. We can reconsider in a year.

Anonymous said...

I remember the vote for the first SPLOST. The parent oversight committee (of which Faye Andreson was a member) was formed to ensure money was spent properly. There was deep concern that funds would be misspent, especially in tech because there were really no people with true MIS/CIS experience who could make informed purchasing decisions. And the oversight group, as we all know, was eventually dissolved under Dr. Lewis because parents wouldn't stop asking questions. The climate was completely different before the advent of SPLOST. Money was much tighter, yet our schools were in better repair. Central Office personnel were more professional and there were far fewer layers of mysterious job titles to sift through when you needed a problem addressed. I am confused that, after the millions that have been spent, my kids' schools are still in terrible shape. I think there is some sort of relationship between the big money that SPLOST made available, and the caliber of DCSS administrator. We've run off the people who were in their jobs to educate children. In their place, are well-connected but unqualified people who know that as long as expenditures can be covered by SPLOST, the general fund can go toward their exorbitant salaries. And truly, this lame contention that "90 percent of the general fund goes to salaries" is only true in a very manipulated sense. The budget loads all sorts of sketchy things into the "salaries" category.

One other thought on Dr. Roberts and her "Friends" group: that she could actually contend that we're delivering a 21st education is hilarious. She needs to visit Fulton's Riverwood or Lambert in Forsyth County - where they have distance learning Calculus classes offered by Ga Tech professors. DCSS is so behind the curve we may never catch up.

Ella Smith said...

I will also vote "NO" this time around. I feel much money has been spent inappropriately and we do have to make sure a message is sent.

Anonymous said...

I'm going door to door to talk with my neighbors ( most are retired and all vote) about SPLOST IV and why they should vote no. Everyone on this blog who is voting no should contact at least 10 other neighbors and explain your position. If you find ones that are voting no, ask them to contact 10 other DeKalb votes.

Get the Cell Out - Atlanta Chapter said...

Upgrade classroom technology wireless infrastructure in all schools? We have a definite problem with providing the funding that would allow all schools to be made wireless. The same health concerns that exist with placing a school directly under a cell tower exists inside the walls when you use wi-fi technology - constant exposure to low-level RF radiation. This is an area that has lacked significant research and has zero research relative to the effects on children. Warnings have been issued worldwide to parents about limiting their childrens' exposure to RF emitting devices, such as cell phones, cordless phones, baby monitors and wi-fi routers. By making our schools wirelesss, we may also be compromising the security of their personal data as it is much more difficult to secure wireless networks. We will urge voters to vote NO TO SPLOST IV on this point in addition to our already stated objection based on Paul Womack's statement that the schools do not need any additional funding and our system is in possibly the best financial shape in the state. We allow the state of Georgia to take millions of dollars a year for use to improve schools in other portions of the state. If our own schools need the money, perhaps we can keep some of those dollars here and let those other areas be the ones who vote on approving increased sales taxes in their areas.

Anonymous said...

" Upgrades, including turf installation" - does anyone know if this refers to real turf or astro turf? Wondering if the schools that are trying to raise funds for astro turf really understand the responsibility that comes along with that investment in order to maintain it as well as to prevent possible health concerns as listed by the CDC. It is suspected that astro turf contains lead, which is a cancer causing agent when inhaled, similar to concerns with lead-based paint.

Anonymous said...

October 12, @ 9:11am

The schools that are rasing money for Artificial Turf have done their homework and are using a non-toxic carpet currently used by NFL, Georgia Dome and several high schools in the Atlanta area.
This is NOT the original Astro Turf used in the Astrodome from 1965.

Thanks for your concern.

Leo said...

Act 9; SB 79
This Act provides that members of local boards of education serve no less than four-year terms
and that local boards of education in counties with a homestead option sales and use tax and counties
with a county sales and use tax for educational purposes consist of seven district members unless
provided for otherwise by local legislation. The Act allows for the Governor to suspend current
members of local boards of education of school systems that lose accreditation and appoint
temporary replacements.
The Act amends O.C.G.A. Sections 20-2-52 and 20-2-73 and enacts O.C.G.A. Section 20-2-52.1.
Effective April 20, 2011.

Do we have a homestead option sales and use tax? If not, I agree that it appears as if we have to continue SPLOST to meet the 7 member mandate. When does the current SPLOST officially run out? Does the timing work such that we can vote NO now for SPLOST but still have to reduce the size of the school board? If not, sadly, I have no choice but to vote YES.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ella, since money has been misspent in the past and it is the fault of the voters in DeKalb county I urge you to vote no so we can punish our kids and for those of us that don't have kids drive more to crime so we can suffer even more.

BhutrasGolly said...

The 8 schools have only been closed since July. My own electric bill is more for July and August than it was last year due to a rate increase and a somewhat hotter (maybe the hottest in 10 years) July and August. So I am over budget on electricity as well.

Anonymous said...

My suggestion, I am thinking of Occupy Dekalb County School System at the Palace. Movement’s gotta be good for something? Huge parking lot, bathrooms, you know they gotta have good break rooms. Sam's is right down the street for a $1.50 hot dog run.

Sentiments From "Animal House"...

Otter:... I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!
Bluto: We're just the guys to do it.
D-Day: [stands up] Yeah, I agree. Let's go get 'em.
Boon: Let's do it.
Bluto: [shouting] "Let's do it"!

Cerebration said...

Kim wrote an insightful post after the meeting where the board approved the SPLOST IV list - read it here:

There's a Hole in My Bucket, Dear Liza

In my opinion, if SPLOST IV fails, it would be due to not only the waste, fraud and abuse of the past, but the fact that our board had the audacity to trump a plan put forth by Ramona Tyson and MGT of America. A plan that they had put hundreds of hours into and that took into account the viewpoints of many communities via "charrettes". Even though some of these charrettes were hijacked by one particular community, everyone's voices were still heard. Tyson and MGT put forth a plan that they had sweated over for months.

And Paul Womack changed that plan at the last minute by adding in his pet community project - $10 million for Coralwood school. The majority of the board agreed (Jester disagreed) and it was added.

Womack has done the same thing by negotiating deals with T-Mobile to lease up to 12 of our school properties for cell towers. This was during the intense superintendent search process - a time when the board should have been highly focused on that one task. Womack once again throws in a monkey wrench and hijacks the board meeting. He managed to push through most of that initiative as well with minimal community notification. One has to wonder what Womack has traded behind the scenes.

This is not the way to do board business. We don't want leaders willing to trade the futures of one group of students in order to push forward a pet project favoring a few. Did Womack and the board not think that Tyson and MGT considered the needs of Coralwood against the needs of the rest of the system? This kind of bad behind-the-scenes behavior must stop if we are to trust our school leaders.

I am hopeful that they may have hired a gem in Dr. Atkinson. I hope they don't go around behind the scenes sabotaging her plans and initiatives. In fact, I would suggest that we allow her to create a new version of Tyson and MGTs vision and put it forth for the board next year. A plan that aligns with her own new vision for our school system. And they'd better not think about adding one dollar of pet projects in under the last bell.

Anonymous said...

From the AJC:

Judge rules DeKalb schools can retain attorneys in $100MM lawsuit!

Finally DeKalb County Schools has a slight victory!

I hope this sets the stage for more to come!

Bewildered said...

I am also inclined to vote no for the upcoming SPLOST vote; however, I am concerned that if SPLOST doesn't pass, will that negate the reduction in our Board from nine to seven members? Can someone verify if this is a real possibility?

If this is true, I would rather vote for SPLOST's passage than to lose the ability to reduce our Board to seven members.

Ella Smith said...

Annoymous 12:09

I definitely did not say it was the fault of the voters that money had not always been spent appropriate. I do not believe the voters make the decision on how money is spent on projects in the DeKalb County School System.

However, I think as a voter I have a right to vote "NO" and voice my opinion. Please do not try to indicate I say things I did not say. I can voice my own opinion and you can voice yours but do not try to indicate I voiced my opinion in a way I did not.

Whether any person on this blog votes for or against SPLOST IV has nothing to do with individuals making a choice to become criminals.

I see students as a teacher make these choices every day and I have never seen it be, because of the school facilities or the educational choices they have. Please do use my vote against SPLOST IV as a reason individuals will become criminals. That is really pushing it. Please show me some research that shows this could happen.

Anonymous said...

I will vote for SPLOST, simple because we need the exra penny we are use to paying and because we get so much from shoppers who live outside of DeKalb! Tell me, why be so mean spirited and not help all the children of DeKalb.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

But remember we will not be paying what we paid before. If T-SPLOST passes, DeKalb's sales tax will go to 8%. .01 for E-SPLOST and .01 for T-SPLOST.

If SPLOST fails I'm sure our BOE superman, Dr. Eugene Walker, will cry racism and demand our property taxes to go up to the max of .25mils from the 22.5mils it is today.

Personally, I don't like threats but this BOE and sit up here staff does not respect the taxpayers and are trying to maintain the money flow so their friends and family can continue on at DCSS.

It's time for some forensic audits of all budgets to find out where the money goes. Those audits should be done in the open and ALL the results should be made public, not selective results and false assumptions that our indicted Super maintained during the LOST E&Y audit of 2004.

Cerebration said...

We're at 22.98 mils. I think it may be one of the highest in the state already.

We do need to figure out how to get back some of the millions we lose due to the redistribution by the state. The state takes all of the school dollars and then rebalances to give more of a percentage to "poor rural" areas. Believe it or not, Gwinnett qualifies! DeKalb does not. We are - in reality - subsidizing Gwinnett! That money must come back to DeKalb. I'd like our board to care about that.

Anonymous said...

No Ella you only said that money had been misspent in the past and you wouldn't vote for SPLOST. I said that it is the voters' fault and it is. That is includes you and me. Our job as citizens is to support our schools and to make sure that the money is spent right. Sure the board makes decisions and the employees make mistakes-but the failure is ours for alllowing that to go on. Take some real responsibilty and do not penalize our students. Vote for SPLOST and be diligent so we all get it right this time. Otherwise we have met the enemy and it's us.

Cerebration said...

That is so much easier said than done, Anon. This blog and all of our participants have asked, asked and asked for transparency, oversight, planning, etc for years now and we never made progress at all until Ms Tyson. And try as she might, she too is up against the board and some administrators who sabotage and redirect her initiatives. Just saying "we can't allow this to go on" doesn't mean that we actually have any real power to stop it.

The only power we have is to make them put forth focused, specific spending plans and then stick to those plans. I haven't seen such a plan. The current plan, IMO covers everything but the kitchen sink and opens the door for unbridled redirection of funds.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with that ANON 11:27. There have been SPLOST citizen oversight committees for years and they haven't been able to make sure the right things happen.

Good luck with the average citizen making sure the system does anything.

Anonymous said...

"I will vote for SPLOST, simple because we need the exra penny we are use to paying and because we get so much from shoppers who live outside of DeKalb! Tell me, why be so mean spirited and not help all the children of DeKalb."

And that's the point: this does not help all the children of DeKalb. It has freed up funds formerly used to build buildings, and funneled them into the pockets of unqualified, unskilled and, frankly, inarticulate administrators. We have tried since SPLOST's inception to monitor how SPLOST has been spent - but we've been lied to at every turn. What's "mean spirited" is the action of the board and administrators who see the SPLOST as an un-ending supply of financial patronage. The Oversight Committee was not allowed to do its job. So sad that there are still those who believe DCSS leadership are credible administrators and not the thieves they have proven themselves to be.

Anonymous said...

Please just keep this in mind - the reduction of the board IS dependent on a SPLOST being in place in January of 2013. SO, for those of you determined to vote against this SPLOST, you are also voting to keep the same board in place. No SPLOST, and the board reverts to their same nine members with staggered terms. Be very careful what you are wishing for. The only losers in defeating this SPLOST are the children.

Dekalbparent said...

Anon. 1:14 - Are you sure of this? The way I read the law, it seemed to say a SPLOST or some other local option tax, along with homestead exemption, which is ties to our HOST.

Has anyone heard from spoken to the author of this legislation to clear up the question?

Anonymous said...

It's AND not OR

"On and after January 1, 2013, in counties in which there is being collected a homestead
13 option sales and use tax pursuant to Article 2A of Chapter 8 of Title 48 AND a county sales
14 and use tax for educational purposes pursuant to Part 2 of Article 3 of Chapter 8 of Title 48,
15 the county board of education shall consist of seven members elected from single-member
16 districts of approximately equal population."

Anonymous said...

Sorry I didn't take out the line numbers in the last post.

Anonymous said...

It does not matter what was "intended" by the legislation's author(s), this is the wording and as such, is the reality.

Anonymous said...

You see, the legislation had to be drafted in such a way that it would apply to DeKalb county without actually naming DeKalb county. So, what we have here is a bit of a conundrum - you vote down SPLOST and the legislation no longer applies to DeKalb county, and, you essentially vote back in our entire board.

And I have indeed spoken to someone involved in the drafting of this legislation. As I said before, it was not intentional to tie the board size to the SPLOST vote, however, it is the reality.

Anonymous said...

Word is that new legislation will be introduced to alleviate the "issue" of the SPLOST wording.

Anonymous said...

And until that time, we have what IS and what MIGHT be. I'll take approving SPLOST and gaining a 7 member board over the what might be.

Anonymous said...

As per usual, discussion (esp. at Get Schooled blog) has devolved into finger-pointing and bashing specific school communities, which reminds us of redistricting last year. Too bad folks won't spend that energy supporting their schools, rather than complaining about what others “get.” If SPLOST IV fails, the BOE will probably look to raise the school tax. Many don’t care about that because they don’t have to pay that tax. At least a sales tax is voluntary. Normally, I oppose SPLOSTs, but I actually support this more so than the T-SPLOST boondogle that’s brewing. If you are upset with the record of your BOE member, vote “no” on them, rather than taking the opportunity from so many children in Dekalb to have better classrooms and facilities.

Anonymous said...

Most of these posting did vote out their board members -- it is the rest of the county that is the problem.

Anonymous said...

Here’s a video 11Alive did on the $30,000,000 administrative offices renovation DeKalb Schools did using SPLOST 3 money. The $2,000+ chairs that had been ordered were sent back AFTER 11Alive did this piece.

The BOE spent $30,000,000 on administrative offices and put schools that needed repairs and renovations on the back burner.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBwQtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DpWZO3VzePXw&ei=KWyXTrnwNs6ztwfr-ITkAw&usg=AFQjCNEtnp-trYtMLTyZu35ALnGOEr9zkw&sig2=QuP6c8_apJqx_U-7l3twOw

Anonymous said...

I just received an automated telephone survey asking whether I would vote for the education SPLOST. It was a short survey but I would like to know what group is sponsoring and paying for the survey. It is possible that this was said quickly at the beginning and I missed it. If anyone has any knowledge about who is behind this survey, please post it.

Anonymous said...

I also just received a short telephone survey about how I would be voting regarding SPLOST IV. It asked for my gender, race and political affiliation and was I going to be voting. Did not say who was sponsoring the survey.

David Montané said...

Someone posting said they will vote for SPLOST IV simply because of the arbitrarily-connected legislation reducing the board from 9 to 7. That is really counting on a big change to happen just from losing 2 board members. How do we know that both of those we lose might be the ones we wanted. Or, more likely, what if it doesn't amount to any detectable difference at all?

Cere pointed out if we vote SPLOST IV down, our property taxes will go up $57, which means if each property owner spends $475 a month in the county, they will save enough to offset the HOST increase. My household easily spends that much in the county just on groceries and restaurants, not to mention gasoline and other car expenses, pet products, and household items.

When we have only a 6% sales tax as opposed to 8% in Atlanta, there should be at least a slight, helpful increase in profits for our local businesses when out-of-towners make it a special point to shop in DeKalb. Anything we can do to help local businesses will help our JOBS situation.

There is also something to be said for being good hosts to our out-of-town guests, stealing as little of their money as possible, is there not?

Anonymous said...

"Someone posting said they will vote for SPLOST IV simply because of the arbitrarily-connected legislation reducing the board from 9 to 7. That is really counting on a big change to happen just from losing 2 board members. How do we know that both of those we lose might be the ones we wanted. Or, more likely, what if it doesn't amount to any detectable difference at all?"

This is without a doubt the best opportunity we have had in years to alter the composition of the board. In addition to the reduction in number of board members, THE DISTRICTS MUST BE REDRAWN. Do you get the true ramifications of this opportunity? This is the best chance to make more than a "detectable difference" we will get.

Cerebration said...

Early voting for the E-SPLOST election is now through Friday, November 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. weekdays at the DeKalb County Voter Registration & Elections Office, 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032, near the junction of Memorial and I-285.