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Political Debates
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By: Eddy Gifford, Publisher

 

The Dade County Board of Education held its regular scheduled meeting Monday night.

As part of its consent agenda the Board of Education approved a new SPLOST tax referendum to be voted on next year. The current SPLOST for education is set to expire early next year. The date for the election to be held in all voting precincts of the Dade County school district will be March 6, 2012.

The question on the ballot will be substantially the following:

Shall a special one percent sales and use tax continue to be imposed in Dade County (such tax to be a continuation of the existing one percent sales and use tax and not an additional sales and use tax) for a period of time not to exceed five years (20 calendar quarters) commencing upon the expiration of the existing one percent sales and use tax previously imposed for the raising of not more than $15,000,000 for the purposes of (i) acquiring new technology equipment, software, safety and security equipment and other school equipment; (ii) demolishing, adding to, renovating, repairing, improving, equipping and furnishing existing school buildings or other buildings or facilities useful or desirable in connection there with, including but not limited to HVAC, roofing, electrical, paving, fencing, cafeterias, flooring and a track; (iv) purchasing textbooks and band instruments; (v) purchasing school buses, school vehicles, drivers education vehicles and maintenance equipment; (vi) acquiring any property necessary or desirable therefore, both real and personal (the “Dade School Projects”), the estimated cost of the Dade School Projects to be paid with sales tax proceeds being $15,000,000.

It was pointed out that this would be a pay as you go and funds would not be borrowed to do projects before money is collected thereby saving any interest the loans would incur.

Also on the consent agenda was the purchase of a compact utility tractor for the athletic department at a cost of $18,000 and a contract with Benchmark Physical Therapy for a trainer at all Dade County High School athletic events for a cost of $2,300.

All items on the consent agenda were approved by a unanimous vote.

During the public input portion of the meeting Julie Williams and Donna Street spoke on the “procedures for books” that would be used for selecting and distributing reading material for Dade County students and teachers.

Williams addressed one book that had recently been removed from the library and stated she found the book to be very good reading and didn’t find it offensive in any way.

Street advised the board that previously they had a Media Committee to handle such issues that worked really well and that a previous superintendent had done away with it. “All you need to do is reinstate that procedure and it will work well,” Street stated.

Prior to the public input the Procedures for Books had been removed from the consent agenda for further study.

The board reviewed general fund financials and approved an agreement with Associated Architectural Services and tabled the board meeting schedule for 2012 until it could be reviewed further.

Board members then went into executive session for personnel issues. After the two hour session members returned and approved personnel recommendations from Superintendent Shawn Tobin as follows:

Paraprofessional Tres Avans on a three to one vote with BOE members Mutt Massengale, Carolyn Bradford and David Powell voting in favor while board member Jeff Forester voted against and board member Ronnie Page abstained.

Also approved were Becky Smith as a full time bus driver; Laura Holder as a part time – as needed – bus driver and the transfer of Jessica Wilson from Dade Middle School to Dade County High School.

A leave of absence request for Jamie Muir was also approved.

Superintendent Tobin reported that Towers Construction was to start on the awning work at Dade Elementary on Wednesday. Due to a mix-up on material that work was delayed from last week.

He also reported big plans are underway at all schools for Veteran’s Day activities and that he had met with band boosters. He also expressed thanks to Chris Greene and Bill Bankson for their continued work on the school web site.

Tobin also reminded everyone of Davis Elementary’s Fall Festival that is Saturday and the Relay for Life coming up on Friday at DCHS.


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