Key gives school board majority an 'F' on recent redistricting

Thu, 07/03/2008 - 7:46am
By: Cal Beverly

Former teacher and Post 3 incumbent Marion Key gives a redistricting grade of “F” to the majority on the Fayette County Board of Education.

As one of the two candidates responding to The Citizen’s pre-primary questions, Key portrayed herself as often a lone voice against budgetary excesses.

“We have more space system-wide than we need, yet after redistricting, we are still using trailers,” Key said in her responses in the political forum section of this website. “We are paying twice for utilities at schools with empty space and the trailers.

“My position in the redistricting process was for all schools to have enough students to receive full state funding for their administrative overhead. The consultant and the committee had developed a plan to meet that criteria,” Key said.

“The board chose to change the recommended boundaries over my objections. This is the reason we have trailers in some schools while other schools do not meet the state’s minimum enrollment requirements to receive full funding for administrative costs. This leaves Fayette County’s taxpayers to make up the shortfall,” Key said.

Only two of the seven candidates for three school board seats responded to the forum questions. Those included Post 2 challenger Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao and Post 3 incumbent Marion Key.

On the issue of potential future millage rate increases in a declining local economy, Key said she had been asking for an assessment of program costs and effectiveness for some time and would support requiring the superintendent to provide that data to the board prior to the next budget cycle.

In her response, Bacallao said a millage rate increase would be an option of last resort, adding that budget areas that had become ineffective over the years should be identified and eliminated. Budget cuts should not adversely affect classroom instruction or infrastructure, she said.

Both Bacallao and Key said they supported videotaping board meetings. Bacallao said the meeting room should be arranged so that the public can see a speaker’s interaction with the board, while Key said meeting minutes should be more detailed and should include the pros and cons of discussion items.

Perhaps as important as any question posed on the forum was one asking if candidates could be trusted with money and children.

Key said her guiding philosophy during more than 40 years in education has been the welfare of the county’s children, adding that she has been the lone voice on the board during some of the property purchases and school construction projects.

Bacallao said she has managed more than $1 million in federal funds and that she was diligent in managing those funds, noting that her doctorate is in educational leadership. More important than money, she said, is the accountability of adults that work with children.

Those not responding due to what they said were negative questions posed to candidates included Post 1 incumbent Janet Smola, Post 2 incumbent Terri Smith and Post 3 challengers Mark Aasen and Carol Jensen-Linton.

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Submitted by K8 on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 7:40am.

Terri Smith and Janet Smola have consistently shown themselves to be open-minded, fair, and intelligent. They are alert and capable BOE members who effectively and appropriately express their opinions at Board meetings.

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 11:28am.

At the board meetings I have attended Ms. Smola used a very condescending tone towards others. I don't think being disrespectful is the appropriate way to express opinions and get the job done.

Submitted by head_ragg on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 10:04am.

Marion Key

Mr Houston

Dr. Mary Kay

Submitted by heatjam on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 9:52am.

effectively and appropriately express their opinions at Board meetings.

That they do, but open-minded, fair and intelligent??? Now you're pushing it!!

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 12:27pm.

I'm decidedly neutral about Marion Key, I've heard both good and bad things about her (and yes, I was a raving Jensen-Linton supporter before Carol decided to play Republican games).

My concerns:
1. Now that redistricting is a settled issue for 2008, I keep reading Marion Key's criticism of the process. Since she was one of five votes on the issue, I'm wondering where her leadership was during the actual process itself. The one video clip I could find of her has her wringing her hands and muttering "can't we just start all over again?". That doesn't strike me as showing strikes me as being reactive and ineffective. Is this an unfair characterization?

2. Likewise, we are hearing loud and long NOW about Marion Key and the two white elephant elementary schools in eastern Fayette county, and yes, I'm aware that she was the "1" in the 4-1 votes, but why didn't she do more to "rock the boat" back then? Is it only in the forefront now because her elected seat is at stake?

3. A few people here have intimated that Key, a retiree, is a technological Luddite who refuses to adapt to technological advances in education. Some claim she doesn't even use email. I noticed she is one of the very few candidates who doesn't have a campaign website. I'm not comfortable with a person who seems to cling to a 1970s-1980s mindset.

Just my 2 cents from a guy with a pocketful of change.

Submitted by MYTMITE on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 10:37pm.

I'll confess--I'll tell you anything you want to know? Want my first born, take her, want my house, my money. my car??? Take it all, just make that psychotic insect stop!!

Submitted by buckstopshere on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 5:29pm.

I saw it. Go to (that has info on all races)


Submitted by oldbeachbear on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 6:14pm.


FCBOE Board Member, 1993-1996 and 2001-present

Retired Math Professor, Clayton State University, after 20+ Years of Teaching

Educational Specialist Degree, Georgia State University

Masters Degree, Georgia College & State University

Bachelor of Science, Georgia College & State University

Teacher, Bibb and Clayton County Schools, 9 years

Pre-School Teacher, Mothers Morning Out Program

Board Member, Fayette County Education Foundation

Member, Fayette County Retired Educators Association

Community Service

Judge, recitation and math contests and track meets

Reader, literacy volunteer for elementary school students

Parade and Festival Participant, elementary schools

Supporter and Contributor, qualifying Fayette County teams for national Science Olympiad competitions


Married to Jere Key, retired military and retired school teacher

Mother of Lori (McIntosh graduate of 1992), a social studies teacher, and Scott (McIntosh graduate of 1996),

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 7:09pm.

"Married to Jere Key, retired military and retired school teacher"

A "Eureka" moment....I KNEW that I knew Marion Key from somewhere!!!

She's Coach Key's wife! He was the basketball coach at Booth Middle School and I used to coach against him in PTCYBA!!

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 1:06pm.

getting some new people on the school board so that Marion Key does not always get outvoted!!

Submitted by heatjam on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 12:08pm.

Marion Key was one of the School Board Members that led the charge to close East Fayette Elementary and bus (using lots of expensive fuel) all of the students all the way to Inman,instead of to a closer school, just to fill up Inman. People say that Inman was built in the middle of no where. Well, if the Board had the guts to stand up to people, everything on the south end of town would have shifted south and east, thereby alleviating overcrowding at Peeples and filling up the schools.! They (the board) were afraid to lose the $$ that they need to run for reelection. So now, we still have overcrowded schools, children being bussed a long way oh, and no one has ever mentioned the fact that last year classrooms were added to Brooks, yet no new students. Go figure!!

What this county needs is a major do-over!! Yes, in the short term Susies and Johnnys will be shifted, but in the long term it makes sense. Can we say compass point and circle anyone?

Submitted by buckstopshere on Sun, 07/06/2008 - 10:31am.

You are right that the FCBOE was adding classrooms to Brooks elem. at the same time they were building Inman Road elem. I think it is a fishy scenario at best...why would they add on to a school that has never been over capacity? Is there huge amounts of development down there?
I also think the FCBOe was backed into a corner and had to close East Fayette. They had to do it or they would be further over budget this year. Because of the FCBOE's poor planning, which Marion tried to sound the alarm on, they had no other choice but to close it.They can surplus the whole staff over to the new school and not have to spend more money on administrators, teachers and staff.
They will be spending big bucks on transportation though...bummer.
I hope this helps you see part of the big picture in what has been going on.

Submitted by teacher on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 2:51pm.

For those of you who do not know the facts: 1. Brooks did not receive an addition because of numbers 2. Brooks had K/1st classrooms that were not comparable to others in the was a matter of equality.

aliquando's picture
Submitted by aliquando on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 12:20am.

Schools like Sandy Creek have almost always been under-utilized. This is mostly due to the fact that residents of PTC view the school system as a two part system; city residents should only attend city schools, let the rest of the county deal with their own problems. You could see this with the Bennets Mill situation. Heaven help us if a PTC child had to attend an " out of city" school. I grew up in PTC and attended PTC Elementary, Booth, and MHS. My kids currently attend Bennets Mill and Cleveland and I could not be happier. My parents still live in PTC, but it is not the town I grew up in anymore.

Submitted by too bad on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 5:49am.

What you are saying is so true. The BOE has caved in to the snobbery every time. They even gave Sandy Creek the kids from the other side of the county rather than let them go to the schools closer. Locals saw the out of county cars on a daily basis, when they complained, it was inferred to the complainers they were racist. We never realized the idea was getting 50 ptc from the Federal government for an out of county kid was better than nothing at all.

Now, because the people of the Sandy Creek area have had no voice, they have moved on. PTC will get what we have had soon. Already parents are turning to private schools.

PTC residence have said nothing as the new schools have been built in deserted locations for questionable reasons. What was the gain in this? and for whom?

By not redistricting to fill all the seats in this county. You have drawn a bulls eye on your Schools like McIntosh and Starrs Mill for the NAACP. You have taken it one step closer to the scenario of Dekalb schools. They made the county pay to buss kids in from the very envious surrounding counties. The kids that were bussed in were mean and their parents had an ax to grind. Guess what, they ground it on our kids.

You have your own snobbery and school board to blame.

gelato's picture
Submitted by gelato on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 1:06pm.

Not only does Marion Key have my vote, but she has my utmost respect as well. Many of us have been seeing many strange and fishy movements on the part of some of the officials of the fcboe for quite some time, and it has taken guts on the part of Marion Key to speak out about the irresponsible spending of OUR MONEY. Thank you, Marion Key, for having the welfare of our children and grandchildren as your priority. You and Dr. Bacallao will having a lot of cleaning up to do - but you are the right ones for the job, no doubt!

Submitted by tc on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 10:59am.

Folks, get a grip. We can argue the details about who did what when 'til the cows come home, but the fact remains - and this is what Marion has said all along - the process is flawed. Here are just a couple examples. 1. The district has two different sets of occupancy numbers. The first is the "real" numbers which are submitted regularly to the state. The second is the set that transpired after an internal audit by FCBOE administrative staff. 2. The district has been basing school needs on general population trends versus actual numbers for school age children. Big difference and big consequences depending on which numbers you use. 3. The consultant that was hired used birth rates but his recommendations were rejected and he was either forced out or quit when this happened. 4. The community committee was led into adopting a map that was proposed outside the committee process by a district employee versus the three versions the community was promised when the committee was formed. So while the effort to include a community process was great, when you have adminstrators interjecting their wishes into the process, it is going to be flawed. What we should now be focusing on is which candidates running for the school board positions have the vision and experience not to redistrict but to RESTRUCTURE the process so that it is based on verifiable information and REAL not imagined needs.

Before anyone starts picking apart details, talk to any of the 20 plus people who served on the redistricting committee. They'll tell you what really happened in those meetings and whether the outcome reflected their ideas.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 8:15am.

"The district has been basing school needs on general population trends versus actual numbers for school age children. Big difference and big consequences depending on which numbers you use."

When the BOE buys 100 acres in the middle of no where and builds a school, then sells the rest to developers, that would be a self fulfilling prophecy don't you think? That does nothing to address the overcrowding. Who came up with that idea anyway?

"The consultant that was hired used birth rates but his recommendations were rejected and he was either forced out or quit when this happened."

To me, how could you ...not...take the births in the county into consideration along with where the density is?

Anything else is developer welfare at the expense of the kids. And guess who voted against it? Marion Key! Good for you Marion!

gelato's picture
Submitted by gelato on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 8:58am.

Very well said! Citizen blogger keeps repeating that the system was flawed, but I just don't buy it. I believe that some of the BOE members and the developers were in cahoots with each other, and we've paid a hefty price.

Submitted by CitizenBlogger on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 12:53pm.

Has anybody denied the process was flawed? If it hadn't been flawed, it would have yielded a result that wouldn't have been thrown out. Talk to all the people on the committee, see if you can find one who thought the process wasn't flawed. Talk to the board members, they can't defend the process. Ask the staff members who tried to use the process, I bet they won't defend the process. All of those people might give different examples of why it was flawed (of course, the flaws were the parts that didn't include them personally)! I'll bet you'll get as many different versions as you can find people to talk to.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 12:37pm.

My first question is, why would anyone scrap the work of this guy that they were willing to pay the big bucks to because he was suppose to be the guru of redistricting?

Why would you ever use...PROJECTED? "Build it and they will come" again? that is right out there with buying 100 acres in the country and hoping to sell the excess to who? a developer? That is really bright!

It is just my humble opinion, but if you are projecting....rather than fixing the are helping no one but the developers.

Has our school board been in the bussiness of taking care of our kids overcrowding, or how the developers are gonna make a buck?

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 11:20am.

Thanks for that recap, TC, I was wondering about some of that history.

Some questions:
1) Who ordered an internal audit to be done by staff? What criteria did they use and why was it different from the quote real unquote numbers?

2) Was there any reasoning documented behind discarding birth rates?

3) Who permitted an employee to arbitrarily create a map and who was this employee? When you say "administrators" were meddling did you mean the school board members themselves? or was it admin staff from the county office?

Submitted by tc on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 11:24am.

A chronology of the events can be found in the FCBOE redistricting minutes (which do not resemble the district's worthless board meeting recaps that are "prepared" for the community)but be aware that there are some inaccuracies. Also, The Citizen ran almost weekly articles about the process. And, you could check in with anyone who was on the committee.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 12:02pm.

Hi TC, thanks for the info. Do you know where the FCBOE redistricting minutes are online? I looked over at their website and couldn't seem to find them.

I tried reading the Citizen's recaps but they weren't much help, they seemed focused on minutiae and didn't give much in the way of the "big picture".

edited to add: okay I found it:

Holy Cow, what an abortion.

Truthfully, I didn't pay much attention to redistricting this past go around because my snifflespawn weren't affected. I lost count of the various ways the school board AND the school administrators screwed up the entire process. Unreal!

They hired the guy who did Dekalb county's court-ordered desegregation plan. He came in with an assistant and a template. He gave 18 ground rules for success and I cannot find out if the county actually did any "homework" on more than a handful of these ground rules (for example: have any schools in question undergone substantial renovation within the past 5 years? Hello? East Fayette?)

The initial planning was there, but it appeared that at some point everyone collectively gave up and began freelancing. Then some school administrators came up with a half-baked plan at the eleventh hour that didn't do much of anything and "saved the day".

The process completely went to hell when the school board adopted an "us vs. them" mentality against the community and particularly the Citizen. School lawyer Phil Hartley and PR flack Melinda Berry-Dreisbach look especially bad in retrospect. Why Berry-Dreisbach continues to work for the BOE is beyond me, you can almost feel her contempt and scorn dripping from her press releases.

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 10:27am.

Marion Key has always listened to any concerns that I have ever discussed with her. You can't have it both ways Citizen Blogger. If the schools are going to be balanced-some people have to move to other schools. I agree that it is disruptive-but that is the only way to accomplish the task. All of the schools in our county are quality schools!

Submitted by CitizenBlogger on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 10:35am.

she must not have been listening to the impassioned pleas of parents who didn't support the disruption of their children just to balance some numbers. Many, many parents and grandparents did not agree that the "task" was worth the disruption. My point is just can't have it both ways. You can't say your priority is children, then make your priority something that is not what's best for children. Sure, the children would have survived, but the pros did not outnumber the cons.

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 10:43am.

Citizen blogger-I have lived in my neighborhood for 8 years. In that time, we have been zoned to 2 different elementary schools, 3 different middle schools, and 2 different high schools. None of the other board members helped us. You know what-the kids adjusted and did well. That is life! Again, all of the schools in this county are quality schools. All of the movement was not ideal-but I think the experience will only help them in real life!

Submitted by CitizenBlogger on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 12:59pm.

I agree the kids will get over it. I am only saying that why make them have to get over something if it isn't truly necessary.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 1:12pm.

"I have lived in my neighborhood for 8 years. In that time, we have been zoned to 2 different elementary schools, 3 different middle schools, and 2 different high schools."

THEY.. ARE.. GOING THROUGH IT......because of this 'throw them a bone and let them be happy a while attitude", while we build the schools in the middle of no where.

You don't care about these kids getting jerked every 2 or 3 years, sounds like hers more often than that!

Can we agree to disagree? No will never make an ally out of me....never.

Submitted by CitizenBlogger on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 2:49pm.

I asked too bad to agree to disagree. It looks like you forgot to switch to your other screen name before you answered me. Blogging while drunk again?

Yes, I did read. I asked her which neighborhood had been changed that much because I was just wondering how that was possible. NOT TALKING TO YOU UNLESS THAT IS YET ANOTHER OF YOUR SCREEN NAMES.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 4:09pm.

In rereading it, you didn't say too bad, but, it seems that is who you were addressing. As for me, I will never agree with you.

As for too bad =oldbeachbear, you can say that or even call me Yellow Cal, Gelato, buckstops here, or anyone you want to. I really do't care.

"You want to agree to disagree? We obviously support different candidates. I haven't trashed Marion any more than you have trashed the Smolas."

The thing is, you were on here for over a week bashing Marion Key and Houston when they haven't done the same. You have stated that Marion is unethical and anything else you could come up with.

The end of the story is people will vote for everyone based upon what kind of a job they have done, or not done. You can't change that.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 11:03am.

you made some very good points. This spot redoing is hurting some areas more than others. We have been here since the 3rd grade and never rezoned. The whole thing needs to be redone in a manner that will last several years.

Marion Key said we have schools with empty seats and others with trailors. We have only to look around to know that is true. The thing about redistricting though, is they are still going to school with the kids next door if it is done properly.

What we have in our area is quite different. One day your best friend next door is going to school with you, the next minute their parents have thrown in the towel and headed for the hills with little Jonnie in tow. Then cause there is an empty seat to fill, here comes some thug to replace him. You have nothing in common with them and then are wondering what you are doing there.

If we do not redraw the boundaries and use the space we have so that the BOE isn't turning a blind eye to out of county kids to get some money out of the Fed gov., what is happening here will be all over the county.

By redrawing the lines to us all the seats in the schools, we are also pushing out the out of county kids and lowering our taxes and saving our schools.

These schools built in the middle on no where, then the land around them sold, possibly to developers, has done nothing to help the kids in the overcrowed areas.

Submitted by CitizenBlogger on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 10:22am.

If a staff member or school board member listened to your concerns and acted on your behalf to address those concerns, Marion Key opposed that. Can she be in favor of moving kids to "balance enrollment" and ignore the disruption to them and their families? She favored swapping kids for kids - move 400 from Peeples to Braelinn then move 300 from Braelinn to Peeples so Peeples can drop 100. Oh sure, her guiding philosophy has been the welfare of the children - what a joke.

Submitted by wheeljc on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 9:15am.

Kudos to Ms. Key for being up front, and candid.

Would be interesting for a time chart to be developed -- over the past four years -- depicting recommended expenditures by the board. This chart could include dates of meetings; citizen's recommendations; consultant's recommendations; options and costs; decisions and costs; and pay raises of the more senior members of the education system.

Since it appears -- based upon Ms. Key's comments -- that the welfare of the children of Fayette County did not necessarily drive decisions -- {“We have more space system-wide than we need, yet after redistricting, we are still using trailers,” Key said in her responses in the political forum section of this website. “We are paying twice for utilities at schools with empty space and the trailers.

“My position in the redistricting process was for all schools to have enough students to receive full state funding for their administrative overhead. The consultant and the committee had developed a plan to meet that criteria,” Key said.} -- the question then becomes -- WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATION FOR THE DECISIONS?

Do you think the citizens for Fayette County have a right to know?

This decision had to be difficult for Ms. Key. Again, kudos to her for having the backbone and willingness to speak up. She is probably appreciated more today than she was 72 hours ago!!

Submitted by buckstopshere on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 9:43am.

I think it would be a good idea for everyone to know what is going on. I hope Cal puts this piece into print for the paper. If the citizens of this county were all aware of these matters before they went to vote...I bet we'd have a great turnout; re-elect Marion and bring in Bacallao and Houston!!!

Submitted by CitizenBlogger on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 10:30am.

All of the parents who know why the board rejected the boundaries presented to them by staff know that Marion Key's unethical meddling would have caused the unnecessary massive upheaval of a large percentage of Fayette County's elementary students. I hope that the parents who saw that some board members defended them and their families and shot down that plan will log on and defend the board members now. If not, Fayette's voters will get what they deserve, just like Clayton County's voters got what they deserve.

Submitted by wheeljc on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 11:00am.

"If not, Fayette's voters will get what they deserve, just like Clayton County's voters got what they deserve."

My my! What a strange coincidence!!

Submitted by CitizenBlogger on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 11:51am.

I am not Y oh Y, but I think Y oh Y is right about that. In fact, I've said I was worried about this before Y oh Y was even a blogger. If Marion Key wins this election there are school system employees who will file ethics complaints against her and Bob Todd. They are waiting to see if she's replaced before they go to the trouble TO include her in the complaint. THIS IS NOT A HUNCH - PEOPLE ARE GATHERING EVIDENCE, CONTACTING LAWYERS, AND DOCUMENTING HER HARRASSMENT. HER FALSE AND INFLAMMATORY ACCUSATIONS IN HER RESPONSES TO THE CITIZEN ARE JUST MORE EVIDENCE AGAINST HER.

Also, I got in trouble with yellow cal and haven't even had access to the Citizen for a few days. Did you know if you get your access denied you can't even read the paper online?

Submitted by wheeljc on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 1:46pm.

Here was this old boy's beef! As we have stated previously, did not not have a dog in this hunt. Following recent years of seeing out of county tags in our neighborhood around 'bus drop off time' and being told that 'there was nothing that could be done', we did become a bit more aware of what was going on with the BOE. Then came the redistricting plan; the hiring of a consultant; then disregarding the plan of the consultant; and the adoption of another plan. When we had the dust up in March with the senate bill that was 'was a mistake', our antenna was really raised into the air -- even more so after the Saturday meeting at the Government Complex!!!! Then came CRCT scores -- with some of our schools and kids needing help. Asked my self the question -- WHO IS MINDING THE STORE?? Did start to wonder WHO WAS PAYING FOR ALL OF THIS?? Silly me!!

In all candor Citizen Blogger, when public servants fail to, or refuse to answer specific questions by the media, -- regardless of it being a local outlet or major outlet -- what is the the public left to think??
Candidly, do not know some of the candidates, but think that it -- at best -- was politically naive for them to think they could slip by without the public asking a fair question "what are they fearing?" Sadly, think that some of the public may have developed an opinion that some of the public officials have become 'mushroom farmers'. If that was the case, it was an erroneous one!

Much of this apparent angst could have been avoided had they been proactive enough to have responded to the questions to the best of their ability. They -- NOT THE CITIZEN -- chose not to do so. Now, as public servants, they will answer to the public.

We will await July 15.

Submitted by too bad on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 12:03pm.

if anyone puts your name in the on this site, they will see that all you have talked about for months is negative things about Marion Key, and gushed over Janet Smola, nothing else. Well, there was the one time you defended her hubby. Odd, don't you think?

Submitted by CitizenBlogger on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 12:38pm.

You want to agree to disagree? We obviously support different candidates. I haven't trashed Marion any more than you have trashed the Smolas.

Do you think I am the only one person in this county of over 100,000 who thinks that way?

I'd search and remind you how many times you've trashed Smola when the topic wasn't even on her but yellow Cal accuses me of hijacking the blogs and bans me. You can do it for yourself and see.

gelato's picture
Submitted by gelato on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 1:10pm.

you sound an awful lot like Dorthea - who in turn sounds like Janet Smola - any relation?

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 12:55pm.

Respectfully Citizen Blogger; If "Yellow Cal" banned you, we'd be reading your opinions under an entirely different moniker. You can call Cal many things, but yeller ain't one of 'em. I like'n back to the time when Lynn Westmoreland's big city, high dollar Atlanta lawyer dweebs wrote Cal that threatening letter a couple of years back threatening a lawsuit if he didn't reign in the bloggers. What did "Yellow Cal" do? Why he printed that threat right on the front page of his yeller paper. Plus in spite of the recent GOP gang of political hack's blackball attempt on Yeller Cal's paper and his readers what did he do? He left 'em off and gave the candidates that had the courage to answer the challenging question 'prime time' on the front page. Smiling Hardly the description of "Yellow" wouldn't you say? Eye-wink

Cal never banned you. You experienced log-in / site update problems just like the rest of occasionally experience. Now stop whining about that.


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Submitted by wheeljc on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 2:48pm.

Who would have known, had Cal and the Citizen not offered an opportunity that was refused!

Must also ask the questions: Where does the Fayette County Republican Party come down on 'refusal to respond to questions'? Do they feel that the 'tone' was too 'strident'; too 'pointed'; too 'telling'?

One just never knows does one??

Submitted by CitizenBlogger on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 1:05pm.

On Jul 1, 2008, at 8:41 PM, CitizenBlogger wrote:

Dear Editor,

I understand why you blocked me from blogging. I didn't realize I was breaking the rules. I had been blocked before I even saw your warning and for that I apologize.

However, I do not understand why my access to the website is denied. Is that for a certain period of time or forever?



-----Original Message-----
From: Cal Beverly
Sent: Jul 1, 2008 9:03 PM
To: CitizenBlogger
Subject: Re: Access Denied

"Access denied" is the online death penalty for malicious users.

If you agree to abide by the rules, I will reinstate you in a couple of days.

But if I see any more attempts by you as CitizenBlogger or as any other user name (and I CAN track that) to hijack my site, and you're gone for good.

Cal Beverly
The Citizen Newspapers
Fayetteville, Ga.

On Jul 2, 2008, at 10:47 PM, CitizenBlogger wrote:

I agree to abide by the rules.

From: Cal Beverly [Add to Address Book]
To: CitizenBlogger
Subject: Re: Access Denied
Date: Jul 2, 2008 11:34 PM
Your screen name has been unblocked.

Cal Beverly


The Citizen Newspapers

Fayetteville, Ga.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 6:52pm.

That comes as a surprise to me. I had never seen Cal do that before and I didn't know there was a Citizen Suspension Penalty Box. I always thought there was this red colored lever on Cal's desk that he pulled which allowed the banned blogger to disappear through a trap door into never - never land. I humbly stand corrected. Now go behave yourself...LOL!

I still say ole Cal is far from being Yellow. Wanna see yellow go to the Fayette Daily News.


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Submitted by CitizenBlogger on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 2:21pm.

I am trying to behave.

Just so you know, Cal kicked me off because I was on a tirade about Yellow Journalism, Journalistic Integrity and Journalistic Ethics.

He signed his warning to me "Yellow Cal"

I didn't accuse him of being a coward. I haven't changed my opinion of him as a journalist. Well, he isn't a journalist. He just has a newspaper and a website.

carbonunit52's picture
Submitted by carbonunit52 on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 6:58pm.

This site is a hoot. I have had a chance to interact with some real swell people here, and I learn so much that it is truly humbling.

Submitted by tc on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 1:33pm.

Good to know that this isn't just a big free for all, as some people have suggested. Keep up the good work.

Silence Dogood's picture
Submitted by Silence Dogood on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 1:13pm.


Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 1:05pm.

you always put it to the point. I wish you would run for office.

Submitted by Y oh Y on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 11:33am.


I lived through the CCBOE fiasco ( take 1 ) and joined the exodus. We all have seen first hand how a "throw the bums out approach" worked in PTC and now Tyronne. A number of parents in Fayette are worried about our schools which is a good thing.

Some things I hope the board will do

a ) Continue and adviance the quality of our schools

b ) Stand up for our teachers and staff

c ) represent all of Fayette County not just a few.

The current board has done a reasonable job in these repsects. Not to mention that the current members alerted and then fed information to several PTSOs so we could get out the troops to stop that dreadful Senate Bill. Matt Ramsey got and deserves a lot of credit for leading the fight, but the unsung heroes are our current board members who got the information to the parents who could lobby the legislature.

But since you called me out....

Where the heck was Marion's steadfast opinion on any of this when it was going on? She did vote no, but where is the letter to the Citizen? Where is any attempt to warn the parents of her concerns. Like some of the other board members or not, they tell you what they think, whether you want to hear it or not, whether you agree or not, and they back up their words with consistent action. With Marion we heard the squeeking of a mouse until Cal decided to lionize her with this article. I have differed with Mayor Brown too many times, but I respect him so much for the fact that he made his views known, even if they were unpopular. That is courage, and I did not, and would not vote for him in most cases.

I do not have a dog ( or relative ) in this fight, but I have a child and a spouse who is a FCBOE teacher not to mention a house that has lost enough value. We must protect our schools from risks and the Clayton County dibacle is high on the list of risks. Not because of who their students are or what they look like, but becasue too many of us can remember a time when CCBOE was actually a good system who produced good students. It can happen here if we are not hyper vigilant.

Have a great 4th

Submitted by too bad on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 11:58am.

If we use all our class rooms for our own kids and quit building schools in the middle of no where, we have solved much of our problem. Some in our area have had conversations with the person you champion and I feel you were sold a bill of goods. Why? maybe because the election was coming up. It doesn't hurt to throw the masses a bone now and then to get what you want. I can assure you that those in her district, I for one, who have had conversations with her over this matter, have been called racist. I came away with the feeling that she feels the schools should be 50/50 even if the area wasn't so, because this person, in my eyes feels strongly, with their northern roots, in intergration. That is fine if they live here, but they didn't, that was the whole problem. I feel that no elected offical should put their views above their area. It is my own personal belief, that by doing nothing, my view and a lot of others were circumvented, and replaced with what that person thought should happen.

Submitted by Y oh Y on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 1:05pm.

I was called a racist just yesterday on the blogs. Sometimes things are said in the heat of the moment that are meant better then they are delivered. End of the day you consider the source and go on. In this person's case, I do not know the facts but call her on it. If you are reasonable, I bet you all can talk it out.

But to the classroom issue. Ideally, I agree. But how do we handle the ebb abd flow of students with from each negighborhood? Some classroom that are idle are going to remain so as the school population moves to different areas. The only answer would be mass busing with long commutes. Which parent wants that. My spouse used to teach in a trailer, I bet most parents would chose trailers versus buses. I know I would. Teachers are easier to move.

I beleive I heard that Crabapple has almost an entire wing available. One pocket of growth is in the West Village of PTC. There are two elementary schools between Crabapple and the West Village. How do you offer those students a similar commute to school as the tax payers who pay the same taxes in the county? Capacity planning is difficult when the "factory" or schools are geographically spread out. And the inputs cannot be logically ( and reliably )be counted on to arrive or be located where you need them. In this case, the inputs are our children.

Building after growth, like Centennial Elem creates the possibility of missing the surge but in this case I seriously doubt that. Building where you think where future growth may be, creates schools in the middle of nowhere. A good question is how are the various groups, county commission, FCBOE, and City Govs tied together to build one data model for growth. ( We know the answer but it is a good question).

In my opinion this is the risk in this data analysis discussion. Numbers are easy to manipulate and say things like use all the spaces no matter where they are, but when you attach names to those spaces and effect people's neighborhoods and such. It isn't as easy.

I do data for a living where my results affect people's lives. It was very easy until I actually worked as part of a downsizing and saw the people behind my numbers. Now I better understand how dangerous data without care or experience can be.

Take Care

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 1:46pm.

big bucks should have been heard due to the money we put out. He must know something or he wouldn't have been hired and he does do this for a living.

I feel we should figure out many seats we have in each school. Put the kids in there that are the closest till we hit the max without trailors. Then do the same with each school. What would happen is each child would go to the school that is close to them.
I do not feel we should be building schools in the middle of no where for kids we hope will come due to the developers building more houses in that area. no way. To me, that is developer welfare and helps non of the kids in crowded areas.

If we fill up our schools, we won't have the thugs coming across the lines, nor paying for anyones kids that don't live here and pay taxes. Everyone that has paid the taxes to live here deserve better than that.

Submitted by wildcat on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 2:08pm.

I have actually lived that life! I lived in Iowa for 2 school years and that is exactly how they do it. The classrooms are filled and the overflow is shipped to another school that has space. The problem of my kids got to go to the "home" school because there was a seat available for her. My other kid was bused to a school about 10 miles down the river because that is where there was a seat for her. I had to drop-off and pick-up my bussed daughter both before and after school. The drop-off/pick-up point was the home school. As we were new to the community I was informed that my daughter was on the bottom of the waiting list (and could be for years according to the school officials). It proved to be a problem at times. My daughter was the only kid from the neighborhood that couldn't go to the home school. So, she was the only kid dropped off at her "home" school in the morning and dropped off again in the afternoon(after hours of course). One of us was always there waiting for her. One afternoon her dad was scheduled to get her and he was in a wreck. I was at an appointment and not home to get his call about the wreck. This was before cell phones. She sat there, crying, until someone got her. The building was locked, so she couldn't go inside and she was just a little girl (2nd grade). Today, we have cell phones and ASP, so it may work, but I'm pretty sure that parents will balk at it. I know that I balked at it and threatened all kinds of stuff, but in the end, I had to do what they told me to do. That was that. Do you think that the FCBOE will ever have the backbone to tell the parents that "this is how it's going to be?"

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 2:21pm.

but that is what this micro deal is doing...Redistrict these kids for the long haul and quit moving them around. Did you see what I said about a 2nd story on top of some of these in place schools? I think that would help a lot.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 2:02pm.

before I left, they had changed the law that we didn't have to buss more kids in, but they had already ruined the schools. I wanted no more scars for my kid, so we left and came here and paid through the nose. I will say, before I left, Dekalb had done 2 things that should be done here.

If you acted were out...and they were taking on the NAACP...the works...since then, the schools are coming back.

2.Building second stories on top of the schools they had in the overcrowded areas. That would work here really schools in the boonies...for developers...

Do you guys know how stupid that is? How is the schools in the boonies going to help the overcrowded areas in PTC? Let me guess, they are all going to move out to the developers new houses...and abandon the old ones in PTC, never sell them to other people cause they don't need the money to buy the other one is going to move in and everyone is going to be as happy as a clam....! God! do I have swamp land back home to sell you guys!

The reason you guys have fell for this so long is,

1. you trusted your school board.

2. you were too busy making ends meet


you realize that

1. you shouldn't have trusted the fox in the hen house

2. the very thing you were working so hard for, you kids, were

getting screwed!

Submitted by Y oh Y on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 2:48pm.

The rapture is upon us I almost agree with bear. 2nd storying schools is not a bad idea. Expensive but not bad, this would address a number of issues that are coming at us like expanding Mc Intosh. Well done.

Someone said something interesting I had't thought of. People used to talk about those schools in the middle of nowhere that became the overcrowded Whitewater complex.

We need a today solution and I will say again. If you have ever been in a trailer ( school ) you wouldn't know it on the inside. My opinion in is trailers before buses keep our kids together and close to home.

Be safe

Submitted by g8trgrl on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 4:00pm.

I have to comment on the 2nd story school idea. Not only expensive, but non functioning. The cafeteria is built to provide food for a certain amount of kids - for example - Peeples Elementary (one of the schools with trailers). Lunch now begins at 10:50 am & ends at 1:15pm. Can you imagine if you put 600 more kids upstairs? What time would lunch start? 7:45am? The school is already on a 7 day rotation for specials - most elementary schools do not have this because they are not overcrowded. If you add 600 more kids, the kids will have p.e. 1 every 10 days or so. Peeples already has 3 pe coaches, 2 art, 2 music, 2 counselors, needs 2 nurses. Where in the world would people park? At Peeples, people park in the mud & all over the grass as it is.

Schools should not be built in the middle of nowhere - I agree. The Inman land purchase is a disaster - the FCBOE now owns 100 acres they have been trying to sell for 3 years & never will. There is room in other schools and IF people would not fight like they do in this county their kids could go to them, but not in Fayette County. Other states & counties would tell the parents to take a hike, that the benefit to all children is an uncrowded school. Here the parents want trailers, want long bus rides & want their kids to eat lunch in elementary at 1:15 pm. They got what they wanted after the last re-districting fiasco!

Time for new board members - it has got to get better.

Submitted by sageadvice on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 6:48pm.

Are less expensive than one story.
The lunch problem is due to our making too much out of "lunch."
There are those who will say to also build a second lunch room over the one downstairs---but that is not the answer.
I went to a two story high school---with NO LUNCHROOM.
Private enterprise was allowed to bring or set up a trailer or such, outside for 30 minutes with simple hot dogs hamburgers and cakes. It worked fine.

I realize that today's parents won't pack lunches for their kids (not yet anyway) but we do put the emphasis on the wrong things now for "schools." It is a school, not a restaurant.

Submitted by g8trgrl on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 8:14pm.

I can't remember if my high school had a lunch room because we always drove out for lunch. But, in elementary lunch must be in the building & many parents pack lunches - I usually did. I don't think kids should start school at 7:45 am & eat lunch at 1pm. That is too long between meals. I think if an elementary school gets too big it feels like a corporation & not an elementary school.

My point is not just lunch, but the whole logistical nightmare an overcrowded elementary school is. Not to mention a waste of our tax dollars to pay for trailers, when there is room in other schools where we run the risk of losing money due to empty rooms. It can be handled, but the majority of the current board refused to correct it when given a golden opportunity.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 5:02pm.

the best of all would be to even out the kids among the schools we have. That is the best idea hands down. But, instead of more schools in the middle of no where that only seem to make developers happy, maybe adding on to the ones we have. The schools in the boonies help no children and they won't condem land, so what else could you do. I agree, the best of all solutions would be to even the kids out. That would also take care of the vacant seats that the clayton and fulton kids come in for. That is by far the best, but since people don't seem to go for it, adding on to the ones we have seem like the next best. Building schools in the boonies, then selling off the land around them to developers, doesn't help the kids where it is overcrowded.

I would really love to know what the consultant came up with. Does anybody know?

ManofGreatLogic's picture
Submitted by ManofGreatLogic on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 6:07pm.

I know, I know. PTC citizens are snobs. Yep, we're snobs because we don't throw our trash on the ground, don't speak like we have marbles in our mouths, but have college degrees and lack an appreciation for graffiti.

Oh, and we wash our hands after using the bathroom.

carbonunit52's picture
Submitted by carbonunit52 on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 6:52pm.

Yep, we're snobs because we don't throw our trash on the ground...

Actually, there is a fair amount of trash thrown on the ground in PTC, and it is the children of the affluent that seem to be the worst offenders. I have watched them drive along on their golf carts and throw their trash out. The ones that do this have no class whatsoever.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.