Common sense in short supply on school board, PTC Council

Steve Brown's picture

The French philosopher and author Voltaire was exactly right when he said, “Common sense is not so common.” He also said, “Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”

Nothing is more confounding than observing the Fayette County Board of Education failing to understand how to get out of the hole they dug for themselves.

The FCBOE recently lowered their millage rate because of some savings on bond refinancing. Okay, we also know that the FCBOE ranks in the lowest tier on budgeting reserve funds.

Instead of using the bond savings to replenish the reserve funds, they chose to let the financial sores continue to fester.
And while the FCBOE’s move might appear to be a witty political gesture, it shows they are completely unwilling to turn the ship around, meaning more misery ahead.

The new taxes courtesy of the school SPLOST just exacerbate the frustration. Yes, we are installing new top-of-line high tech gadgetry in the classrooms, but we are also scraping together funds from third-party sources just to put toilet paper and paper towels in the school bathrooms. Not the kind of news you want to hear when H1N1 influenza is beginning to spread.

Certain schools have adequate infection control standards and others look to become viral breeding grounds. Why is there not a system-wide protocol on school hygiene and infection control?

Parents are being advised to keep children at home if they are not feeling well — good idea. However, some schools under the FCBOE still allow students to exempt exams with perfect attendance, persuading parents to let sick students go to class.
This contrast in policies will come back to bite them if a significant wave of H1N1 takes hold.

In Peachtree City, common sense has been exiled.
Previously, Mayor Logsdon, Councilman Boone and Councilwoman Plunkett sold Capital City Development (CCD) city property so they could develop another big box retail site, Line Creek Shopping Center at Ga. Highway 54 West.

The Peachtree City threesome also allowed a traffic light to be installed for the development between two existing signals, defying engineering standards for traffic flow.

Now, as many of us warned, CCD has unveiled the deception of their past approvals. The big box developer is now demanding sizable increases in square footage. And as if the new traffic signal would not cause enough traffic clutter, CCD is also insisting on another curb cut on Hwy. 54 West. The whole plan is being changed!

Of course, CCD will threaten the surrounding neighborhoods with some worse-case scenarios, bringing them to their knees, making them dance like puppets on a string.

For Boone and Plunkett, the CCD big box development is already working against them in the upcoming election. They will most certainly be slaughtered if the developer gets to back-track on previous agreements and “super-size” the horrible development.

The city’s ordinances and comprehensive land use plan are the common sense guidelines that must be followed. Honestly, Logsdon, Boone and Plunkett show a blatant disregard for those documents. It’s time for the citizens to get vocal on this subject.

There is also word through the grapevine that we might see the proposed Callula Hills development at the end of the Falcon Field runway come back after the November election. The developer is counting on the lame ducks to approve the foolhardy development before leaving office should Boone and Plunkett not get re-elected.
Mayor Logsdon is the perfect case study on why political rhetoric is useless. The man ran on a platform of being a leader on reducing the tax burden, proving just the opposite. The Logsdon troupe has passed a deficit budget every year, including record high tax levels and record fee hikes.

Seriously, are you really going to trust anything Cyndi Plunkett or Steve Boone have to say while they campaign for another four years in office? Have they earned your trust?

There is no substitute for common sense. Pay close attention to what the candidates in this upcoming election have to say. Find out what they will use for guidance in making decisions.

It is obvious some changes need to be made, but an uninformed vote in November could make things worse.

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Submitted by fc1989 on Wed, 09/23/2009 - 8:49pm.


I do not think the FCBOE can build reserve funds from bond proceeds or debt service taxes. They did raise M&O millage which can be used for reserve funds but debt service and debt service millage can only be used to pay debt and does not affect the general fund. It was a little slight of hand to lower overall taxes but to raise the M&O rate to the max. What will happen next year if the digest does not grow and tax revenues shrink? Also SPLOST funds cannot be used to buy toilet paper. The big question is what would have happened without the SPLOST? Would they be doing without... computers, textbooks or teachers?

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Wed, 09/23/2009 - 10:53pm.

To fc1989:

I was suggesting there is a savings from refinancing the school bonds. The debt service is paid out of the general fund; the savings from refinancing should have been used to supplement reserves instead of a slight millage reduction.

I agree that SPLOST funds cannot be used for toilet paper or teachers.

The point being made was the administration of priorities has gone out the window over a period of years leading to a situation of half full facilities, the newest school with 40 students, no budget for essentials like toilet paper and paper towels, wasting tens of millions of dollars, lying to the citizenry.

Before this current Board, we had toilet paper, computers and honest brokers who lived up to their fiduciary responsiblity.

Submitted by fourechodog on Tue, 09/22/2009 - 6:36pm.

This might be off topic, but why can't we build a school in Fayette county without the architect trying to out-do the Taj Mahal? Must these things be glass palaces with closed circut TV built in? The 'office' of a school used to be an office, now it's an administration wing with it's own break room and bathrooms... maybe it's just me, but it seems elaborate when we're hurting for money and the kids are crowded.

Submitted by Dondol on Thu, 09/24/2009 - 9:13am.

"The 'office' of a school used to be an office, now it's an administration wing with it's own break room and bathrooms..."
They have to have their own bathroom, you wouldn't want them to use those Nasty bathrooms our kids have to use now would you?

Submitted by mamadutt on Sat, 09/19/2009 - 11:55pm.

I don't know where they plan to put this high tech in schools. I can only guess it won't be at Burch. We up here on the north part of the county are totally neglected. I wonder if the board thinks we will just become part of Fulton co. they won't let our kids spread out into the new school. we are so overcrowded up here, the bugs are moving out since no room anywhere. I think we should have the highest rate of sickness up here by far! The kids are wiping each others noses since so tight in classes. I sure hope those 40 kids and some 20 cars parked outside belonging to ...? are enjoying the beautiful new school! Common sense is definitely not one of their fortes!

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Tue, 09/15/2009 - 7:49pm.

Don't worry dude. Word is that the Chamber of Commerce, Group VI and whatever is left of DPAC has donated $19,376 (total) to send the Mitchell ego to Japan (once again) on a ""hunting"" trip. To make it authentic for him, Joe Biden look-alike Steve Black has agreed to come back in his role as community advisor and tour guide and procurer of talent. Yes photos are available of the previous trips thanks to hubby.

And the trip will last 3 months!!! Gone until the new council is sworn in. Happy Days!!! None of his subordinates (now) have the cojones to push the issue through council - even though Logsdon appears to be in the tank, the rabid David Rast will carry the day and shoot down Mr. "look at my weenie" Mitchell's idiotic plan.

Preserve the land use plan - get signs or t-shirts.

Submitted by Bonkers on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 5:54am.

Land is scarce nearing build-out. Developers will eventually get their way one way or another in spite of who is on council or mayor.

I still say there will be a huge Condo project and shopping center on the land on the lake Peachtree where the library and town hall currently exist!
Funny! It is too valuable otherwise. Town will sell it just as they did on 54 West.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Fri, 09/18/2009 - 4:16am.

The land below city hall and the library was planned for exactly that in the original land use plan. Had a little monorail station there so the visitors could get to Aberdeen Center without cars. Won't happen because the plan was changed in the 1980's and then later the city bought the land and zoned it back to recreational.

If you are thinking the city will sell its buildings to a developer just to make money or help te developer's project, you must be dreaming. That could never happen here. Well ok it happened once with the roadway sale to Doug McMurrain, but it certainly wouldn't happen again.

Submitted by Bonkers on Fri, 09/18/2009 - 7:44am.


What if the developer would build the city a whole new city hall complex, library, police, town hall, recreational complex, restaurant, and swimming pool (large executive offices with filtered air for all employees) FOR FREE somewhere?

Want to bet?

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Thu, 09/24/2009 - 6:51am.

Next you'll suggest that a developer will sell some government their failing shopping center for their luxurious government complex. Never happen.

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