Todd: Developers may have driven schools’ locations

An earlier article in The Citizen may provide some clues as to why the current school building and land purchasing actions of the Fayette County School Board have resulted in such controversy. The most important part of the article was statements by the board chair about the role of developers in the community.

Her statements did not distinguish between those who have a positive effect on a community and those who do not. Perhaps the attitude that all development is good, regardless of the consequences, was the primary factor affecting major board decisions in the location of schools in the last bond issue.

That attitude could explain why schools are located in places removed from population centers (see the Fayette land use plan), abandoning the mega-complex concept for Cleveland Elementary, Bennett’s Mill Middle School and the sixth high school, and schools being over-built.

Interestingly, the relocated site for the sixth high school sits in the middle of yet another proposed development project. How much will the local taxpayer have to pay for that project?

That attitude may have involved the board in land purchasing activities resulting in the ownership of approximately $4 million worth of property that is not needed or cannot be sold under current market conditions.

It could also provide an explanation as to why no thought was given to the additional local costs for operating schools with enrollments that do not earn full state funding for that purpose. It could explain why no thought was given to the cost for operating excess classroom space due to overbuilding.

That attitude could explain why no thought was given to the additional financial burden being placed on local taxpayers to transport students to schools located away from population centers. It could explain why no thought was given to the burden being placed on parents in dealing with their children being assigned to schools remote from their homes.

Actions of the school board during these activities appear to support the philosophy that all development is good and the placement of schools will be the catalyst to drive it had been adopted by a majority of the FCBOE members.

The system is in financial crisis and it’s time to break the coalition with its emphasis on development, regardless of cost to the taxpayer, and return the focus to protecting the taxpayer and using all funds available to provide the best education possible for our children.

I urge everyone who is concerned about the financial well-being of the school district to vote for me in the July 20 primary. I will work diligently to assure a focus on fiscal accountability and will place the well-being of students and the protection of taxpayer money as priority one.

I ask for and thank you for your support and vote in the July 20 Republican Primary. For more information see my webpage (drbobtodd.com).

Dr. Bob Todd, Post 4

Fayette County Board of Education

Fayetteville, Ga.

ginga1414
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John Adams and his messages

Mr. Adams, are you implying that Proverbs 6:16-20 refers to Dr. Bob Todd? If so, you really don't have a clue as to who Dr. Todd is or what he stands for. If you weren't referring to Dr. Todd, I do apologize.

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Another message for Bob Todd

Proverbs 6:16-20
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes,a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

suggarfoot
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John Adams..you are low...even for a Smolite

Dr Todd is not the one that told outright lies. Maybe with the truth out there you are loosing your evil mind.

Maybe all you Smolites are hiding under the bed wetting your underware cause you are afraid of what will come next. I have heard there is more to come.

Brooks Parent
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Career Technical Programs

Our career technical programs have not received the recognition that they deserve. They are outstanding programs and offer relevant course work. Smola should realize that since her own child have difficulty getting a job and she had to get a job as a provisional teacher. Humm....

ginga1414
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Wildcat, Thank You

Wildcat, thank you so much for this information. It has been quite a few years since my children were in high school. From your information, I can see that the Tech fields have changed considerably. I read somewhere, can't remember where, that the greater majority of jobs in the 21st century would be in technical fields. I can't remember the exact figure, but I believe it was something like 70 to 80 % . Dr. Bob Todd also mentioned those figures recently. From the varied list you have provided, it is easy to see why there would be a great need for such technical careers. Once again, thank you. Your list has provided a wealth of information for folks, such as myself, who have been a little out of touch with all that is going on in education. However, I am so grateful that Dr. Bob Todd isn't out of touch with the 21st century.

wildcat
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information for ladyshark

Ladyshark, you have harped about Dr. Todd wanting to “water down” the curriculum stating that he would do this to “better prepare students for vocational and tech careers rather than college.”

It is obvious that you have no clue what the Career Tech program offers. Do you think that it consists only of going to the woodworking class to make a bird house? You are sooooo NOT aware of the number of college bound students who want and do participate in these classes. Fortunately, the colleges and universities are not so uninformed.

Allow me to give you some examples of the offerings and what students are doing in these classes

1. One program offered is Engineering Tech. Recently, one of these groups won a $10,000 grant from MIT and the students participated in a summer program at MIT. Schools such as MIT and Georgia Tech obviously appreciate the program and like their students to have it.

2. The Health Occupations program offers classes for students who wish to work in the medical field and gives the students the opportunity to do clinical rotations in a hospital in various capacities. There are also paid work-based learning opportunities for students in the medical field. One honor graduate recently completed a work-based learning opportunity with Southern Orthopedics.

3. The Graphic Arts program has a full complete set up and the students do printing for the county. Students from this program have won the National Skills USA Award in Graphic Arts. Yale has accepted a student who participated in the Graphics Arts program.

4. The Family Consumer Science program has courses for those who are interested in the Hospitality Industry, Interior Design, Nutrition and others. Under the umbrella of this program is an Education Pathway in which students who want to pursue a career in education have the opportunity to receive teacher training. Students take courses such as Contemporary Issues in Education, and work with mentoring teachers. Those who follow through Teacher Pathway can receive credit for a first level college course. One of the main goals is to work toward increasing the number of teachers in Georgia.

5. The Marketing program works with companies such as Chick-Fil-A and Cousins Properties (which handles The Avenue). In this program students develop a marketing plan designed to increase sales of a product. The program is online oriented. Students also develop and administer surveys, create and use web pages and use online distribution.

6. An A.P. course in Accounting is in the process of being implemented.

These are not all of the offerings and if this is not enough to enlighten you, Lady Shark, I can refer you to people who will be more than happy to give you more information.

College bound students, as well as those who choose technical college and careers, do benefit from Career-Technical classes and they do participate in them. These courses are practical, challenging, and are “21st Century.” I refer you to abcdf’s Labor Department Statistics. They are right on target. Dr. Todd is clearly far more in tune with the 21st Century than you are. Perhaps if you would visit the schools from time to time you would be more aware of what is taking place.

Davids mom
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wildcat

Great information! - You certainly convinced me that Dr. Todd is the leader we need on the board. I have visited some of the schools in Fayette County - and Dr. Todd's support for 21st century offerings in evident in the classrooms. I see no need to change leadership at this time.

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The "right angle" on school construction

Sometimes you need to look at projects from another angle to understand their real purpose. For example, arguments for Obamacare don't withstand scrutiny very well. Current law already requires hospitals to treat everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. And does it make sense to shift the expensive consequences of so many people's poor diet and exercise decisions onto their neighbors? So why was the party in power so supportive? Look at it from another perspective...

It all but guarantees continued power in office. As Todd alludes, don't try to make sense of so many land & school purchases by asking "Did we need River's school?" or "Was the projected student population demanding so many more classrooms?" The responses just won't make sense.

Look for another perspective to find an answer that actually makes sense (but may be repugnant to those of us who paid for it).

ginga1414
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Rivers Elementary and The Developers

Rivers Elementary School sits smack dab in the middle of developer heaven. All you have to do is look at the West Fayetteville Bypass Map and you will see that on one side of Rivers Elementary School there sits 247 acres owned by ARC Enterprises (Developers). Across the Bypass and on the other side of Rivers Elementary School sits 123 Acres owned by ARC Enterprises and 98 Acres owned by Austin Builders. That is a total of 468 acres owned by developers surrounding Rivers Elementary School on the West Fayetteville Bypass.

Rivers Elementary School sits practically empty because the economy went bust and the developers haven't been able to get the money from the Bank of Georgia because they are under a "cease and desist" order. Facts don't lie.

It would be more economical if they just shut down Rivers instead of trying to cover-up the fact they over built by housing 40 students in a school meant to hold more than 600. Shut down Rivers and put the money into educating our kids.

Voters in Fayette County are neither blind or stupid. Voters in Fayette County are sick and tired of corrupt public officials.

Fayette County, vote for the folks who are willing to show us the facts. Vote for Dr. Bob Todd and Dr. Sam Tolbert.

totellthetruth
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Hey Lady Shark...

Seems to me, not just Rivers but Bennetts Mill Middle is way under capacity too. Who were they building these schools for? Oh that is right, they were building them now for the year 2035 projections of the Atlanta Region Commission (ARC)...very interesting...when they asked for the 2004 bond they (FCBoE)used building permits to justify asking for it...the school board has been in bed with the county commissioners and the developer crowd. For Terri Smith that is legal( maybe unethical) being wife to a developer husband and all, but for the rest, it is sort like a sorrid affair...yuck...

I thought I remember Terri Smith and Janet Smola both claimimg that Rivers was being built to alleviate the overcrowding at Burch...then, not one of those kids from Burch was sent there because they (FCBoE) could not afford to open the school...hhmmmm...they even discussed this fact at the school board meeting that the system could not afford to open the school yet they did without ever taking a vote to do so?( is that legal) And the school only has 40 students...just mind boggling isn't it? Who pays for this? All of the citizens of Fayette County!!!!

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someone seems to have corked Lady shark

Yeah, she lost it. There was a deleted post where she admitted she was lady Shark, citizen 0159 and someone else. Then she went on with an incoherent rant about Dr Todd.

While Cave won't ANSWER questions in public, it seems Smith/Smola and cronies won't ..ASK...questions in public!

..they just sneak around on email trees and make up answers and tout them as the Holy Grail! What LOSERS!

wildcat
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suggarfoot-deleted post

You are right about that. I believe it is the post where she tipped everybody as to her true identity by posting information that was obtained (as she wrote it) "behind closed doors." What an idiot!! I believe that also is the post where she commented that Dr. Todd always wants a paper copy and won't bring up anything on his computer (attempting to imply that he is unprepared). I'm sure she is aware that he has a medical condition that causes him great difficulty with reading electronic prints, but why bother to mention that? I don't understand mean, greedy people. Handsome is as handsome does. Lady shark must be pretty ugly!

suggarfoot
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it is good for Lady Shark

that it was deleted as she truly made a fool of herself.

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Dr Todd. A man who loves our children

He is for good teachers and our our children's best. Those two things come first.

Not developer welfare!

grassroots
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Bob Makes Walking Around Sense

See our exclusive 2 part interview with Bob Todd at www.SPLOSTPOLL.com
Make your vote heard now in our instant poll result. Bob is being polite when he says developers MAY Have...see the documentation at our website.