Fayette School Board grapples with cost-cutting tactics

For a school system that brings in $163 million but spends $177 million, it is not surprising that the search is on for ways to cut expenses and increase revenues a year from now. 

With little fund balance expected next June 30, Superintendent Jeff Bearden on Monday night presented a variety of cost-saving options for consideration by the Fayette County Board of Education to implement in time for the 2013-2014 school year.

 

Among those items on the expense side were reducing staff, reducing pay, closing schools, eliminating assistant principals, parapros and middle school athletics and outsourcing custodial services. And on the revenue side, Bearden surfaced the idea of out-of-county students and a referendum that would raise the school millage rate beyond the legal maximum.

 
BoE cost-cutting ideas
 
• Close up to 5 schools and fully utilize Rivers Elementary
 
• Outsource school janitorial services
 
• Cut up to 14 locally-funded assistant principals
 
• Through attrition cut or combine central office positions
 
• Eliminate all middle school athletic programs
 
• Eliminate all first-grade parapros
 
• Either make salary cuts or institute “shut-down days”
 
• Eliminate local funds for pre-K
 
• Combine middle school and high school bus routes
 
 
Revenue-raising ideas
 
• Voter referendum to allow school tax rate to rise above state cap of 20 mills
 
• Allow out-of-county students to pay tuition to attend Fayette schools
 
 
The list of cost-saving ideas supplied by Bearden was broken down in terms of “recommendations,” “other possibilities” and revenue ideas for 2013-2014. The “recommendations” came from Bearden while the “other possibilities” suggestions came from members of the community.
 
Though no decisions were to be made Monday night and though the presentation was followed by few suggestions by the board, Bearden after the meeting said both his recommendations and those from the community all on the table for further discussion. Further discussions on the cost-saving measures will continue in the coming months.
 
The recommendations section list included maximizing savings and efficiencies, school closures, outsourcing custodial services, continuing to reduce and combine positions at the county office and continuing the process of staff reduction in all employment categories through attrition.
 
By maximizing savings and efficiencies Bearden was referencing the monitoring of all vacancies and filling only those positions that are critical to the school system. The recommendation also included being efficient with energy and purchases. Bearden noted that the school system last year increased the fund balance by $7.2 million by using these approaches.
 
Citing school closures, Bearden said each closing would save approximately $800,000, with a total savings ranging from $1.6-3.2 million. Bearden in April had proposed to close Fayette Middle, Hood Avenue Primary and Fayetteville Intermediate and open Rivers Elementary as a way to help offset the school system that is facing significant decreasing revenues from plummeting local tax revenues and falling student enrollment that generates approximately $4,000 per student from state sources.
 
The discussion among board members at the May 2 workshop ended with Bearden being asked to develop four optional closure plans for consideration. Those include:
 
1. Bearden’s original proposal for closing Fayette Middle, Hood Avenue Primary and Fayetteville Intermediate and opening Rivers;
 
2. Bearden’s proposal and closing Tyrone Elementary;
 
3. Bearden’s proposal and closing Brooks Elementary; or
 
4. Bearden’s proposal and closing both Tyrone and Brooks.
 
The savings would be $1.6 million if the initial proposal of closing the three Fayetteville and opening Rivers is selected. The savings would top out at $3.2 million if Brooks and Tyrone are also closed and Rivers is opened.
 
A third recommendation Monday night was one that would outsource custodial services for a savings estimated at up to $1 million. Bearden said the reason for looking at custodians for outsourcing is because it is the one job category with significant turnover.
 
Bearden’s fourth recommendation would continue to reduce or combine staff positions at central office, including through attrition. Bearden noted that Fayette spends less than the state average on general administration, citing the example the six assistant superintendents funded by the state though the school system employs only two of the upper administrative positions.
 
The fifth recommendation would be to reduce staff in all employment categories through attrition.
 
As for “other possibilities” for cost-savings, those included reducing the number of assistant principals. The school system currently employs 14 more assistant principals than the state pays for. If reduced, the cost savings for the 14 positions would amount to approximately $1.2 million in salaries and benefits.
 
Also up for discussion is the elimination of all middle school athletics at a savings of $210,000.
 
Another potential on the list is the elimination of all 1st grade parapros for a savings of $1.2 million.
 
Yet another cost savings would be “shut down days” that would save approximately $700,000 per day.
 
An additional suggestion came in the form of a salary reduction that would save $1.325 million for every 1 percent of salary reduced. Bearden in stating the possibility said that employees last year overwhelmingly preferred “shutdown days” to salary decreases.
 
And the final possibility would come from eliminating local funding for pre-kindergarten for a savings of $110,000.
 
Board member Terri Smith during the discussion suggested that the board look again at the potential for combining middle and high school bus routes.
 
“I know we’ve talked about it before,” Smith said, suggesting that it might be worthwhile to take another look at the advantages and disadvantages of combining the routes. She also suggested taking another look at the supplements paid by the school system.
 
The flip side of the coin involves the potential for generating additional school system revenues. In that regard Bearden suggested two possibilities, one of which surfaced in the past and the other more recently.
 
The suggestion from last year that has surfaced again is one that would allow out-of-county students to pay tuition to attend Fayette schools.
 
The other revenue idea would be a referendum to allow the school board to raise the millage rate beyond the current 20-mill rate that represents the legal maximum. It is not surprising that the idea would surface as a potential revenue-generating measure since Bearden initially floated the idea at the school board meeting on May 31. Minutes later Chairman Leonard Presberg followed suit. Bearden and Presberg said they had been told by a couple of parents that they would support a referendum allowing the school board to increase the millage rate beyond where it sits today at the 20-mill maximum allowed by Georgia law.
 
The school board in June adopted the 2012-2013 budget that totaled $177.34 million by using the nearly all of the $15 million fund balance from the school year that ended on June 30. The budget was adopted on a 3-2 vote, with board members Leonard Presberg, Terri Smith and Janet Smola in favor and with Marion Key and Bob Todd opposed.
 
Revenues are expected to total $163.14 million, with $78.9 million coming from local ad valorem taxes, $81.39 million from the state and approximately $2.8 million from other revenue sources.
 
Expenditures, on the other hand, total $177.34 million. That represents $14.2 million in expenses over revenues for the 2012-2013 school year that begins in July.
Mary Kay Bacallao
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Let's Look at the ENTIRE Budget

As a candidate for the FCBOE, I was given a paper copy of next year’s budget. I have heard repeatedly that over 90% of the budget is salaries, so there is not much room to cut. However, instruction only accounts for 67.84% of next year’s budget, down from 68.48% last year. With money spent on instruction down as an overall percentage, what categories have increased? Pupil services, improvement of instruction, educational media services, general administration, school administration, business services, transportation, other outlays, and debt service have all increased as a percentage of the whole from last year. So next year we will spend all our reserves but we will spend 7 million dollars LESS on instruction, but $129,963 MORE on general administration. Three days were eliminated from the school year. At the last board meeting, several cost cutting measures were proposed such as closing schools and eliminating first grade paraprofessionals. These were proposed to get your attention in an attempt to raise the millage rate, which is already at the legal maximum. There are other budget cuts we can look at. Political games are being played and I don’t appreciate using our students and teachers as pawns in a game to collect more money in taxes. We can do better. We can balance the budget and fulfill our mission, excellence in education for all our students. Let’s look at the numbers and do our best to keep our school system strong. My name is Mary Kay Bacallao and I humbly ask for your vote on July 31st.

suggarfoot
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Mary Kay

At 1st I was receiving dirty emails from Cowbell when I commented on Dr Marchman. Today, I made positive comments about you and got dirty emails from Cowbell about you!

All I can say is that you and Dr Marchman must have them scared badly to warrent such actions. Keep it up!

!!!!!GO MARY KAY AND BARRY!!!!

taxed too much
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sports and budget cuts

No one loves sports as much as I do, however the BOE needs to make some hard decisions and middle school sports may be one area of many that needs cutting. If your little All Star has the talent and desire to play his/her sport at the next level...into High School, College or Professionally, there are plenty of options out there. You cannot make 'millions of dollars" in cuts until you start making "thousands of dollars" of cuts.

editmom
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RE: asking parents to pay for sports -- we do!!

Per renault314's comment #84 and Spyglass's comment #85:

Rec ball is currently cheaper than middle school ball. If not for parents ALREADY paying for their kids to play, there would be no team. The comparatively tiny amount of money saved (approximately $210K) by cutting middle school sports would not significantly affect the budget, whereas taking those sports away from the kids would drastically affect the quality experience of the school.

taxed too much
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Incompetent Politicians and BOE

Financial incompetence over many years will lead to the bankruptcy of this wonderful area.

ginga1414
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Dr. Marchman, Truer Words Have Never Been Spoken

THANK YOU, suggarfoot, for posting Dr. Marchman's words.

Dr. Marchman is absolutely right. A good school system is all about students and teachers. It is also about parents supporting their individual students and teachers. When we make cuts in the classroom, we are hacking away at the heart and soul of what makes any educational system work.

suggarfoot
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Dr Marchman agrees with you

"I believe that the bulk of the money should be spent in the classroom and not on the classroom. We need adequate classrooms, not empty state-of-the art facilities. We should never forget that the most important part of education is bringing together a teacher and a student. If there are austerity cuts, it should be equal percentages, not equal days. We should trim administration to the state allocated level before we ever reduce another teacher's pay."

"I am fiscally (and socially) conservative. The men and women who recruited me to run for this position are frustrated with a school board that has built empty schools and voted to spend every last penny of their reserve fund. They want fiscal responsibility and fiscal sustainability. A strong school system is vital to the health of our community and the school system must be financially strong. Excellent teachers will not be attracted to a financially unstable school system."

americanpatriots
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Hollowell's fantasy financial background

I have to chuckle every time I hear Scott Hollowell talk about his vast financial qualifications. It took me about two weeks of sending him emails repeatedly asking him what he received his degree in at UGA. He FINALLY replied and told me he received his degree in journalism and communications. Prior to that, his Website BIO did not say anything about his educational background.

A few of my friends did some checking and learned that he previously was essentially a salesman at an Edward Jones franchise in Tyrone and then started his own firm called LPL primarily selling insurance and annuity retirement plans.

I attended several events where Mr. Hollowell spoke and, at the beginning, he spoke more about his wife’s extremely impressive background in education.

Scott is a well-spoken affable individual but he is seriously lacking in the field of finance. Nonetheless, he has tried, unsuccessfully in my view, to convince us that he possesses a vast experience and knowledge of the subject. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To me, Scott is a true democrat and was hand picked by BoE members Presburg, Smith and Smola, and School Superintendent Bearden.

That having been said, what more do you need to know?

See Veritas "I'm tired of hearing” for a complete description of Scott's extremely limited financial background.

His rhetoric reminds be of Janet Smola who told us all about her vast knowledge of finance and we learned later it was pure fantasy as she only had a totally useless junior college degree in psychology and very little experience too boot.

Do aspiring politicians think voters are all stupid and that we will never bother to check on their background?

Jim Richter

suggarfoot
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careful, you'll get dirty emails about your kids from Cowbell!

"His rhetoric reminds be of Janet Smola who told us all about her vast knowledge of finance and we learned later it was pure fantasy as she only had a totally useless junior college degree in psychology and very little experience too boot."

not nice people

istilldontknow
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Background checking...

Mr. Richter:

Do you support Steve Brown?

Do you know he has a journalism degree too? He seems to think he can manage a county budget, don't ya think?

suggarfoot
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Steve Brown isn't running against Dr Marchman

Dr Marchman has a background in finance. a BEE from Georgia Tech, and MBA from Florida State and a PH.D in Finance from Florida State.

He TEACHES finance at Georgia Tech.

Scott Hollowell's background is journalism. He produced “The Pat Summerall Show with Troy Aikman” in Dallas, Texas???

And let's not forget he is a "Friend of the Tyrone Library"?

Then he decided that wasn't for him and late in life decided he was a "fincial advisor"?

Does sound like he married into a family with a teaching background. If he gets in over his head, is he suppose to go home and ask his wife, or her family what to do? Sounds that way.

istilldontknow
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values

Well, I guess if we can understand folks motives, when they say that someone with a journalism degree isn't fit for BOE, but that same qualification is good enough for board of commissioners, that would help. That's why I asked the question.

If the school system is so good, why doesn't Dr. Marchman have his children in it?

Veritas
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Really TerriSmith/ Scott Hollowell representing

All of Fayette county schools... Really.....If so why no meet and greet with the Hood Avenue, Fayette intermediate or Fayette middle constituents or even any discussion of keeping them open?

suggarfoot
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why no Hollowell meeting with OTHER Fayette schools?

".....If so why no meet and greet with the Hood Avenue, Fayette intermediate or Fayette middle constituents or even any discussion of keeping them open?

Very Very good point. This has been handled so badly. You are pitting Blacks against two White sought after schools. Not smart and I hope none of the Blacks vote for Smith or Hollowell(Smola).

suggarfoot
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why no Hollowell meeting with OTHER Fayette schools?

".....If so why no meet and greet with the Hood Avenue, Fayette intermediate or Fayette middle constituents or even any discussion of keeping them open?

Very Very good point. This has been handled so badly. You are pitting Blacks against two White sought after schools. Not smart and I hope none of the Blacks vote for Smith or Hollowell(Smola).

ginga1414
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BOE Bought 60 Acres For WFB High School

suggarfoot has an excellent point concerning the BOE's useless land purchases.

There is another 60 acre parcel that also needs to be mentioned.

Commissioner Lee Hearn's relative, Addison Lester, sold 60 acres of the Lester Family property adjacent to the West Fayetteville Bypass to the BOE for the purpose of building a new high school.

The BOE planned to build that new school within the Lester Hamlet which is planned to be part of the mega West Fayetteville Neighborhoods development.

That 60 acres is just another speculative real estate purchase by the BOE. The West Fayetteville Neighborhoods has not come to fruition. Who knows if it ever will?

Rivers Elementary was also to be included within the West Fayetteville Neighborhoods development.

Rivers Elementary has been sitting empty for several years because it was built with the hopes that the West Fayetteville Neighborhoods development would soon provide students for the school.

Wrong! The economy crashed and so did the housing industry. The speculative "build it and they will come" theory didn't pan out. Now the BOE is sitting here with empty schools, half empty schools, owning property it can't sell, and sitting on 60 acres it bought in hopes of building a new high school for students that don't exist.

We need a BOE that doesn't speculate in land development.

OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM IS ABOUT TO GO UNDER, FOLKS.

WE NEED BOARD MEMBERS WHO ARE CONCERNED WITH KEEPING OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS RUNNING EFFICIENTLY!

WE DON'T NEED SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS WHO ARE CONCERNED WITH ALIGNING THEMSELVES WITH CURRENT SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS!

WE DON'T NEED SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS WHO ARE CONCERNED WITH PANDERING TO CERTAIN FACTIONS IN ORDER TO OBTAIN VOTES!

OUR SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS SHOULDN'T BE ABOUT WHAT IS POLITICALLY CORRECT. OUR SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS SHOULD BE ABOUT DOING WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM.

ALL CITIZENS OF FAYETTE COUNTY SHOULD BE ABOUT ELECTING THE BEST QUALIFIED PEOPLE FOR OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM, WHETHER THEY HAVE CHILDREN ENROLLED IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS OR NOT!

WE ARE WAY PAST THE POINT OF BEING ABLE TO INDULGE IN EMOTIONAL IDEALISM!

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Land locked

That 60 acres purchased from the Lester family is surrounded by other land. No access to it. That means the BOE will have to lease or purchase more land just to get access.

Smart move by the BOE.

suggarfoot
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BOE owns 60 ..more..acres of land besides the 92 at $2.5 mil?!

well if they have 92 acres for sale at $2.5 million, isn't it fair to say the additional 60 acres bought for the highschool for the west fayette bypass is worth another $2 million? So that is 4.5 million sitting in land that we know of. There is also the extra land around Rivers. Does this ever end. Hard to belive Smith thinks she can get re elected.

suggarfoot
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BOE owns 60 ..more..acres of land besides the 92 at $2.5 mil?!

well if they have 92 acres for sale at $2.5 million, isn't it fair to say the additional 60 acres bought for the highschool for the west fayette bypass is worth another $2 million? So that is 4.5 million sitting in land that we know of. There is also the extra land around Rivers. Does this ever end. Hard to belive Smith thinks she can get re elected.

suggarfoot
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another way to make money...sale the 92 acres of land

or the obvious, (don't buy it in the 1st place)

They have taken it off the main page for the elections, but we still own $2.5 MILLION dollars worth of land we can't sell from one of their adventures into the real estate. Guess who did that! I'm not sure how many more acres we own around Rivers and other areas in the county. But the BOE has bought a substancial amount of land. Land we can't unload.
From their own website:

Land for Sale

The Fayette County Board of Education is offering for Sale 99.06 acres of pristine pasture and wooded areas with a lake located on Georgia Highway 92 south of Fayetteville.

The asking price is Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($2,500,000.00).

The property has road frontage on 92 South and Inman Road and is located directly adjacent to the new Inman Elementary School.

Currently the property is zoned AR (Agriculture Reserve with 5 acre lots). The Fayette County Land Use map shows the property in the 2-3 acre allowed zoning area.

The masterminds behind this adventure hand picked Hollowell.

http://www.fcboe.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=362&It...

suggarfoot
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also, Terrie Smith can't count!
taxed too much
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cut the spending

Vote out anyone who wants to raise taxes! NO to any tax increases.

ginga1414
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G8girl, Mr. Hollowell's Teaser

According to a comment by G8girl, Cal Beverly emailed Scott Hollowell a list of questions pertaining to the Fayette County School System.

Apparently, question (D) read "The future status of Tyrone Elementary School?"

Within his reply to that question, Mr. Hollowell said, "..because I am committed to Fayette County I want to find solutions to challenges that will benefit the growth of our County. I've got some ideas on this - but it would be premature to discuss them without having all the facts - and those will only be available to me if elected."

Where are these "facts" that Mr. Hollowell can't access until he is elected? Could those "facts" be obtained through an "Open Records Request?"

In my estimation, Mr. Hollowell is playing with the voters of Fayette County.

NO, NO, NO. Mr. Hollowell, that is not the way it works. FIRST, you have to give us the facts and ideas. Then based on those facts and ideas, we will decide if we want to vote for you.

Veritas
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Hollowell's reply is Bogus..

This proves Hollowell is either ignorant ,disingenuous / lying or exactly like his mentor Smola lying and thinks the citizens themselves are ignorant.
FCBOE is a public entity and all records pertaining to such including finance, budgeting expense ,revenue and operations are public record. As such, EASILY accessible via the state DOE and or the local BOE. The only records not for public consumption are employee evaluations and student records. So,if anyone tells you that you can't have access to those records as a tax payer and or voter citizen should set off a Huge Red Flag.
In other words Elect me Then I'll tell you what I'm going to do. This is not to be a pig in poke. At first I found his "financial experience" sorely lacking but now.....I'm beginning to believe Hollowell is completely inept.

G8rgirl
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Hollowell committed to serving ALL of Fayette County

Per the Scott Hollowell for FCBOE Facebook page:

RE:Fayette County School Closings:
I have stated publically during debates, in conversations with voters, and in a submission to The Citizen on July 13th, that we need to consider a broad set of criteria when it comes to closings schools. Cost-per-student cannot be the only metric. When a final plan is presented by the Superintendent, the criteria I will pay close attention to is the resulting classroom sizes triggered by the proposal and the economic impact to the communities that school serves.

Cal Beverly, Editor of The Citizen, emailed me a list of questions on July 12th. I sent an email response on July 13th. The answers have not yet been published.
Below is one of Mr. Beverly’s question and my reply.

(D) The future status of Tyrone Elementary School?

I am concerned for the welfare of Tyrone if Tyrone Elementary School closes. I think there is an important community tie into Tyrone Elementary that can’t be callously underestimated. There is also a costly septic tank issue, costs of running Tyrone Elementary and new school sitting vacant down the road. These are exactly the kind of problems I want to be elected to resolve.
It’s easy to look at Tyrone Elementary and see a financial liability but I look beyond that. I see a community that is deeply rooted into Tyrone Elementary that will be badly hurt by its closing – because I am committed to Fayette County I want to find solutions to challenges that will benefit the growth of our County. I’ve got some ideas on this – but it would be premature to discuss them without having all the facts – and those will only be available to me if elected.

I am committed to serving ALL of Fayette County. I am not afraid to make tough decisions, but I will not compromise what I know to be right in favor of any political agenda. My experience as a local business-owner, as a father of children enrolled in our county schools, and as a financial advisor, uniquely positions me as the candidate who will champion real-life leadership and fiscal common sense.

patkebb
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Hollowell still won't answer

Is BOE Candidate Scott Hollowell promising Tyrone and Brooks parents that he will never vote to close their schools in exchange for votes????

A Facebook page called "Save Tyrone Elementary" recently showed a statement that said "the Tyrone Elementary PTO endorses Scott Hollowell." After complaints (including some from Tyrone residents), this item was removed.

Mr. Hollowell's campaign has a Facebook page on which the mayor of Brooks says, "Both Terri (Smith) and Scott (Hollowell) are in favor of keeping BES (Brooks Elementary School) open, and our community needs to get behind them and support them all the way!"

The facts are that the Fayette County School System is facing a financial crisis!!! One of the several steps that needs to take place is to close some schools. The school system has approximately 2000+ empty seats and cannot afford to pay for administrators, a media specialist, a counselor, secretaries, and utilities in schools that are well below capacity in enrollment.

I ask the question again - Is BOE Candidate Scott Hollowell promising Tyrone and Brooks parents that he will never vote to close their schools in exchange for votes?

Still waiting to hear Scott Hollowell give a public answer to the question. The question was placed on his campaign's Facebook page, but the entry was deleted and never answered by the Hollowell. The question has been posed here by several concerned citizens. STILL WAITING FOR AN ANSWER. Voters have a right to know the truth. WHY WON'T HOLLOWELL ANSWER???

istilldontknow
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You could call him or email him...

Phone: 678-788-6009
Email: votehollowell@gmail.com

Why not give it a try?

patkebb
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Can Hollowell be trusted??

Are you saying he will give a private answer, but won't give a public one?

If what you implying is true, that is very, very suspicious. We need a school board member who will depart from the "politics as usual" approach.

istilldontknow
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Hey, he answered!

From his facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/votehollowell/

Fayette County School Closings:
I have stated publically during debates, in conversations with voters, and in a submission to The Citizen on July 13th, that we need to consider a broad set of criteria when it comes to closings schools. Cost-per-student cannot be the only metric. When a final plan is presented by the Superintendent, the criteria I will pay close attention to is the resulting classroom sizes triggered by the proposal and the economic impact to the communities that school serves.

Cal Beverly, Editor of The Citizen, emailed me a list of questions on July 12th. I sent an email response on July 13th. The answers have not yet been published.
Below is one of Mr. Beverly’s question and my reply.

(D) The future status of Tyrone Elementary School?

I am concerned for the welfare of Tyrone if Tyrone Elementary School closes. I think there is an important community tie into Tyrone Elementary that can’t be callously underestimated. There is also a costly septic tank issue, costs of running Tyrone Elementary and new school sitting vacant down the road. These are exactly the kind of problems I want to be elected to resolve.
It’s easy to look at Tyrone Elementary and see a financial liability but I look beyond that. I see a community that is deeply rooted into Tyrone Elementary that will be badly hurt by its closing – because I am committed to Fayette County I want to find solutions to challenges that will benefit the growth of our County. I’ve got some ideas on this – but it would be premature to discuss them without having all the facts – and those will only be available to me if elected.

I am committed to serving ALL of Fayette County. I am not afraid to make tough decisions, but I will not compromise what I know to be right in favor of any political agenda. My experience as a local business-owner, as a father of children enrolled in our county schools, and as a financial advisor, uniquely positions me as the candidate who will champion real-life leadership and fiscal common sense.

suggarfoot
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little wordings that leave Hollowell an out...

" There is also a costly septic tank issue, costs of running Tyrone Elementary and new school sitting vacant down the road. These are exactly the kind of problems I want to be elected to resolve."

Now ..if... he gets in office, AFTER the decision is made, he has a perfect out for all his empty promises to the Tyrone parents.

I would also like to add "financial advisor" is not a title that makes you a guru. One of my closest friends lost several million dollars to one of them. It seems for some of them it is nothing more than a legal licence to have a learning experience with your own personal money, much like what Smola did with our BOE money. Under the guise of helping my friend, "the advisor" moved some of her money into the Stanford Fraud deal. It was a offshore deal where there was no control, so to speak. When she saw what he had done, she ordered him to bring her money back to the US. Too late, the "finacial advisor" had already got his commision for bringing another sheep to the slaughter.

tgarlock
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I guess you can call me Pollyanna . . .

. . . because the daily and hourly hatchet-jobs some are doing on these blogs to one candidate in order to promote another, and the name-calling, are downright dishonorable.

I'm old-fashioned enough to believe such dirty politics has no place in the campaign for an honorable person. I suppose you do it because mud-slinging sometimes works, and that is one of the reasons some of us stay out of politics.

Your naive and old-fashioned observer,
Terry Garlock

cogitoergofay
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Mr. Garlock, perhaps you had

Mr. Garlock, perhaps you had not heard---- dirty politics has been around for quite a while, having first entered American politics in 1800 when VP Thomas Jefferson challenged (and defeated) President John Adams. Perhaps it was an inevitable consequence of another event in 1791-- the passage of that pesky 1st Amendment.

You are entitled to your sensibilities !

tgarlock
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I am quite aware . . .

. . . that people have been compromising their principles to be elected since long before Plato observed “In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state . . . "

If you want to know for sure how tall someone will stand under pressure, or how low they will allow others to stoop on their behalf, just let them run for office and observe. Some on blog are proving that point.

Terry Garlock

AtHomeGym
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Garlock, Naive & old-fashioned?

Naw, Terry--not those. You have a severe case of honesty and integrity, both of which are normally anathema to most politicians.

NUK_1
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What Hollowell Should Say

"Regardless of the election results, the new board won't be seated until Jan. 2013. The decision on what schools will or will not be closed will BE MADE BEFORE THAT DATE. Since I am not an idiot, I see no reason why I should alienate voters on either side by definitively stating in July of 2012 "I will never vote to close Tyrone" or "I will vote to close it!" I'll make my decision once I am elected and have all the facts available and alternatives. Obviously, any school closings are a very difficult decision and has a great impact on the community where those school(s) are closed and I take this matter seriously enough to research all possibilities in arriving at a conclusion that tries to balance the needs of communities with the harsh realities of the BOE fiscal situation."

suggarfoot
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Is he or is he not? Too funny Nuk!

Since I am not an idiot, I see no reason why I should alienate voters on either side by definitively stating in July of 2012 "I will never vote to close Tyrone" or "I will vote to close it!"

suggarfoot
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Is he or is he not? Too funny Nuk!

Since I am not an idiot, I see no reason why I should alienate voters on either side by definitively stating in July of 2012 "I will never vote to close Tyrone" or "I will vote to close it!"

suggarfoot
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people should never forget who caused this mess

Coweta county BOE is sitting pretty right now on a ton of money.

Smith and Smola depleated our BOE money by building new schools along the West Fayette Bypass. They also bought sizable acres of land with our BOE money that we can't unload. They have been trying to sell the excess for a number of years now! No takers.

Smith and Smola built Rivers equiped for over 600 kids. It has around 30 in it at present. WHEN THEY BUILT RIVERS...IT WAS THE DEATH OF TYRONE! That is what they are trying to pull your attention away from, by pitting areas against one another.

What is the most shamefull of all is that NONE OF YOU TYRONE CITIZENS CAME FORWARD TO RUN. YOU ALL HAD OTHER THINGS MORE PRESSING. JUST LIKE YOU HAVE DONE IN PAST ELECTIONS. YOU WERE TOO BUSY. NOW DR MARCHMAN, A MAN WITH INCREDIBLE CREDENTIALS, COMES FORWARD, TO DO WHAT YOU WERE TOO BUSY TODO....AND YOU GET BEHIND SMOLA'S LAP DOG CAUSE HE AND SMOLA SPOON FEED YOU THE BS YOU WANT TO HERE.

To the few that are supporting Holloway, you don't deserve a Dr Marchman. You deserve a Hollway "financial advisor"!!!

Bulldog2
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Tell us how you really feel?!

Way to alienate an entire community against the candidate YOU support. Shame on the entire town of Tyrone? Maybe if you spent less time harping on the past that we clearly can't go back and change and more time trying to positively improve the things we can, things could improve. You live in Tyrone, don't you live in the same subdivision as both Smola and Marchman? Don't see your name on the ballot? Maybe the board of education doesn't need anymore input from your subdivision.

I heard Marchman made a comment at the last forum about how he was not supported by any school or PTO. That's a bad thing? Seems to me like you would want the support of people who have actual kids in the Fayette county school system. I guess when you know you don't have those people supporting you then logical solution is villainize that group of people by perpetuating lies. What does it say about Marchman who clearly thinks these people are less important? Many things need to be done to fix our financial problems but, Marchman doesn't represent my interests. Bottom line is he home schools his children, and I don't want him making decisions on behalf of my family.

suggarfoot
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" I guess when you know you

" I guess when you know you don't have those people supporting you then logical solution is villainize that group of people by perpetuating lies."

Perpetuating lies?
Smith and Smola built schools along the West Fayette Bypass, now we have no money, Coweta setting next door is loaded. That is a lie? Get yourself a map! When Rivers was built (by Smith and Smola) it was the death of Tyrone. Nope, that isn't a lie either. If you have too many schools and not enough kids...What do you think is going to happen? True Smith and Smola should have thought of that. They either didn't, or didn't care. Again, not a lie. I don't lie.

The truth is, you have an extremely qualified person in Barry Marchman.

You have a sitting board member with a Hollowell sign sitting in the middle of her front yard as we speak. I have a copy of a comment emailed to me by her husband on facebook, making snide remarks about Dr Marchman. To say that Smola and her husband aren't supportling him just isn't true. As for the snide remarks about Dr Marchman, your remark about "logical solution is to villainze that group by perpetuating lies" might apply elsewhere.

Truth is ...Hollowell is a "financial advisor" with a major in journalism.

I am disapointed that PTO groups come out endorsing Hollowell because he tells them he won't close their school.

As far as alienating Tyrone, there are quite a few that are not for a Smola candidate. There are a lot that are going to vote for the best candidate, the one that doesn't make promises that he can't keep.

As to the remark "To the...FEW... that are supporting Holloway, you don't deserve a Dr Marchman. You deserve a Hollway "financial advisor"!!!", I TOTALY stand behind that comment. But quite a few, and I do mean quite a few, support Dr Marchan in Tyrone.

Again, you are trying to take the attention away from why we got into this position in the first place. We got into it because of Smith and Smola building schools along the West Fayette bypass. Now something drastic has to be done. Hollowell is Smola's candiate, his sign is in her yard and he told several people who have repeated it, that she asked him to run. That is enough for a lot of voters to not vote for him.

NUK_1
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Smola supports Hollowell

Really, is there anything else to even discuss on the candidates? Smola has been a terrible BOE member who has contributed to the financial disaster the BOE is in presently and will be for a while.

Gosh, Mike Smola sent you some non-fan mail? Who would have ever thought that? He conducted himself like such a mature professional as Mayor of Tyrone(LOL!!!!) until those nasty Tyrone voters threw him out on his arrogant butt. Poor Mike....NOT.

Good riddance to both Smola's in any elected or non-elected position. We don't want your "contributions" as we're still suffering from your past horrendous blunders.

MajorMike
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NUK_1

.

suggarfoot
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"

.

Veritas
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Bulldog No knowledge

I don't agree with suggarfoots assumption that ALL.....But you really aren't helping your guy either..
If a PTO or politician Claims A PTo sponsors or supports them THAT IS WORST THING FOR A PTO. That PTO will then lose its tax exempt statues. dee dee dee. Why do you think Terri Smith quickly posted in her Facebook that Tyrone PTO does not support any candidate.... Also, unprofessionally goes out on the same post and try and insinuate Marchman threatened legal action when it wasn't him at all but another candidate..honest mistake or political lie to bolster support for her man Hollowell?In as far as dishonesty and distortions they all seem to lead back to many of Hollowell supporters..... So, by your own standards, what does that say about Hollowell? What this really show is Mr. Hollowell and some of his constituents ,such as yourself, lack the legal and educational knowledge needed to be an any position in the school system.

G8rgirl
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The PTO did not illegally endorse Mr. Hollowell.

The Tyrone Elementary PTO has not illegally endorsed Mr. Hollowell for the BOE. This conversation about illegal endorsements would have been avoided had the individual looking to capitalize on an overstating parent's mistake simply contacted the page's administrator first. Clearly by notifying lawyers, newspapers and everyone else under the sun, she was not hoping to save the PTO's tax-exempt status, but to defame Mr. Hollowell and an organization that works tirelessly to support it's school. Mr. Hollowell's only involvement in this whole fiasco was his name in the post. Dr. Marchman, is aware that the PTO did not endorse his opponent, however seems to enjoy playing that card when it suits him. Parents with children in our public schools support Mr. Hollowell, not PTO organizations.

patkebb
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G8rgirl should be upset with the lying parent

Let's get the facts straight. On a Facebook page called "Save Tyrone Elementary," it stated that the Tyrone PTO had endorsed Scott Hollowell. People in the community who saw it were upset (including some Tyrone residents). Knowledgeable people understand that such an endorsement is clearly not allowed by the IRS and that this jeopadizes the tax-emempt status of the PTO (after all, it is a 501(c)(3)organization). Concerned citizens, rightfully, reported the problem to the school system officials.

Now you tell us that the real story is a parent had posted a lie on the Facebook page. How was the community supposed to know it was a lie?

Furthermore, why are you so upset with the people who called attention to the matter? Shouldn't you be upset with the lying parent? OH - how convenient that you forgot to mention the lying parent is one of your friends.

patkebb
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G8rgirl - tell us about the lying Tyrone PTO parent

Still wondering about this and waiting to hear more from G8rgirl.

suggarfoot
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you won't hear

you know it, I know it and G8girl knows it

suggarfoot
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you won't hear

you know it, I know it and G8girl knows it

The Mole
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FISHY

Any PTO or school organization exists because of the school. They acquire their tax-exempt status because they are part of the school. The school and board officials are responsible for these organizations. They should have been informed.

While I do not have a facebook account, I looked at that Facebook page and saw only two people that seemed to post on it constantly, the current Tyrone PTO president and another parent who happens to be Hollowell's campaign treasurer.

Seems fishy that the one person posting a lie was just an over zealous parent.

suggarfoot
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Mole I went to the site

I know people want to save their school, BUT they are sitting there talking about ..keeping..their assistant principle?

The writing is on the wall and has been for a few years. Because of their buddies, Smith and Smola, they won't have the frills of an ast principle. They will be lucky if they have their school!

Tyrone is in deep voodoo and it is because of Rivers being built.

The achilles hill for Tyrone is the septic system. I'm hearing from some in Tyrone that half the field failed, and they were notified by the EPA that if the other half fails within the school year, they will be required to pump it daily at a cost of around $1,000. a day, till the end of the school year. Others say, it hasn't. The town of Tyrone passed a resolution that would give the BOE permission to run a sewer line from Flatt Rock to Tyrone. With the cost, I don't know if the BOE is gonna go for that. In the past, no doubt they would, but Rivers is sitting there. Rivers building was the death of little neighbor hood schools. It is sad, but Rivers should never have been built in speculation for developers. Nor for that matter, the extra 60 plus acres purchased along the bypass for another high school. That land is worth conservativly probably around 2 million. What waste. Now, some are milking this for all they are worth. I hate to see people used. All I can say is remember the way Smith and Smola turned on the teachers promises they made after they got elected. If I had a kid there, I would be trying to draw Smith and Smola out about could they stand good for the vote to pay for the sewer line run to Tyrone Elem. I think it is a given Smith won't get re elected.

suggarfoot
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I have not doub

Dr Marchman would agree that everyone wants small elemenataries. My own child went to one. I'm sure he will do everything he can to help all the schools. What some are NOT FOLLOWING is that the very people the Tyone PTO is colaberating with, are the same ones that diminished your choices when they built Rivers and bought million dollar tracks of land with BOE money that now lay idle. These are the very people who are to blame for the current state of affairs.

suggarfoot
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"Dr. Marchman, is aware that

"Dr. Marchman, is aware that the PTO did not endorse his opponent, however seems to enjoy playing that card when it suits him."

I haven't talked to Dr Marchman about this. He isn't behind anything I'm saying at all. You are speaking of one of the most ethical people I've met in quite a while. He, nor any of his supporters have been the ones making any misleading remarks. The remarks seem to alway be tracted by to a handfull of Hollowell supporters. The same ones that have played this game so many times, and always the same way. Misleading the public.

Veritas
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G8rgirl

Please Read carefully before you attempt to jump in. Read Bulldogs post then my reply. I did not say The PTO supported Hollowell .. bulldog stated the a PTO should and I was explaining why they shouldn't , couldn't or wouldn't .. So get over yourself read and comprehend what I stated. Also you are either misinformed or lying yourself. Dr. Marchman has absolutely nothing to do with the PTO or their Tax exempt status. It was actually a member of the community and no other candidate. If you would like the facts the complaint / letter itself bears the signature of the individual filing it. So the only misinformation being disseminated once again comes from the Hollowell camp.

Veritas
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Hollowell's reluctance to public reply...

Why would a candidate for public office be against a public reply to a public question???

Veritas
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AHA

An AHA moment. The issue of school closings has pitted the citizens of Fayette county against one another. This is the perfect example of the issue with district voting. All because a board candidate chooses to pander to special groups.

moelarrycurly
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COST CUTTING SUGGESTION FOR SUP. JEFF BEARDEN

How about turning the parking lot lights off that were flooding the daylight out of Oak Grove School last evening at 8PM? How about turning the lights off at all the sidewalk entryways to Oak Grove School that were unnecessarily lit up at 8PM last evening? Broad daylight, sun shining, and all that wasted electricity money.

Should we even have to say this? How basic is it to keep lights off in broad daylight at unoccupied buildings?

The Mole
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FCBOE Finances

Mr. Hollowell states he is a leader. A leader makes hard decisions during a crisis. To remove two schools from closing consideration in a quid pro quo is not a leader.

Mr. Hollowell states he is an expert in finances. Not including everything to save this school system from financial ruin seems to me to be no expert in finance.

This school system's 2013 budget is approximately $178 million. I would like Mr. Hollowell to name one client he has that has a $178 million portfolio, not a LPL client but a Scott Hollowell client.

suggarfoot
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this needs to be R-E-P-E-A-T-E-D till it sinks in!

All parents need to know that the schools chosen will be determined by a committee that the superintendent has formed. The superintendent will then make a recommendation to the board to close the named schools. According to the superintendent, this decision will be made by December of this year (2012).

The voting public of Fayette County needs to keep a few basic facts in mind when they go to the polls.

ANY NEW BOARD MEMBERS ELECTED WILL NOT TAKE THEIR SEATS UNTIL JANUARY, 2013. THOSE UP FOR ELECTION NOW WILL NOT MAKE THE DECISION. THE PRESENT BOARD WILL.

patkebb
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School board members should represent ALL Fayette County

Sugarfoot,

What you have said is the way (at this point) matters are SUPPOSED to work. But, how many times have we seen the rules changed for the benefit of those who make the rules?

I appreciate what you have written; however, I am not so sure that the school closing issue will be settled by December. Therefore, it is crucial to elect people to the Board of Education who are committed to representing ALL Fayette County residents. It is increasingly clear that this disqualifies Terri Smith and Scott Hollowell.

If I am wrong and if Smith and Hollowell are planning to be objective on this matter, then they need to publicly state that. Furthermore, they will need to explain why the those who are fighting to keep Tryone and Brooks Elementary Schools open (including the Brooks mayor) are claiming these 2 candidates will do what they want them to do.

Interestly, not everyone in Tryone and Brooks is convinced those elementary schools must remain open. Some citizens are capable of seeing the bigger picture (hugh financial problems facing the school district) and then applying logic to the evidence (4 or 5 schools must be closed). Others in those communities are myopic and believe the Fayette taxpayers should pay the hugh cost of keeping the county's two smallest schools open.

suggarfoot
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I think it is cruel to pander to people's fears on the schools

"it is crucial to elect people to the Board of Education who are committed to representing ALL Fayette County residents. It is increasingly clear that this disqualifies Terri Smith and Scott Hollowell"

The old Smola email tree is hard at work. It is sad that these people don't see they are falling prey to the very people that caused the problem in the 1st place.

Tyrone fell prey years ago when they didn't care enough to get a candidate to run against Smola. Now Tyrone voters have a candidate that is so well qualfied (Dr Marchman), Smola won't even attempt to run against him, but brings in someone with "mail order" degrees in selling insurance and financial advisor. This is the old "Charlie Cave" deal all over again.

My kid is out of school in Fayette county now and I'm glad. When you have people running who are openly pandering to people's fears it is never good.

The deal is, our schools went beyond the point of no return when Smith/Smola lined the West Fayette By Pass with schools that the developers could use as selling tools. You see the destruction now.

I believe in small neighborhood elementary schools but that choice is now gone. That concept was stolen when the extra schools were built.

I feel that saying they will close Fayetteville schools and leave Brooks and Tyrone open is insane. Smith/Smola and Hollowell know they can't pull that off. They are pitting areas against others. It is truly wrong.

Robert W. Morgan
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Good point, the school closings may not be settled by Dec.

The kicking the can down the road, using reserve funds and considering a referendum to raise the millage rate cap are all signs that the board and indeed the superintendent are not convinced about how serious the problem is and that means delay. While this year's crisis may or may not get solved before the new board members come in, the crises for next year and the year after are going to be the responsibility of those we elect on the 31st.

I can't imagine that the cuts and school closings being discussed now are going to solve even half of the larger problem. We are at the beginning of a 5 or 10 year decline in enrollment - this is not a one-time blip that suddenly popped up and surprised everybody. This is the beginning of a trend. So, more schools will be closed in 2013, 14 and 15. All athletics will be deemed too expensive. Teachers, buses, other staff - even central office staff will be reduced significantly.

So, when a candidate tells you he or she will NEVER close a specific school or reduce teachers or staff, that actually means he or she will never vote to do such a thing. All that means is that candidate will be on the losing end of a 3-2 or 4-1 vote to do precisely what needs to be done. Better to elect someone who is realistic about the problem. Got a better chance of correcting it quickly without wasting time pretending there is no problem.

patkebb
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Thanks

Glad you agree. In all due respect, you have quite a reputation on school board matters of writing before you think (or perhaps writing when you only have half the facts).

Hope you will be more careful about school posts in the future. It is important for all of us to be accurate.

Again, glad we agree.

patkebb
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Hollowell will not answer questions

There is a Facebook page entitled "Scott Hollowell for Fayette County Board of Education/Post 1." There are approximately 700 people who have joined this group.

Yesterday and early today, three or four people posted excellent and probing questions for Mr. Hollowell on the site. For example, he was asked to publicly clarify whether or not he has promised to oppose the closing of Brooks and Tyrone Elementary Schools. The mayor of Brooks has posted on the site that Terri Smith and Scott Hollowell are in favor of keeping Brooks Elementary open and the mayor mentioned upcoming events where Smith and Hollowell have been invited to a "meet and greet" in Brooks. No mention is made of any other BOE candidates being invited to Brooks.

By mid-day (Thursday), the site was censured by the Hollowell campaign and some of the comments and questions were removed.

As I stated earlier on this blog, I cannot vote for a man that refuses to be objective about the matter of school closings. IF he has already promised (as supporters of Tyrone and Brooks Elementary Schools are saying) that he will not vote to close those schools, then citizens in the rest of the county should vote against him. We do not need someone so closed minded and so devoid of objectivity. IF he refuses to clarify his positions and continues to be frightened by the healthy exchange of ideas on his Facebook page, that should also serve as a warning to all voters.

We need school board members who will represent ALL of Fayette County and those who realize that the financial situation facing our schools is of such magnitude that NOTHING should be removed of consideration.

pips1414
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Mary H and Mr. Hollowell's Lack of Answers

Plainly speaking, if Mr. Hollowell wants to be a member of our School Board and will represent ALL the people of Fayette County, he should not be answering questions from individuals in a private manner.

Mr. Hollowell has a great opportunity right here within this newspaper to answer questions where a good portion of Fayette County can see his answers.

Come on, Mr. Hollowell, jump in with some answers for these good people.

Mary H
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Mary H Answers

Hi Pips1414,

I again do support Hollowell, but I am first and foremost a concerned parent.

I don't frequent this site as I have a full-time job which takes me out of town, am raising children and frankly I find some of the comments (not yours!) in this forum at best non-constructive - but I was made aware before Church that there was a post addressing me directly, so I'm here to respond. I VERY MUCH appreciate your staying above board, by the way!!! I do think you raise some good questions and I'll share with you my view.

Hollowell's Position
I believe that other posts directing folks to the statement on the Hollowell facebook page, as well as the entirety of that post in comments above, may answer your question - but I'll include a link to the Hollowell facebook page just in case:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/votehollowell/

Why not in the newspaper?
Hollowell's comments also speak to a response that he submitted to the paper in mid-July which was never published.

Comment from Brooks' Mayor
Likewise I am copying a comment from Dan Langford (Mayor of Brooks)directly from the Hollowell facebook page:

"And any heat Scott has taken over Brooks Elementary is my fault -- he promised to apply the same broad set of criteria to that issue as he'll apply to Tyrone Elementary, and I'm supporting him because it's that sort of broad, whole-picture thinking is best both for my community and for Fayette County."

What made me a supporter of Hollowell?
I would like to covey an experience I had which did sway me to support Hollowell - and it's primarily addressing the whole public vs. private conversation question which is playing out in other posts as well as yours, and I truly understand your concern. It's just something that happened to me, you can take it for what it's worth.

I had an opportunity at the school my children attend to be present at a meeting of concerned parents (this was before school ended). I had never to date knowing laid eyes on Scott Hollowell. He was there but didn't speak (it was just an informative meeting so the Mayor and a current Board member spoke). Afterwards I was introduced to Hollowell and I asked him, face to face, if he was going to keep the school open? It would have been easy for him to say what I wanted to hear - there were no reporters around, just a concerned parent standing there and there was NO confusion on where I stood on the issue!:)

But you know what he said? He did not take what I think would have been the easier road. He said that he agreed that the community impact of any school closing should be a significant consideration in any decision, that class size concerned him, BUT that he couldn't promise to keep the school open - he assured me, however, that he would look at all of the options and indeed seek other cost-cutting alternatives before going straight to school closings.

And that is what made me begin to respect Hollowell - honesty.

This is a board seat - not a dictatorship - there has to be an ability to work effectively with others, have intellectual discourse, argue your position and then cast a vote which may or may not go your way.

I write this post with no illusions - I've sought out information on the fundamental approaches of both candidates, their leadership experience, their experiences with public schools, etc. and I've arrived at my decision.

Just my two cents.
Again, thanks for your courteous response above!

Mary H
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Hollowell does answer questions

First, I support Scott. I didn't know him before he began running, but I do support him based on my own examination of the facts and comparison of the candidates. You probably feel differently, and I respect that. I respect everyone's right to come to their own conclusions about the candidates.

What I don't respect is using a public forum to put forth comments which make inferences that are not factual. I am going to paste a quote from Hollowell made at 8:35 a.m. July 19th. Please go to the site and see it for yourself and make your own judgement:

"Richard. It is evident that some schools will need to be closed. The Superintendent had a proposal to close schools in the spring but the Board balked and delayed the decision. I would be more than happy to discuss with you my ideas for addressing the fiscal challenges facing our schools. Please me at ..."

(I hesitate to give his number, but it's on facebook if you want to call him and speak directly)

To address your statements regarding censorship, I direct you to a quote from the opponent, Marchman's facebook page posted by him on July 2nd:

"Here is another site, where I let people beat me up a little bit. Sometimes I respond to their questions, sometimes I just let their vitriol site there for a few days. At first, I was deleting all the ugly comments, but my skin has suddenly got a little thicker."

Now, go look at the Marchman facebook page and read the comments. I have read them and I don't see any reason for any thick skin to be developed as I can't find one negative comment or even question of his position. Further more, look at the post June 17 (granted he states he was removing posts up until potentially July 2nd) and there are references to a comment by a Ms. Lawrence that was negative (described by a commenter as "venom") but her original comment is no where to be found.

I point this out only because in an age where everyone has a voice, it is important that EVERYONE engage, research comments on this page and elsewhere. If I believed everything I read on the internet I'd be able to lose 50 pounds in a week and become rich in 4 days by purchasing a book.

Make your own decisions, research the facts and then get out and vote!

patkebb
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Hollowell is evasive

Please read Scott Hollowell's Facebook page carefully. Evidently, he is indeed open to closing Fayetteville schools (that was the recommendation of the superintendent); however, he will NOT state publicly whether or not he is open to closing Brooks and Tryone Elementary Schools. Maybe it is because (as Brooks and Tyrone supporters are saying) he has already made up his mind about those 2 schools.

By the way, Mr. Hollowell should have mentioned that the reason some on the board "balked" and delayed a decision on the superintendent's recommendation is because it is clear that Dr. Bearden is pandering to those in Tyrone and Brooks that are protesting so loudly. There was talk in the fall about closing those 2 schools, but the superintendent quickly bowed to pressure about the matter. We need school board members (and a superintendent) that will make tough decisions even when they are not popular. Examination of the evidence, the application of logic, and commitment to principles should supersede political expediency.

If what you are saying about Barry Marchman's Facebook page is true, then shame on him!!! But, there is a difference. It doesn't appear that Marchman in refusing to answer the tough questions.

The Mole
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Removing comments and questions.

In the future, please take a screen shot because the Hollowell campaign will deny everything.

Spyglass
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Re removing comments.

As far as I know, after a comment has been replied directly to, it cannot be removed or edited, except by the folks in charge at the paper.

Steve Brown and his minions may have an exception to this rule. :)

NUK_1
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Spy: Think they are referring to Facebook comments

..that were removed by the Hollowell campaign on their own Facebook page, not anything here.

Spyglass
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Facebook...

LOL

Good for friends and family....not much else.

suggarfoot
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proof in the pudding

I don't see Coweta in this mess.

suggarfoot
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1. Bearden’s original

1. Bearden’s original proposal for closing Fayette Middle, Hood Avenue Primary and Fayetteville Intermediate and opening Rivers;...

The savings would be $1.6 million if the initial proposal of closing the three Fayetteville and opening Rivers is selected.

4. Bearden’s proposal and closing both Tyrone and Brooks.

The savings would top out at $3.2 million if Brooks and Tyrone are also closed and Rivers is opened

Guys this is so wrong on so many levels...do you really believe they are going to let you close neighborhood schools that are black to keep the two white ones of choice, Tyrone and Brooks open? As I understand that is what Hollowell, Smith and Smolla are pedling to get Hollowell elected.

This is just plain wrong.

First place, it ain't gonna ever happen. Their kids have feelings too. Second, the NAACP would sue us till hell froze over. Third, it is a lie, and a bad one at that.

You need to face facts. Smith and Smola created this mess by overbuilding schools, (developers wife and Smolla a poorly educated want to be)
This deal was done the day they built Rivers with everyone telling them don't. Now tuff decisions will have to be made. If you want to believe Smith, Smola and Hollowell can get the blacks to ride buses further to school so your little white ones can sit in their schools, then I have some swamp land to sell you!

They just want to spoon feed you BS, and you are stupid enough to eat it.

Patty 101
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FCBOE troubles

You can shake the money tree only so much until it no longer feeds your needs. FCBOE took it to an extreme to provide more to the students and families of Fayette County. The tree has died and now cuts must be made. HUGE cuts. And it will only get worse. The FCBOE is sticking it to the teachers because it knows the teachers have no other place to go for employment. Without a union and other counties making cuts, teachers in Fayette County are stuck. No pay raises in years. Cuts made to benefits. "Shut down" days. Adding more students to the classrooms. At what point will it end? I'll tell you. It'll end when the Blue Flu hits and every teacher calls in sick. Talk about a mess. Beat a dog enough and it'll bite back. Teachers are biting back.

The Mole
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Blame the State of Georgia

So Neil's post is to let us know the reason the FCBOE has no money is the State. They are the bad boys in this equation. Georgia has shirked its duties by not funding what they use to fund.

Get a clue. Every school district is picking up more of the tab for funding education. The difference is other school districts seem to be doing a much better job handling the situation than our own FCBOE.

Keep blaming the state though; it deflects the ineptitude of the FCBOE.

buddy123
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FYI: After school band/sports

These fees are paid for by the parents, the BOE does NOT pay for uniforms,most transportation,equipment, etc............that's why there are Booster Organizations.....also,Fayette County supplements to coaches and teachers are among the lowest in the state......The BOE needs to trim jobs from the central office BEFORE hitting the classrooms........

Veritas
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Fayette one of the highest

Fayette head football coaches supplements are among the highest in the state. Now other sports head coaches ,assistant coaches and MS coaches that's a different story.

NeilSullivan
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State Funding swamps local districts _ From AJC

As state shirks its funding responsibility, school systems feel squeeze
10:20 am July 19, 2012, by Maureen Downey

Here is an opinion piece from Georgia Budget & Policy Institute’s policy analyst Cedric Johnson on the budget deficit that counties across the state of Georgia will face this coming school year.

By Cedric Johnson

As local school boards across Georgia finalize k-12 budgets for the coming school year, they are feeling the squeeze not just from a still-struggling economy, but from a decade of trends and policy decisions that have left schools ill-equipped to meet the needs of families and employers.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently reported on the DeKalb County school system’s struggle to close an $85 million budget deficit. With little reserve funding available, the article quotes one state senator as warning, “If they don’t rebuild the surplus, I’ll talk to SACS,” referring to the regional entity that evaluates and accredits schools. The senator recommends cutting teacher pay instead of raising taxes to close the deficit.

While the senator’s preferred solution may help end the current budget crisis, it does not address the key reasons that schools throughout the state are in a similar bind.

The budget crunch is not simply a result of our economic woes. Trends in k-12 education financing over the last decade have also played a big role, as the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute highlights in its recent report FY 2013 Budget Analysis: PK-12 Education.

Three particular developments help explain how Georgia’s public schools arrived at their current predicament.

•First, Georgia’s K-12 student population has increased tremendously and at a much faster rate than other states. Since 2000, enrollment in Georgia’s public schools increased by 230,000 additional students. More than 1.6 million students will enter public k-12 classrooms in Georgia for the 2013 school year, representing the eighth-largest elementary and secondary school system in the United States.

•Even though schools need more resources to cope with the surge in students, state support for public education has steadily declined over the last decade. Lawmakers have cut the state’s core funding program for K-12 education by$5.7 billion since 2003, with most of these cuts occurring over the past four years. That equates to a loss of around $600 per student, or $15,000 for a classroom of 25 students, annually since the 2009 school year. When adjusted for inflation, per pupil spending is now at its lowest level in over 10 years.

•Third, responsibility for funding public schools has steadily shifted from the state to the local level. Whereas the state provided 60 percent of funding for K-12 education in 2000, it only provided 50 percent by 2010. While that might not seem like a huge change, a 1 percent shift in funding responsibility equated to $131 million in 2011.Property taxes are the major local revenue source for public school funding, and declining property values in the wake of the Great Recession have only contributed to school districts’ challenges.

If they are not addressed, these demographic and financial trends ensure Georgia schools will continue to face budget deficits in the years ahead. That should be sobering to policymakers at a time when education is more important than ever to creating a strong economy and nurturing the kind of jobs that are a ticket to the middle class.

While it is important to stretch dollars in the wake of the state’s budget crisis, Georgia simply cannot expect to build a world-class workforce that can compete for good-paying jobs without making an adequate investment in public education.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

Veritas
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Neil Blame the state article...

 
Smith, Smola, Hollowell and  Neil say It's the legislatures fault...

Ok

First : " surge in student population"
Fayette student population has been on a steady decline since 2007. 
So, not cause and effect in Fayette
Hmmmmm... ok so blame the state excuse one doesn't pan out . Excuse number two ...it'll ..yeah ..that'll show 'em  

Second: decline in state funding during "student surge" .... Granted from 2001-2011 the percentage the state funds has fluctuated up and down between a high of 53.31% to a low of 38.31%...curreny 43.77% ....Mmm but Fayette county's TOTAL Revenue has gone up around 5 to 8% each year. (except 2009 lost that Obama money"
 This doesn't apply to Fayette either.. "per pupil spending is now at its lowest level in over 10 years" ..,while Fayette student population was in decline FCBOE revenue and budget were on a steady climb..... As well as per pupil expenditures. (see below)
 
Dang third times a charm..,.Right
Once again...

"Third, responsibility for funding public schools has steadily shifted from the state to the local level",.. True ... True but that's True of EVERY county and the 10 most comparable systems are in much better financial shape than Fayette with  smaller revenues in most cases.  Again i'll grant you that the state percentage has fluctuated up and down from 53.31% tcuss of 2011 it is 43.77%... But overall revenues to the Fayette County School system have been on a steady incline until 2011.
 
    
 
2001 State %   53.31      student Pop: 19,691​Total revenues 133,521,027.61

 
2002 State %   53.95     student Pop:  20,449​Total revenues 142,341,006.04
 
2003 State %   45.65     student Pop: 20,778​Total Revenue : 149,560,927.76

 
2004 State %   48.28       student Pop:  21,281​Total Revenue: 156,834,932.05​

 
 
2005 State %   46.90      student Pop: 21,700​Total Revenue: 163,942,187.63
 
2006 State %   46.55      student Pop: 22.299​Total Revenue: 176,355,744.07

 
 
2007 State %   48.31       student Pop: 22,546​Total Revenue: 195,108,116.86

 
 
2008 State %    49.00     student Pop: 22,248​Total Revenue: 202,204,911.40

 
 
2009 State %    43.96     student Pop: 22,155​Total Revenue: 196,496,911.00

 
 
2010 State %    38.82    student Pop: 21,751​Total Revenue: 196,618,051.80

 
 
2011 State %    43.77   student Pop: 21,290​Total Revenue: 193,936,493.03

Humm that dog don’t hunt either …. What ..What could it be…

Hmmmmm???

Over bloated admin…Building and staffing schools not needed

2001 school administration 8,330,778.25

2011 school administration 12,988,696.44

214.67 2001 Pr FTE General Admin Expenditure
269.23 2011 Pr FTE General Admin Expenditure
 
423.00 2001 Pr FTE School Admin Expenditure
610.08 2011 Pr FTE School Admin Expenditure
 
315.91 2001 Pr FTE Staff services Expenditure
355.06 2011 Pr FTE Staff services Expenditure
 
4,528.20 Pr FTE Instruction
5,839.55 Pr FTE Instruction
 
Where Oh where is the Largest percentage gain???

Two voices in the board have consistently asked for fiscal responsibility and to build a reserve.
You do know only three counties in the State don't have a reserve.

 

suggarfoot
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3 counties in the ENTIRE state that don't have a reserve?

And we are ..one.. of the THREE in the entire state and Smith/Smola/Neil Sullivan/Holloway, squealing like a stuck pig that the state needs to give us more money. Wow!

"Two voices in the board have consistently asked for fiscal responsibility and to build a reserve.

You do know only three counties in the State don't have a reserve."

Yeah, they are real gurus of finance!

Just wondering
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Does anyone know where the

Does anyone know where the money to resurface the school parking lots is coming from?

Veritas
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Why just MS sports...

Why stop there ... Let's take a look a supplements paid to High School Coaches. I mean when a head HS football coaching supplement in Fayette county is near 20,000. The state average is 8,000 or under or even do as many counties pay a percentage of their base salary 10% seems about the norm for Top ranked high school teams.

renault314
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As someone who has stood on the bus loop in the morning

I can tell you firsthand exactly how few kids ride the busses. An average of 20 busses pull up to my school in the mornings and I would say that about 5 or them are what I would consider "full." Some of the busses have as few as 3-5 kids and most have about 10. Its such a shameful waste. I asked an AP at my school if bussing is required and he said that it was, but I still think that we could condense routes or charge a fee for ridership. We charge for parking passes. Whats the difference? I'm sure someone will tell the group, but I'd really like to know. The parking lots in front of the school are so crowded with parents who park and wait for their kids to come out, I'm betting if those parents had to pay a yearly fee to let their kid get on the bus even one time, they might make the kids ride it a little more. And if they don't? So what?
Also I'm surprised no one has floated the idea of 4, 10hr day school weeks. That was a very hot topic of conversation a few years ago, but it seemed to have been forgotten. Youd save 20% off of utilities and bus fuel right away. And hey, the teachers are all there 10hrs a day anyway.

G35 Dude
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renault-Empty Buses
Quote:

I can tell you firsthand exactly how few kids ride the busses. An average of 20 busses pull up to my school in the mornings and I would say that about 5 or them are what I would consider "full."

The problem is that many of those same buses that are almost empty in the morning will be packed in the afternoon. And some kids will ride on Tuesdays only because that is Mom's day at tennis etc. Then there's practice for football, baseball etc. Those kids won't ride in season but will out of season. Transportation has no way of knowing when a child will choose to ride so you will see some almost empty buses. The only way to address this would be to make parents register their kids that will ride and charge a registration fee as you suggest. And while this would help you'll still have many parents that will register their kids so that they have a backup when needed. So while I think improvements could be made you'll never see only full buses.

renault314
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We dont need full busses
G35 Dude][quote wrote:

The only way to address this would be to make parents register their kids that will ride and charge a registration fee as you suggest. And while this would help you'll still have many parents that will register their kids so that they have a backup when needed. So while I think improvements could be made you'll never see only full buses.

But thats my point. It doesnt matter if the kids ride the bus or not if we have already collected the registration fee.

Snow Bunny
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Pay to ride has worked quite

Pay to ride has worked quite successfully for many years in school systems all over the United States.
The only problem I see with Pay to ride in an area such as this is someone (quite a few from this forum come to mind) will start to scream about how the program is going to disenfranchise some students from getting a good education.

Sadly & I hate to say this but the best thing (in the long run) for the school district would be to get rid of both the 1st grade propras & AP's.. When I was young, we did not have Ap's in our primary schools. Typically one or two (most) senior members of the teaching staff would assit the principal in the event it were necessary or they were not there. As for propras, there is always an abundance of busy body mom's who given the chance would love to come in for a few hours each day and help out their kids teacher.

Spyglass
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I would hate to see them shut down all Middle School Athletics..

My youngest is almost 20 and in College, so it's not like I have 4 kids playing sports. Still, I think they do a lot of good.

As our County continues to "age", I know tough choices will have to be made.

renault314
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They can still play rec ball

If parents want their kids to play sports, then they (the parents) should pay for it. Why do I have to, or you? In tough economic times, its going to be more and more difficult to justify high property taxes county wide to pay for other peoples kids to play middle school soccer.

Spyglass
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"then they (the parents) should pay for it"

You statement could be said for EVERYTHING that goes on at school. Or school period for that matter.

I guess we have to decide how far we want to go with your statement. I am certainly not trying to argue, but a well rounded school system is good for every resident of Fayette County in my opinion. And I know opinions vary.

I didn't move to Peachtree City and Fayette County almost 10 years ago because of the things that were not offered. Quality of life drew me here, and I should have moved here 20+ years ago when I first married.

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