BoE plans gift to visioning initiative

The Fayette Visioning Initiative is a good idea, one that should be provided with a financial contribution. That was the May 5 opinion of the Fayette County Board of Education.

Comments by the school board in response to an April 30 letter from the Fayette Visioning Initiative asking for a consideration of support had board members favoring such a move.

Board member Leonard Presberg said the school system has a big stake in the activities of the initiative and the county’s future.

Board member Barry Marchman agreed, saying the school board should support the initiative with both representation and dollars.

Board member Bob Todd also agreed, saying the supporting the initiative is a worthwhile move.

The letter from Fayette Visioning Initiative co-chairs Bob Ross and Trey Ragsdale reviewed the ongoing activities of the organization.

“We have already enjoyed significant community support and are confident of its continued presence. That support is in the form of services, facilities, supplies and financial contributions. It is in regard to financial support that we appeal to the Fayette County Board of Education today,” the letter said.

Superintendent Jody Barrow at the board’s direction said that at an upcoming meeting he will propose an amount of money to be given and provide the source of those funds.

moelarrycurly
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BOE and Fayette Visioning tonight

The request is on the agenda at tonight's meeting.

In the packet, a letter to Dr. Barrow from David Ross and Trey Ragsdale. Paragraph from that letter:

"Much of the current effort supports the planning and implementation needs of our public school system and other local government entities. For that reason, the Board of Commissioners and city councils of Peachtree City have contributed $10K each, and the other jurisdictions have requests under consideration. May we add the Board of Education to the list?"

If you live in PTC, the BOC AND PTC have taken 10K EACH and given it to this group. Now, taxpayers will pay, potentially, another 10K or more through the BOE donation. Or, in the agenda item just before this request, there is an amendment approval to the 2014 budget and I see an item listed as Donations $30,000. I have no idea if that is money already donated elsewhere or that is the amount that is up for approval to go to Fayette Visioning.

30K for WHAT? Is that too much to ask, how is this 30K (and more?) going to be used?

Husband and Fat...
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For what is a good question

The school should be spending money in the classrooms, not a Bob Ross Vision.

What are we getting for this $10k anyway Boob?

Itemizations like $195 for "pole everywhere polling subscription for meetings"

What the heck is that Boob? Is this a tea party approved expense or is it ok because you approved this message?

Why your at it Boob, how did you get appointed to this position? How did your co-chair get appointed? What has he brought to the table.

It's almost June, are you wrapping things up?

Though I did like your writer last week, we want an update and not propaganda

Tell me Boob, how will you spend this $10k when you know our kids could use this money more?
Why not hit up Pinewood, Sany, the COC? Why keep hitting up the citizens when you haven't allowed the citizens to really participate.

NeilSullivan
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H & F - Why so personal?

I do agree that FCBOE has done a terrible job telling us exactly what 10k is getting us from the already done Fayette visioning. Maybe our board members did not know that we need more young families or that our schools are excellent. I am sure it was all agreed to over a cup of Earl Grey.

That said. Mr. Ross isn't a bad guy, I really believe he is trying to do some good for the community. That said I do question the execution.

I saw a stat on Facebook that there are 68,000 registered voters in fayette County. 1,500- 1,700 people took part in this visioning which is about 1 % probably less when you consider that there was no filter for age, residency, or voting status.

Happy Election day

n

Husband and Fat...
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I was annoyed yesterday all around

Took a late Sunday flight to another time zone to meet a client early Monday as he requested. Sitting in his lobby Monday morning and he saunters in 45 min late, then tells me he had to move the meeting time because he forgot to tell someone else who was also supposed to be there. I could have just flown in and flown out the same day, if he had just picked up the phone to tell me.

My opinion though doesn't change, though I could have been more tactful.

What is the $10K going to pay for? More line items that say...
$195 for "poll everywhere polling subscription for meetings"

I never said Bob was a bad guy. He certainly didn't impress me with this initiative. Tell me, how is his survey (Mindmixer) any better than the PTC mayors survey last year? Both got less than 1% of the population involved.

I am still waiting to hear how Bob and Trey were elected co-chairs? The BOC have distance themselves very far away from this group, yet Bob is one of the Tea Party puppet masters pulling the strings on the BOC. There has to be tie to this group somewhere. To my knowledge, Bob has never been involved with the Chamber of Commerce, so how did he get this top spot?

The Vision folks have not provided any updates since the early March meeting, yet they had promised a finished report by the end of June. June is just around the corner and the consultants fees are already accounted for. Why is new money needed from our local governments?

Why is he not hitting up Pinewood, Sany, or other large local firms who also have something to gain?

After returning late last night, I got up early and performed my civic duty. Perhaps we can meet at the 54/74 traffic jam tonight, I will roll down my window and ask to borrow some of your Grey Poupon.

moelarrycurly
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Ten grand from BOE

was approved last night. Finance said it is coming from a donation by Pressberg, actually, using the dollars he has saved from not buying shaving cream over the years.

Husband and Fat...
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lol

funny. Shaving cream savings

$1 month for shaving cream

833 people x 12 months x $1 = $9,996

That sounds more like the Robertson Clan

moelarrycurly
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Board of Education special meeting

At 2pm tomorrow. Something's up.

Husband and Fat...
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MLC and BOE

Could they be announcing their choice for BOE?

2 pm makes it look like they don't want people there.

NeilSullivan
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H&F 2pm BOE meeting

Hi H&F

Dr. Marchman did post this meeting was to select post 2 member on his facebook page. This should be interesting, I believe there is a no brainer choice in selecting Mr. Colwell as a past interim FCBOE superintendent and a respected RESA resource. His knowledge and demonor would be great for our BOE. However, given this got pushed from the last regular meeting where regular people could attend, it looks like there is a 3-1 or even a 2-2 going on. Looking at the list, it looks like the other would be a TEA who pulled their kids from the excellent Fayette County public schools when Brooks got closed. I am not sure that is what we need.

Legend has it when they filled Presberg's seat the same thing happened and he was the compromise. I may not agree with many of Leonard's positions out side of schools, he has been a good and honorable board member. I hope for a similar result today.

Take Care

Neil

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Dr Colwell now Post 2 BOE member - Well Done FCBOE

Former superintendent. Very well done and thank you board members

NUK_1
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Colwell a much more than suitable replacement

Good choice, BOE!

Husband and Fat...
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Excellent choice

Couldn't ask for a more qualified person.

Earl E Bird
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How can the BOE do this?

This BOE is becoming famous for their creative meeting scheduling. Remember the snow day fiasco? After everyone else had already done so our BOE decided to honor the bus drivers for their service that day. The BOE notified the drivers via email one hour before the meeting took place.

But even more important in my mind now is why the BOE feels that they have the right to donate money to any cause? It is my understanding that rank and file Fayette County BOE employees make less today than they did 5 years ago and we are the lowest paying of the Metro Atlanta school systems. Even if that weren't true the BOE is not a private business that can donate profits at will. That is our tax dollars they are talking about.

moelarrycurly
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Daddy-O

I have no clue. Saw it in Saturday's (ahem) paper as a legal notice.

Either that or more likely it was a time where they could get a quorum for a vote.

moelarrycurly
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Now comes the

begging to the local government entities. Way to go BOE.

Oh, wait, "provide the source of those funds"....Obama dollars! Or from Kim Learnard's Saturday morning bake sales and car washes.

Husband and Fat...
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Yep

We haven't seen anything since the early march meeting at SCHS. No new documents. Just propaganda from the chamber members who hope to benefit. Like the banker.

I don't see how Tea Party Bob could beg for more money when he hasn't shown us what it's for. Would tea party bob approve of this if he wasn't running the show? Nope. He'd be writing his annoying letters calling out the accounting.

Hey Bob before the school gives you a dime, please explain how you and Trey were elected chair and provide all the unwashed your projected expenditures that require additional funding paid by the taxpayers.

moelarrycurly
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Exactly

I know nothing about the strings attached to money allocated to education, but I cannot fathom how that money can be redirected to some "committee". If I were a teacher or bus driver or any other school system employee, and had gone without raises like FC has, I'd be all over this like white on rice. Someone has found something with all sorts of legal jargon attached to it, my guess.

Hey, I'm watching the Braves in a tight one with the Cubbies....the Cubbies!!!!

NeilSullivan
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MLC - FCBOE $ Source of funds

Hello

I hate to say it, but the educational dollars are not nearly as restricted as I wish there right now. They could not use ESPLOST $ but can use general fund.

That said, when I first heard about this last week after another mid afternoon meeting I was disappointed given all we have heard about putting money in the classroom or being fiscally prudent. The low participation rate in the visioning suggests we will not learn anything from the vision to benefit our schools. Worse now that we have a reserve and a surplus, the first two expenditures are to appeal district voting and now $10k for Mr. Ross's vision. If Smith or Smola had done that it would be the worst parts of the Bible on these blogs but instead we hear crickets form our erstwhile bloggers.

While this was definitely on my mind when I came on the blogs last week, I waited to speak to a visioning poobah (not Mr. Ross) that I knew I would see later in the week. They were surprised that I was objecting to such a "small sum" over $160M budget. Appearantly, I missed the memo where we stopped measuring every school dollar. But their other point was that they felt each entity should have "skin" in the vision via money.

It strikes me that the sum of money $10,000 is approximately what each of our teachers have lost over the past five years of benefit cuts and furloughs. Worse, outside of a few well funded PTOs, there are many instances where teachers have to go out of pocket for basic items such as tissues for our classrooms. $10,000 would buy over 6,600 boxes of tissues ( with lotion of course ). I can say we have been using our teachers "skin" for years now.

However, to be fair to our BOE, I was excited to hear that they are adding back some parapros to our schools after last year's dramatic cuts.

Take Care,

Neil

Classrooms before consultants

Husband and Fat...
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Neil, see my post below regarding Vision

I would like those questions answered.

NeilSullivan
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H & F Questions

Hey

I don't speak for Visioning by Bob Ross does. I strongly urged that he come on and interact with bloggers who can be respectful. I know first hand it is not fun to go in your name to nameless people who disagree but we need FACTS. Without them the rumors are true. I tried to explain the canned letters only add to the perception that the unwashed masses are outside the club while decisions are getting made. I did my best and missed Archbishop Desmond Tutu's speech to do it.

Take Care

Neil

10,000 would pay for 1/2 a parapro for a year which we have had first grade teachers come onto facebook to take into their classroom.

Husband and Fat...
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Vision - Hanoi Hannah

I think I ask legitimate questions. We know that Bob reads the blogs because the open house came as a result of the blogs, along with some of the handouts and a list of the financial contributors.

Your an accountant and a contributor to worthwhile causes. Would you contribute to any worthy cause that doesn't explain where the money goes, or how much is needed? I have a real problem with them just showing expenses to date. What are the future expected expenditures? And how would my money benefit the cause?

When is Pinewood going to start being a part of the community and donating to worthy causes? Where's the COC check? Or do these merchants only want the benefits after the economy improves?

There is too much silence from the co-chairs and our elected officials.

I'm as tired as you are to see those canned letters. Let's just guess who Bob annoited to send one in this week. It reminds me of Hanoi Hannah.

NeilSullivan
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H & F Market Street Molly Sue

Just sounds better.

To be clear I was reporting from a conversation. My point is no school money for visioning it does not seem appropriate or a wise use of our scarce resources like money for the appeal of district voting. We have skin in the game they are the 20,000 +/- FC school kids. They will attract younger families and do.

That brings me to another point in the conversation where I questioned why FCBOE needed to pay 10k out of 250k, I was told it was really just over a 100k. To your point what is the plan? How much from where? We will spend it on what? What makes this maddening (to be polite) is that if any public entity committed funds up front (without public disclosure) there could be issues with public procurement policies.

What a lot of this comes down to is communication plain and simple. If Market Street was as good as some say they would have had a better plan than mind mixer, and better strategies to inform the public. But the point I made in this conversation and the other person agreed is that Fayette has a higher degree of engagement than most other entities. I think that is good. Anything than cannot survive in sunlight is a vampire to our time and money.

Neil Sullivan CPA

Husband and Fat...
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Neil - Vision

The Vision people projected $150k in expenses. As of this date they indicate $90k in expenses incurred with less than 2 months to finish. I would like to know how they plan to finish if they only have $105k banked now that the BOE is issuing a check.

1. What expenses are they still projecting?
2. Are they on schedule to complete this in June?
3. How do they complete the process without the funding? I they do complete, which governmental group is going to pay for this? Or do they plan to not pay the vendors until they get the funds raised?

The way they are proceeding makes me think that they have a government parachute to get them out of the red. Is this the new FC Tea Party way of thinking?

I think a lot of people would like an update. Maybe even another open house. But with school ending and people leaving town, my guess is they will schedule something the week of the 26th when many have already left town. Lol.

Can't wait to read Market St Molly's letter to editor this week. Any guess who will be the guest author?

moelarrycurly
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NS-skin in the vision...

...yes. Via a $10,000 contribution from use of general fund dollars? To what end?

What is the projected outcome of the investment of 10K into Market Street and the FC Visioning Committee? That is my question to FCBOE. A simple, cohesive and measurable outcome should be explained by the board on this use of money.

Good points you make and thank you for sharing your information.

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Mr Sullivan
Quote:

If Smith or Smola had done that it would be the worst parts of the Bible on these blogs but instead we hear crickets form our erstwhile bloggers.

Well at least one blogger questioned the BOE's authority to do this. Read my post above!

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Earl E Bird

Hey

I Saw your post and do appreciate it. Many have opined about BOE out of control spending. I thought this would be red meat for them. After all, 10,000 is more than half of one bus driver salary for one year.... I have a long list of what $10,000 buys before visioning most of it supplied by front line teachers.

Pupils before Powerpoint.

Take Care

Neil

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Mr Sullivan-Not to be nit picky
Quote:

After all, 10,000 is more than half of one bus driver salary for one year....

Not to be nit picky but Fayette County only pays a bus driver $11k a year. He/she can add to that by doing extra work like driving field trips etc but the base pay for a driver is $11k.

NeilSullivan
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Earl E Bird not a nit but a shame

I am aware that the majority of our bus drivers make between 11 - 13 k. Which 10k is more than half of. But I try to use wide ranges so what I report is accurate.

The tragedy is that I remember a sticker on the buses I rode back in the stone age that said "On this bus is the world's most precious cargo" and we pay so little for those who protect it.

Thanks for the clarification have a great day.

Husband and Fat...
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Vision, FCBOE, and FC Tea Party

I see the individual anonymous donor is now identified as Pota and the FCDA donated $10k. Where in the FCDA budget did this come from? Where's the money from the Chamber of Commerce, Pinewood, or Ms. Learnard's college and career group?

Where's the real accounting showing the projected costs not incurred to date?

How could Bob ask anyone to donate without properly identifying how the funds will be spent?

What is the $195 line item labeled "Poll everywhere polling subscription for meetings"?

Where's the status update? Are they going to meet the June deadline? Why are they asking for more money over the original budget?

Where the heck are the FC Tea Party zealots raising heck about this accounting?

Braves win.

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