SPLOST Passive Can't Help Fairyland Teachers -And Response

Monday, October 28, 2013

Re: Roy Exum's "How Fairyland is Punished"

Mr. Exum quotes Ms. Mercer, president of Lookout Mountian's Fairyland Elementary School PTO, urging voters to turn out and vote yes for the special SPLOST vote Nov. 5 in hopes that some of the 1 percent sales tax money could help out with badly needed supplements to teacher salaries.

Walker County voters should not be misled here....the SPLOST funds can only be used for capital improvements, and only for items previously submitted in the process prior to the vote. That is state law and not subject to change by the county.  A yes vote for SPLOST will not address Ms. Mercers stated issues. Lack of educational funding is not a reason to vote for SPLOST.

Walker County Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell has done a good job keeping our taxes steady during this current four year long recession. These are not easy times for residents in northwest Georgia. Unemployment here remains higher than the state and national average. Local government should continue to tighten its belt as its residents are doing.

While a sales tax is the least objectionable of all taxes in my opinion, unless it is accompanied by an appropriate reduction in property tax millage rate, Walker County voters should clearly vote no on the SPLOST on Nov. 5.

Brian D. Joyce

Lookout Mountain, Ga. 

* * * 

It amazes me that Mr. Joyce is informed enough to know the Lookout Mountain, Ga. budget well enough to have an opinion. I make it a point to be informed and to attend the council meeting regularly and study the finances. I have never seen Mr. Joyce at a meeting. Mrs. Mercer correctly pointed out that SPLOST funds had been used for capital improvements on the gymnasium. This money was properly approved. She never suggested any use for operations which are outside the state guidelines. 

SPLOST will provide more than $600,000 to the city over several years. It has been passed for 26 years and if not passed, the money would be lost that will have to be replaced with a tax increase if it is not passed. 

The city has vetted its capital needs and these funds will be carefully spent. As a member of the sewer board, we asked for funds for a portion of necessary upgrades.  The upgrades will have to be done and paid for whether the funds come from SPLOST or property taxes. 

The total amount of these funds cover needs that would require a 16 percent property tax increase if it is not passed. My preference is this 1 percent designated sales tax. It is not an increase, it is a continuation of 26 years of funds to help cities pay for capital funds without increasing property taxes. 

I am proudly for SPLOST and have a sign in the yard. 

Jimmy Campbell



Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Jake

Two weeks ago four of us piled in a car to go down to Canton, Ga., so we could tell Jake Butcher goodbye. Bob McKamey, former mayor Ron Littlefield, a dazzling guy named Steve Wilson, and myself. This would be the last time any of us would see Jake. It was a spectacular day and anyone who doesn’t believe in such goodbyes is missing out on the greatest moment in their life. It is ... (click for more)

Hazardous Pay For Teachers

 I used the title of my message for attention to the plight of the classroom teacher. I meant not that teachers deserve more pay but using the word hazardous duty pay applies to what does not happen in the classrooms across the country.   At the beginning of the school year and a new class sometimes the teacher already knows a few of the students. Sometimes ... (click for more)

3 Hikers Missing In Big Soddy Creek Gulf Area

Rescuers are searching for three hikers missing since Sunday afternoon at Big Soddy Creek Gulf. They left around noon, and were supposed to return around 6 p.m. The hikers are a married couple and their friend. They are avid hikers. Crews with the Soddy Daisy Police and Fire Departments began searching at daybreak on Monday. (click for more)

Pair Arrested In Connection With Lookout Mountain Vehicle Thefts, Break-Ins

Police on Lookout Mountain said two arrests have been made tied to the theft of  two vehicles stolen from a home in Lookout Mountain, Ga., last week.   In connection to the vehicle thefts, seven other vehicles were entered and several items were stolen. Lookout Mountain, Ga., Chief Todd Gann said, "Early  Wednesday  morning, a Georgia resident noticed ... (click for more)

Lookouts Rally Falls Short In Sunday's 6-4 Loss At Mobile

MOBILE, Ala.  -- Sherman Johnson hit a two-run double in the second inning, and Alberto Triunfel singled three times as the Mobile BayBears topped the Chattanooga Lookouts 6-4 on Sunday.  Trailing 6-1, the Lookouts rallied for three runs in the eighth inning but that would be all for the night. Lookouts starting pitcher Felix Jorge (8-2) was shelled for the second ... (click for more)

Thompson, Bell Win Scenic City Scorcher Race

Saturday was another record-breaking day for runners in Chattanooga and we aren’t talking about the heat and humidity. It was the third-annual Scenic City Scorcher two-mile race held in flat and fast Heritage Landing where 48 of the 120 participants broke a Tennessee state record for their particular age. Christian Thompson was the overall winner for the second-straight year ... (click for more)