UnifiEd In Robo Calls Urges Citizens To Take Part In Rally At County Courthouse For Johnson Budget

  • Thursday, May 23, 2019

The UnifiEd organization, in robo calls throughout the county, is urging citizens to attend a rally on June 5 in support of the budget proposed by County School Supt. Bryan Johnson.

The budget asks $34 million in additional income that would require a 34-cent property tax increase.

The schools will be getting $9 million in "growth money," but are seeking the additional $34 million for teacher and staff pay increases, guidance counselors, teacher assistants, art teachers and other items.

Edna Varner, board chair of UnifiEd, says she is inviting the call recipient "to be a part of an exciting moment in Hamilton County history."

She said the rally will be at 9 a.m. at the County Courthouse.

The group will then proceed to the 9:30 a.m. meeting of the County Commission, which will be hearing a budget presentation from County Mayor Jim Coppinger.

County Mayor Coppinger earlier met individually with commission and school board members and discussed a possible 49-cent property tax increase, including 15 cents for county government.

The County Commission raised taxes two years ago to build a number of county schools, but school officials said taxes have not been raised for school operations since 2005. Board member Rhonda Thurman, who was one of two board members voting against the budget request, noted that the schools receive a sizable amount of growth money each year.

The budget request is to go to $443 million - a 14 percent increase.

Ms. Varner said in the robo call, "It is critical that the County Commission hear from you on this important issue. Join me, fellow educators and friends.

"Please bring all your friends, students and family."

Click here to listen to the call.

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