Thursday, March 2, 2006

Letters to the Editor

In my opinion...:
Dear Editor,

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, I attended a special called meeting by the Concerned Parents Association hoping to gain insight on the reason for firing Dr. Gentry, the newly appointed school superintendent.

After two hours I left with no more knowledge of the reasons than when I arrived. But I did form some opinions of my own. Note: opinion = thoughts/feelings of a person -- facts can be proven.

To you Dr. Gentry, my opinions have nothing to do with you as superintendent. I have not had the opportunity to meet you personally. I was in attendance when you came to speak to the students at the Intermediate School, and I agreed with everything you had to say.

To the person leading the meeting, I would like to share some opinions and some facts with you.

Mr. Johnson, the request to be placed on the school board’s agenda should have been sent to the board, not the paper. Hopefully someone told you to do so.

Dr. McMillan, when you were talking negatively about the school board and thought you recognized a member of the board present, you said, “I will stop now; I see they’ve sent someone to represent them.” If what you were saying was truly what you believed, why stop, because your ending statement was that all the board received a personal invitation to the meeting. Knowing the condition of Holly Springs School system have you ever encouraged your fraternity/social group to be active as mentors to our students? When was the last time you visited or spoke with interest or encouragement to students you have come in contact with in the community?

Mr. Buck, do you think a boycott of the schools is really in the best interest of our students with the state test coming in two months? Would you honestly keep your three children out? If so, they’re not your first concern or interest. Your valuable posse left in a hurry. You suggested to Mr. Hayes to go back to the city board and start cleaning house, starting with the school attorney. Did you forget that because the district employs Hayes, he must by law excuse himself from any discussion/voting concerning the school board? No only did the district attorney (as you say) give wrong advice, so did you.

My opinion is you are the one who should attend meetings and tell them yourself and stop using Mr. Johnson to make statements such as he made that you dare not make!

Ms. Gulledge, you stated that a co-worker brought to your attention a grant that would be good for our school, but you didn’t know whom to take it to. Yes, Dr. Gentry is gone, but there is an interim superintendent in place, plus the school board is there. Why not take it to them?

Parents, please be aware that because of the financial gain expected by some of the persons leading you, they may not have your children’s best interest at heart. It will not only take a good superintendent, but parents, teachers, students and concerned community leaders to bring our school to a new level.

Mr. Bridgeforth, you made a statement that we all have skeletons in our closets, I am sharing this with the community, in order to prevent further skeletons from hanging in someone else’s closet.

Who are we going to trust to do this? We must work together. Ten-year-old text books, library books dating as far back as 1962. Why?

It is my opinion that Dr. Gentry got caught up in the buddy system - what could you do for me, not our children. Sometimes we all should have the chance to share our opinions.

Edythe Taylor
A Concerned Parent, Educator and Lover of Children

School board meeting:
Dear Editor,

To all parents with children in the Holly Springs School District or concerned citizens. This is a reminder of a very important upcoming meeting that will be held at the central office on March 9 at 6 p.m. We are asking all parents to get included and attend, as you all know and are all aware of the crisis that has arisen with our children and superintendent recently. This is a new year and new age and time, where our children have to have the best education and leaders. This is not a time for separation, and lack of ignorance on any of our part. The state Board of Education has been notified and will be at a meeting as well as several news stations. We recommend that school board lawyers attend, too, for there are issues with them that have to be addressed.

Parents, if your child’s education and future are as important to you as my children’s are to me, I encourage you to attend. We need no closet hiders. We need every strong voice to open his mouth and stand for a change. We all know Ms. Gentry was not given a fair chance or a chance at all. Now is the time to speak about the old and the new.

Concerned and Serious Parent
Glen Johnson

We have lobbyists?:
Dear Editor,

Did you know that Marshall County has two lobbyists? The Legislators in Jackson sure did not. Did you know that as a taxpayer in this county it costs you $76,000 a year for our two “Missing In Action” lobbyists? You may be shocked, but this was reported in the Clarion Ledger. That is a lot of money for their lackadaisical performance.

I have spoken with many Senators and Representatives in Jackson, the names of these lobbyists were not known in the halls, chambers and gallery of the capitol, where a lobbyist earns his keep. As a matter of fact only three maybe four people even knew we had lobbyists for Marshall County and Holly Springs, and one of them wrote the article.

The supervisors of Marshall County and the elected officials in Holly Springs pay your hard-earned tax money to these lobbyists for a service. I wonder, just what service are we getting? Or is this another “good ole boy” deal?

I cannot see or locate a positive return on our investment. I cannot find any proof that this is doing anything to benefit anyone except the lobbyists.

There are many things going on in Jackson. Any lobbyist worth his salt, would be involved with all the law makers in Jackson to insure that Marshall County gets the things we need. The good lobbyists in Jackson are there when important legislation affects their business or interests.

They keep the ones that pay their salaries informed of important issues that affect them. They stay in contact with most all Senators and Representatives alike.

There is legislation right now in Jackson that has the ability to bankrupt many small towns and some counties in Mississippi. What am I talking about -- the grocery tax reduction and an increase in the cigarette tax.

This bill, if it is allowed to pass, will stagnate the growth of most towns under 5,000. Many small towns like Holly Springs, Byhalia and Potts Camp and counties like Marshall receive a large majority of their tax revenue from the taxes on groceries.

Take this tax away, and there is but two options. One is to cut or stop services. The second, elected officials will get the tax dollars from other sources, like raising your property tax, car tags, additional fees and any other source they may need to supply the services you require.

You would think that something this important to Marshall County and our cities would get these two lobbyists busy. I would think they would be attempting to sway the votes of lawmakers voting for this fallacious bill. This is harmful to Marshall County, her cities and towns and Mississippi. However, I cannot find where they have contacted any lawmaker in Jackson.

The people of Marshall County and Holly Springs appear to pay top dollar for services not rendered by our lobbyists. It appears the county supervisors and city officials are throwing your tax money away again. We could be spending this $76,000 on text books, after school programs, paving roads, or any number of things we really need.

In my opinion we go to the polls every four years and elect our lobbyists. To me -- and most in our county would agree -- we need to make some major changes in county and city elected officials. We must ensure our tax dollar is spent correctly for services that affect all of us, not just a chosen few.

Dave Young
Marshall County
Republican Party

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