Thursday, Februarry 4, 2010
Letters To The Editor
Thanks for support:
Marshall County has some wonderful people. And sometimes we don’t truly know just how great these people are until a tragedy strikes.
Such was the case with me. Last year I was diagnosed with cancer. Recently a group of people came together for a fund-raiser for me.
On the day of the fund-raiser I was unable to attend because I was in treatment.
However, I learned the support for this cause was overwhelming and I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to the organizers, sponsors, donors, helpers and everyone who shared in this effort in any way.
Your contribution enabled me to go to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Tx. There I underwent further testing and diagnoses. With the prior treatment at West Clinic in Memphis, and upcoming treatment at Anderson, I am hopeful for a cure.
I am so thankful for special people like you. Knowing that I have such support — words of encouragement, well wishes and especially your prayers and love, makes this journey a little easier to bear.
I especially want to thank Sheriff Kenneth Dickerson, Cathy Brittenum and the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and staff.
Thank you, Sheriff Dickerson for preparing the delicious food; thanks, Cathy, for undertaking such an effort, and thanks, department staff, for working so hard to get things taken care of.
Your thoughtfulness meant so much to me, and again, I thank all of you.
In the State of the Union address, President Obama announced a freeze on most government spending. In the State of the State address, Gov. Barbour asked for additional latitude to cut budget amounts by up to 10 percent for individual agencies – something the Senate has given him and the State Supervisors Association is lobbying against.
If the House bill fails, then all budgets will be cut about 8.5 percent. This will affect law enforcement, social programs and require the Corrections Department to release about 4,000 prisoners from jails.
But, what really infuriates me is that the Marshall County School Board has increased my taxes by three mills for the next 15 years!
They allowed Superintendent of Education Randolph to get an “interest free” bond issue in the amount of $3 million. It will be used, if we believe the press releases, to build 18 new classrooms and a gym at four county schools.
We are not overcrowded like Memphis and Shelby County schools. From what I have seen, class sizes are very manageable. Those that contain a high number of students are due to a lack of teachers for that subject (math and science?) not classrooms.
Now is not the time to build for future student growth. This makes as much sense as maxing out my credit cards just because MasterCard and Visa offer to give me extra time to pay and charge me no interest. The money must still be paid back. The school bonds are not “free money,” just more debt for the taxpayers of Marshall County.
And when the state cuts the school budgets even further this year, Randolph will be back at the supervisors meeting with another bond requirement for the difference, just as he did at the last budget cut.
And the supervisors have to give it to him since he is well below the maximum of 55 mills that the school system can add to our taxes.
And where are the 18 to 20 new teachers and their salaries and benefits going to come from? That’s not in this year’s budget. You can bet it will be in next year’s. More mills added to the school board’s budget and more debt for us.
As hard as the county supervisors try to be fiscally responsible, we have one “elected official” spending money like there is no tomorrow. All agencies need to tighten the financial belt. We need better teachers, better budget management and less spending just because it can be gotten in a stimulus package.
Join me at the next school board meeting at 6 p.m. on February 9 at Mary Reid School in Potts Camp and let’s see what the board has to say about these issues.
George W. KahrsWIN Job Center:
As a taxpayer, I am sure that some of my tax dollars will be used to help with the city of Holly Springs interested in the WIN Job Center. With this in mind, I echo the words of Dr. Stovall that we as a city cannot afford not to be a part of this.
The 51 percent of youth unemployed will affect my son and daughter who are about to graduate here in Marshall County this summer.
I, like many parents, would love to see my kids find meaningful employment right here at home, so they can raise my grandkids right here in Marshall County.
I see the WIN Job Center as a great opportunity for our city. Let’s start preparing jobs of the future for our young people, as a taxpayer and voter I’ll be watching.
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