BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – The Union County Board of Education (UCBOE) convened for their November workshop and meeting on Nov. 21, 2017, at 6 p.m. at the UCBOE Building. Union County Schools (UCS) Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield and all board members were present.
ESPLOST V (Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax 5) renewal parameters for the next five years were discussed at length. Dr. Rayfield recommended that the board keep the parameters unchanged from the current ESPLOST. With regard to the collection cap for the one penny sales tax over five years, Dr. Rayfield recommended that it be kept at $21 million. He also recommended that the language be kept in the referendum, which will be on the May 22, 2018, ballot, for the issuance of bonds and that the bond limit be kept at $13.5 million. The point was driven home by both the full board and by Dr. Rayfield that there is absolutely no intention to issue bonds (incur debt) except in the case of an unforeseen natural or terrorist disaster such that facilities were destroyed or the like. The board voted three to one with one abstention to keep the language in the referendum for ESPLOST V unchanged from the current ESPLOST and authorized Dr. Rayfield to move forward with notifying Harben, Hartley and Hawkins, LLP, attorneys for UCS. (see video)
Dr. Rayfield presented a list of future projects as justification for ESPLOST V, which itemized only maintenance, upgrades and upkeep tasks to keep UCS a smooth-running, state-of-the-art facility. Ten more new buses (over the next five years) were also listed as a result of the past deficiency (over the last 10-15 years) in keeping the bus fleet up to date. (see video)
UCBOE Chairwoman Cynthia Odom informed the other members that, since their acceptance of Dr. Rayfield’s retirement request a week ago, she had contacted two school superintendent search firms: Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) and King-Cooper & Associates. She said that she had invited Dr. Sandy Addis, an associate with King-Cooper, to present to the board because UCS had used King-Cooper in the past and because they were, by far, less expensive than GSBA. Dr. Addis addressed the board at length. Ultimately, the board voted to postpone (table) further discussion of the superintendent search process.
Dr. Rayfield introduced David Shanks, an official with the state of Georgia, to the board. Shanks presented UCS with a Plaque of Approval from the state of Georgia for its System Safety Plan and recommended that they implement testing exercises to keep the plan renewed and functional.
Dr. Rayfield presented the Union County Fire Department/Emergency Management Agency with a Partner in Education Award for its diligence and assistance in partnering with UCS for the safety and well-being of students over the past year. UCFD Chief and EMA Director David Dyer and the ‘B’ shift crew were on hand to accept the Award.
The Board approved:
• Principal’s quarterly reports;
• September and October financial reports;
• Proposed 2018 board meeting dates; and
• December 2017 board meeting date change to December 12.
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