I partially agree and disagree with the statement in the MDJ editorial that local voters did the right thing by voting to extend the E-SPLOST. However, I believe that the E-SPLOST campaign had plenty of the good, bad and ugly in it before it finally passed.
Beyond the obvious reasons that the United 4 Kids campaign targeted the parents and pointed out to encourage everyone else to vote in favor of the SPLOST, I believe that no parent with school age children at home would even consider for one second not to vote for the SPLOST. And that’s a “good” thing and why I think it finally passed. I have four grown children and they have a combined total of six school aged children. No matter where it comes from, all my grown children believe that any money spent towards educating their kids is well spent and voted for the SPLOST.
The “bad” was that the United 4 Kids promotion was well organized and reached out to every parent but unfortunately included some scare tactics along with some incorrect information in their promotional materials and ads. To state that almost a third of the SPLOST funds come from outside our county had no factual or mathematical validation and is wrong.
The “ugly” was the vague and incomplete outline of the project list where the SPLOST money is going to be used.
Sadly, this list is so blurred and generalized that the funds can be used for almost anything in the future without any close scrutiny.
Maybe I’ll live long enough to see the next SPLOST vote put into the regular voting cycle and stop hearing the same old excuse that they need to avoid a gap in collecting the SPLOST monies. Doing so will also eliminate the additional cost to everyone for a stand alone election. Low turnout is the truthful reason for its unique timing. Low turnout almost always assures that it will pass.
I care very much about educating our children. But are we teaching them anything with these types of questionable promotions simply to raise money for their future? It certainly isn’t a lesson about honesty.