Lamberton’s anti-SPLOST suit way off target
April 24, 2013 12:07 AM | 1081 views | 11 11 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

I recently read the article regarding the complaint filed by the Cobb Taxpayer Association’s Lance Lamberton. He stated that the Cobb County School District used public funds to advocate on behalf of the Education SPLOST. As someone who was personally involved in helping to pass this needed continuation of funding, I would like to respond. I believe some of Mr. Lamberton’s errors occurred simply by his lack of strong involvement with our K-12 public schools.

I don’t know of any school which sends out its own newsletter. The newsletters you see coming from schools are from the PTAs, Foundations and/or Booster Clubs. These communications are clearly marked and are only sent to the email addresses the PTA (or other organization) has a right to use (the PTA members or those who signed up for information).

I think Mr. Lamberton’s case goes out the window the second one opens the newsletters he mentions: Mt. Bethel, Dickerson and Walton. They all state clearly on the top that they are publications of the PTAs. In addition, access to read them online is granted only through the PTA website. It took me all of three minutes to find all this information.

In addition, I personally received the robo-call Mr. Lamberton referenced. I remember it clearly due to my involvement in this issue. It was indeed from the Cobb School District. However, it informed citizens of the vote taking place and encouraged people to “go out and vote.” No preference on the issue was taken.

I worked alongside the PTA to push for passage of the Ed-SPLOST. One of the unsung heroes who was involved in helping this passage was Anne Davidson, the East Cobb Council PTA Legislative Chair. My personal experience is that the law was constantly repeated to myself and others. Every instance of advocacy was held up to the light to see if it passed this bar. More than once, I saw Ms. Davidson stop something before it started if there was a chance that it used school resources. She knew the law and followed it precisely.

And Karen Hallacy, state PTA Legislative Chair, even stopped a parent at an event from saying “We must vote Yes.” Before the sentence was fully out of her mouth, Karen jumped in and cut her off, informing her that we were on school property.

JoEllen Smith

East Cobb
Comments
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anonymous
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April 25, 2013
I would like to thank sadforyourkid for confirming that the video was indeed shot at Walton High School. You see, regardless of whether or not the video was shot on the Raider Vision set or the principal's office, Raider Vision is, in fact, located at Walton High School. Ergo- use of Raider Vision was done on tax dollars for the operation of the building and any paid staff to run it, supervise it or participate in it.

I would also like to add that backdrop is plainly the principal's office, not the Raider Vision set as you claim. Additionally, Sweeney appears against a very plain backdrop. It could be anywhere, including the Central Office, but you claim it was the Raider Vision set, which is operated with tax dollars in a variety of ways. Further, when the principal and board member credentialed themselves as such, they made defacto acknowledgement that were acting in their official capacities, respectively; as such they were paid for their time with taxpayer funds.

Let's peel back another layer of this onion... The video was posted on the Walton High website. While you may attempt to claim the Walton website is also paid for privately, the CCSD website lists Waltonhigh.org as the website address for Walton High School. The CCSD website is not paid for privately, and the district, run by tax dollars, therefore participated in anything posted to those sites.

To really settle the matter, here is a link to the video. http://www.waltonhigh.org/files/news/splost4.mov.

What should outrage those who promoted passage of SPLOST IV is the gall, arrogance and audacity of the Superintendent to come out with a budget that eliminates Arts, Music & Sports programs, reduces teaching staff by some 300 positions via attrition, and reduces bus routes. Less than 6 weeks after voters burdened themselves with a nearly $800m tax, promoted largely on the promise of new theaters, auditoriums, gymnasiums and concession stands - Dr. Hinojosa suggests eliminating the very programs for which they claimed they needed the funds. THAT is the real question. If they're eliminating the programs - why did we need to pass the SPLOST? You should be outraged that you allowed yourself to be used in this manner. It is the PTA cheerleaders out there promoting the need for SPLOST IV that look foolish to me.

PS- CCSD - don't bother taking the video off the Walton website. It's been recorded :-).
Boardwatcher
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April 25, 2013
Amen!!!!! You should run against Sweeney. The flip flopper on ALL campaign promises with the exception of the calendar issue. AMEN!!!!
AmericanMale
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April 25, 2013
Clearly you don't pay attention. The BOE chair flatly stated that none of the items you cite as proposed cuts to "arts, music & sports programs" are being considered. Unfortunately, you seemingly believe second-hand information rather than listening to what they actually say in board meetings.
@American Male
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April 25, 2013
Perhaps it is you who doesn't pay attention. My post plainly attributed elimination of those programs to Dr.Hinojosa, not the board members.
sadforyourkid
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April 25, 2013
I can see why you want to remain 'anonymous.' You are busting at the seams with so much misinformation. I can't believe you'd post when you lack credibility. So you're talking about the video that Mrs. McNeill did with Scott Sweeney for Walton's Open House and then it was posted on the CCSD website? Of course it'll never be taken down. There is nothing to hide. In fact, now I encourage others to watch it and they'll see what you're implying is much ado about nothing. Absolutely nowhere in that video did it endorse SPLOST or did anyone remotely say to vote for SPLOST. It simply laid it out for anyone, FOR OR AGAINST, so they could make an informed choice. I learned a lot by watching it that I hadn't caught in print. Mrs. McNeill didn't tell anyone to vote YES. Did you even watch it or are you going by what someone else told you? That was the one that WAS filmed in her office. The way you were talking I thought it was some super secret video.

The other video was filmed BY Raider Vision which is made up of a group of volunteer dads in the football program. Their sons and daughters graduated years ago and they personally own all of the equipment used for the Walton Raider football games. Scott Sweeney was nowhere to be found. Just a football dad and Mrs. McNeill talking about the benefits of SPLOST. There were no tax dollars used in any shape, form or fashion for them to do this interview which ran via Facebook. I suppose you're now going to call and tattle to Mark Zuckerberg?
sad4 sadforyourkid
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April 26, 2013
Careful there,sadforyourkid, your hypocrisy is showing. Sadforyourkid can't really be your real name, is it? As such, you are blogging anonymously. Your hysteria is sad, but thank you for playing.
@sadforyourkid
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April 24, 2013
God forbid that a Cobb citizen should not desire to continue to pay this perpetual tax!

It was STILL done in a Cobb County school which, by the way is not paid for by PTA dues - try Cobb County taxes.

I have never read anything so trite in my whole life! How embarrassing for you.
justapologize
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April 25, 2013
Trite?! You must be joking. This person blatantly lied and said Judy McNeill was filmed in her office with a CC school board member present. That's a complete lie! It was filmed with a former Walton parent named Kurt Shreiner on the set of Raidervision, where the football shows are filmed. Which, by the way, is NOT in the school. Maybe some of us want good things for our schools and property taxes, long after OUR kids are gone, and don't post trivial things like 'No Tax' did. Like 'stretchhh' and I concluded. I'm waiting for an apology. Waiting. Still waiting.
No Tax
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April 24, 2013
What Smith fails to recognize is district resources were still used. My child received flyers that came home in his folder. Yes - the school name and PTA was on the flyer BUT the bus brought my child home. My tax dollars pay for the bus, the driver and the gas. My tax dollars pay for the teacher that put the flyer in my son's folder. A video was filmed in the office of Judy McNeil at Walton with a board member present talking about the great things Walton will receive when we vote to support SPLOST. My tax dollars pay both of their salaries as well as for the school and utilities used in the school. The United 4 Kids website has a photo of children hanging out of a yellow bus. Do you expect me to believe it is not a Cobb County School bus??
sadforyourkid
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April 24, 2013
'No Tax', I bet I can guess who you are. We're completely getting a kick out of this comment of yours because it basically confirmed what we already thought of about you. That 'video' you're talking about was done by volunteer dads from Walton whose kids graduated years ago. No monies were spent. Just caring parents who want good things for the students of Walton and their community. Should I repeat myself? Volunteer parents who are unselfish and gave up their time to help promote a good cause. And guess what?! It wasn't filmed in the principal's office. It was filmed on the set of Raidervision which is run by the previously mentioned volunteer dads. The video ran on the football website and Facebook. You probably think you're so smart and witty by talking about the school bus and folders and nit picking about a flyer that came home in your child's backpack. What a sad and miserable person you are. Heaven help your child.
stretchhh
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April 24, 2013
And the children eat food sitting seats and tables at the school which gives them the energy to take the flyers home.
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