County Commission asked by Board of Education to put 1
cent sales tax on June ballot
By Doug Sanders Jr.
Editor and Publisher
The Pickens County Commission was asked last Tuesday by the Pickens County Board
of Education to put the issue of an additional one-cent sales tax for education
to a vote of the people in June.
Superintendent of Education Jamie Chapman, backed by a large crowd of educators,
principals and Central Office staff, formally asked the Commission to adopt a
resolution to request that they put the matter on the June 2014 party primary
election ballot--that a one percent tax for public school education purposes be
enacted for 30 years.
Chapman noted that the Commission had previously been asked to pass a new
one-cent tax earlier this year, but a majority of the Commission said they
prefer the public vote on the matter.
Chapman said if the tax is passed in June next year, it could generate $750,000
to $850,000 a year for the school system. He repeated what he has been saying
for months--that the money would be spent the following ways: 60 percent would
go for capital improvements, including new buildings, upgrading existing
buildings, new school buses, new technology, etc.; 15 percent would go to
retire old debt and to help the Board have, in cash in the bank, one month
operating expenses in reserve, as required by state law; and 25 percent would
be used to hire teachers and aides to help the local schools, especially now
that enrollment is dropping, thus lowering the number of teacher units the
Chapman noted that Pickens County is one of 19 school systems in the state
without a one-month operating cushion. “There is a need” for the new tax, he said.
Commissioner Tim Browning said the Commission had discussed the matter in one of
their department head meetings, and they wanted to be sure, that if they do
vote to put it on the ballot, that they are doing so as it is listed in the
Alabama Code. Chapman agreed, citing the exact section and chapter of the code
which allows a commission to hold an election for this type of tax. He said
passing the tax would be for public school purposes, and not for hiring more
personnel in the Central Office or for giving raises to existing personnel.
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SOME OF THE HEADLINES IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE INCLUDE:
Christmas Parades still continuing:
The Town of Pickensville will hold its annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec.
7, at 2 p.m. in downtown Pickensville. Applications for parade entries are now
available at the Pickensville Town Hall.
GORDO CHRISTMAS PARADE TO BE HELD DEC. 7
The annual Gordo Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade will be held the
night of Saturday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m.; the parade begins at 7 p.m.
The Chamber is partnering with the Gordo Rotary Club, Creative Kids Academy and
The Growing Tree to host a pancake breakfast with Santa that morning from 8 to
10 a.m. at the Gordo First United Methodist Church Family Life Center. Tickets
are $5 per person; get your tickets at Petals on Main Street Gordo.
Joy Harless will be available to take pictures of children with Santa for $5.
Also, the Gordo Chamber is inviting people who sell Christmas crafts to set up a
booth on Main Street next to Petals, starting at 2 p.m.
For more information, contact the Gordo Chamber at 364-7870; if no answer,
please leave a message.
ALICEVILLE CHRISTMAS PARADE TO BE HELD DEC. 14
The Aliceville Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. The
theme will be "The Wonders of Christmas Morning," The Aliceville Area Chamber
of Commerce will also hold a children’s parade at the same time so the children can dress up and be a part of the
The Chamber is encouraging the local community to be creative with their
entries. Trophies will be awarded to first, second and third place. You can
pick up an entry form at City Hall, West Alabama Bank in Aliceville, and First
National Bank in Aliceville.