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School boards need citizens review for SPLOST projects aimed at education
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Hall County voters will once again go to the polls this year to renew another 1-cent sales tax. Gainesville, Buford and Hall County schools are requesting that we continue their E-SPLOST for another five years, nearly two years before the current E-SPLOST expires in September 2017.

But what do we really know about this tax? When the Board of Commissioners came to us for the renewal of SPLOST, its members not only gave us a detailed and prioritized project list, they went a step further and pledged to create a Citizen Review Panel that would provide oversight for the expenditures of that $158 million tax.

The school systems, to my knowledge, have not drafted project lists for voter review, nor have they solicited public input in their E-SPLOST.

The citizen review committee has already met and has plans to meet again and members, myself included, are excited to have the opportunity to provide transparency in our local government. The school boards would be well served to follow the lead of the county commissioners and city councils to make the extra effort to have accountability in the way they go about spending their projected $195 million.

Mark Pettitt
Hall County SPLOST Citizen Review Committee, Chestnut Mountain

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