It was a great holiday luncheon at the Kennesaw Business Association last week. California Dreaming catered the event. The petite steak fillets were delicious. Congratulations to the award winners this year:
- Dale Burrell Business of the Year: Loud Security
- Dr. Frank Boone Member of the Year: Chris Ciulla
- KBA’s Lifetime Achievement Award: Paul Chastain.
All three winners are dedicated to making our community that much better.
Cobb County Republican Party Holiday Party
We ventured over to see so many old and new friends at the Cobb County Republican Party holiday party last night. We’ll be posting some photos of the event here. It was great to see so many elected officials in attendance. Attorney General Sam Olens, Sen. Judson Hill, Sen. Barry Loudermilk, former Congressman Bob Barr and Jeri Barr, Commissioner JoAnn Birrell, Judge-Elect Marsha Lake, Rep. Ed Setzler and District Attorney-Elect Vic Reynolds were there. Everyone had smiles on their faces. The Cobb County Republican Party is looking forward to a great 2013.
Impact Player of the Week
This week’s Impact Player of the Week is Kathleen Angelucci, who represents Post 4 on the Cobb County Board of Education. When the Cobb County School Board hastily moved to place the SPLOST renewal on the March ballot, Angelucci voted no. She refused to drink the SPLOST Kool-Aid (It’s all for the children…) and realized that there were many unanswered questions.
“I have serious reservations with regards to the current SPLOST IV notebook as it stands and the projected referendum date,” she said. “I have previously shared with the board and superintendent my reservations about the proposed date for the referendum. I would also like to add that I believe we need more time to fully assess potential costs to the district that have not been addressed properly or fully thus far.”
What are Angelucci’s reservations that we should all take into consideration?
The SPLOST IV project list references a new building for Career Pathways.
“The career programs that currently exist are not fully funded or supported," she said. "How can we even entertain the notion of using the people’s tax monies to construct another building that we as a district will have to maintain and staff when we barely have the funds to maintain and staff what we currently have? We don’t know if it will be an existing building, a new building, or anything. Why not invest in implementing career programs in existing schools and properly fund and support them?”
When the Facility and Technology Committee spoke with North Cobb High School about how many students participate in the career programs there, it was reported at about 1,400 students. Most of the kids who participate in the career programs ride the bus.
Angelucci makes another interesting point about student transportation to and from the career building.
“That is something to seriously consider when proposing an additional facility for a career pathways program,” she said. “Just stating that if a student really wants to get there, they’ll find a way is not acceptable. Did we not just vote to restore funding to transport nearly 400 students to two South Cobb Boys and Girls Clubs? What is different in this situation? Do we turn a blind eye to them?”
The Carl Wunsche Career Academy in Texas, which was featured in the presentation to the Cobb County School Board, provides students wishing to participate in that career program with transportation back to their zoned campuses throughout the school day and after school.
“If we are to consider for even a moment this school as a testament to a career academy success story,” Angelucci said, “we must consider transportation as an added cost. Unfortunately, no projections were provided to this Board to consider in order to make a fully informed decision.”
And what about the leftover money from SPLOST III? What about projects on the SPLOST IV project list that SPLOST III money was assumed to have paid for?
With regards to SPLOST III expenditures, Angelucci recently requested an accounting of leftover funds from artificial turf during a public board meeting. “The board was previously told that leftover monies from artificial turf would be used at local schools for projects like resurfacing of tracks and concession facilities,” she said. “As of this meeting, that accounting has not been provided. That specific inquiry was made because those very same projects are listed in the proposed SPLOST IV notebook that is up for consideration. How do we consider a proposed expenditure for a project if we believe it was covered previously and if it was not, what happened to those leftover SPLOST monies from the artificial turf? It is not known.”
Sometimes it’s just about asking questions about the project list and then prioritizing how taxpayer money is spent prior to hurriedly shoving the renewal down the throats of the taxpayers.
Before being elected to the Cobb County School Board, Angelucci was a school board activist that insisted on transparency and accountability of the board. Now, as an elected member, she continues in that role.
Anthony-Scott Hobbs, Citizen Georgia