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Murfree commends ESPLOST supporters

ALBANY, Ga. — Dougherty County School Superintendent Joshua Murfree thanked voters and lauded supporters for helping pass the ESPLOST (STEP III) referendum in this past Tuesday’s election.

The sales tax, also known as Special Tax for Education Progress III, will last for five years or until it generates $100 million in revenue, whichever comes first.

Murfree, speaking at a news conference at the school administration building on Thursday, said he wanted to “express my heartfelt gratitude to those citizen voters who support the future of education for our children by passing the SPLOST STEP III initiative.

“I believe you have sent a message that the education of children is more important than personal vendettas and leadership bashing.”

According to unofficial numbers, 8,921 votes — or 58.7 percent of votes cast on the question — were in favor of renewing the one-percent sales tax for the school system, while 6,278 votes — or 41.3 percent — voted against it.

Murfree then took a swipe at the local media, which opposed the sales tax option based on past actions of school leadership.

“I want you to know that people in our state’s capital have told us that we work in the only community in the state where the media encouraged a “No” vote for an education SPLOST,” Murfree said. “They did so on the basis of a few management issues that were being attended to by our staff and board instead of considering the great work that has been accomplished for our children through past SPLOST efforts and the potential for real improvement and technological advancement that will be provided by the continuation of a one cent sales tax — not a new tax, but a vote for renewal and progress.”

The vote allows the board to go ahead with construction and capital projects, maintenance and other programs. If the referendum had failed, it would have been at least two years until the measure could be put before the voters again.

“This one percent of purchase money will allow the continuation of renovation and remodeling work in all four of our high schools and in middle and elementary schools scheduled for upgrades,” Murfree said.

“Our transportation will be enhanced through bus purchases and maintenance facility upgrades. Technology, computers, will be vastly improved by the infusion of these funds as other funding sources for such purchases have been reduced to the point of having to furlough employees to keep operations and classroom instruction as strong as possible.”

The $100 million provisional STEPIII project list includes:

— $73,600,000 STEP priority Phase II renovations for instructional improvements, including $14,300,000 for Dougherty High, $13,500,000 for Monroe High and $11,500,000 for Albany High;

— $10,000,000 for technology in the classroom;

— $10,200,000 for safety and security equipment and miscellaneous projects;

— $6,200,000 for vehicle/equipment replacement, including $5,000,000 for buses, departmental trucks, vans and sedans.

Comments

Sally_O 2 years, 8 months ago

You don't have to commend me, I didn't vote to waste taxpayers money that doesn't go where it is supposed to go.

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DrMax 2 years, 8 months ago

Great, Murfree's gleeful, "Hey everybody, don't hold our dismal history of fiscal incompetence us.Just get on board for the ride to rock candy mountain."

After all of the embarassments, we would have hoped some folks might have gottem' a big ol' slice of humble pie - but this does not appear to be the case.

Just sayin'

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 8 months ago

Saying no to the E-Splost was not the answer. I know you guys wanted to continue to bash Murfree and the problems of the school system. But in reality, the good of the children do have to come first. Those who have done wrong will eventually have to pay for their mistakes, but dont kill a fly with a sledge hammer. Remember, this is still our school system and it needs your help right now. Just bashing for bashing sake is not doing any good. What have you done to help?

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VSU 2 years, 8 months ago

That's right coach....we voted no on the e-splost just so we could bash McMurfree a little longer. We can't get nothing past you.

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bubbavet 2 years, 8 months ago

I CHUCKLE WITH DESPAIR EVERY TIME THAT IDIOT OPENS HIS MOUTH.

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supersquawker 2 years, 8 months ago

There's probably a million dollars a month of wast in the DCSS right now. Why worry about it when the stupid voters will just give you a hundred million more dollars?

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Cartman 2 years, 8 months ago

Everything that is wrong with government being wasteful and the worst stewards of public funds - is portrayed by the Dougherty County School Board. They are the worst example of government of which I am aware. This is not limited to their wasteful spending, but also to their lack of morales and their incompetence. If there is a worse school board anywhere - show me. I cannot think of a body which is less deserving to be in charge of an additional $100m. If we get such incredibly poor results from the money entrusted to this board; why would we give it more money? What a shameful comment on the Board and a poor reflection on the voters who supported it. This is indeed proof that Albany is past the tipping point. Watch Lee, Worth, and Mitchell County property values benefit as they try to absorb the egress from Albany.

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Local 2 years, 8 months ago

People - just listen to yourselves. The hate just spews from you. Take some pride in your community. Hope you aren't raising your children to become like you. Leave if you don't want to contribute with a positive attitude. If you already left, it's not of your concern anymore.

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VSU 2 years, 8 months ago

How can you think positive when you have clowns on the school board and a jack@$$ as Superintendent? The school system is a joke, and the leaders are a bunch of Con artists.

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Local 2 years, 8 months ago

And what have YOU done to make it better? I feel more sorry for you and these other lost souls. The ignorant "flight" helped to create this mess.

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bubbavet 2 years, 8 months ago

I GUESS WE AIN'T GETTING A FREE "GUVMENT" CHECK LIKE YOU ARE. AS FAR AS THE "IGNORANT FIGHT", LOOK IN THE MIRROR.

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