Two Muscogee Co. school board members urge public to vote "no" o - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Two Muscogee Co. school board members urge public to vote "no" on SPLOST

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Muscogee County School Board members John Thomas and Frank Myers held a press conference Thursday, February 5, Special Local Option Sales Tax or SPLOST on March 17. 

"John and I believe the reason our school system I stuck in the bottom one forth of schools in our state when it comes to academic achievement is largely due to the failure of the school board and superintendent to properly prioritize the financial resources available to the school district," explains Myers.

Thomas and Myers believe an audit needs to be done to determine how the district spent funds in the past. 

They have created a website, www.noschoolboardtax.com, where they explain how the board needs to be more transparent in spending tax payer's money. 

"Our plan is better. Our plan mainly in bringing more accountability to the school district would be to eliminate wasteful contract and to conduct a forensic audit that would free up money to address the issues," says Thomas.

Thomas and Myers have challenged Superintendent, Dr. David Lewis to a debate.

Lewis responded Thursday afternoon with the following statement:

“If I were to engage in a public debate about why people should vote for the SPLOST against someone who wants to defeat the SPLOST, I would be acting in my role as the Superintendent to campaign in favor of the ballot referendum. This is different than making presentations at public forums to disseminate information and answer questions so voters can make up their own mind. In a debate, I would be cast in the role of actively promoting the passage of the SPLOST. 

The Board of Education voted to support this SPLOST referendum going to ballot. There is a state law governing board member ethics that states that board members may express opinions before votes are cast, but after the Board votes, members should abide by and support all majority decisions of the Board. [ O.C.G.A. § 20-2-72 and State Board of Education Model Code of Ethics]. I do not think it is the proper role of the Superintendent to have a public debate with a Board member who is advocating a position contrary to the majority decision of the Board.” 

Lewis has hosted two of eleven public forums explaining what SPLOST would be used for so voters can make an informed vote. 

The third public SPLOST forum will be held Tuesday, February 10, at Spencer High School at 6:00 PM.

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