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Four seeking school board seat, proposed budget up 5 percent over 2013
by Tom Spigolon
June 17, 2014 01:15 PM | 1863 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Four south Paulding residents, including the person who recently vacated the position, are seeking appointment to the open District 4 seat on the Paulding County School Board.

Board members are set to interview the four applicants July 8.

They also were set to conduct a public hearing June 24 on a proposed $275.8 million budget for 2014-15, said Superintendent Cliff Cole.

The proposed budget, which goes into effect July 1, represents a more than 5 percent increase from the current year’s $262 million budget.

Officials are not seeking a millage rate increase to help fund the budget. However, a public hearing on the budget is required by state law because the current millage rate will produce more revenue than in the 2013-14 budget due to rising property values, Cole said.

“We will have an opportunity for the citizens to come in and express their concerns,” he said.

County finance officials foresee the tax digest, which is the total value of all taxable property, to increase 12.7 percent from $2.64 billion in 2013 to $2.97 billion this year.

Cole said he is recommending the current year’s millage rate of 18.879 to help fund the 2014-15 budget. That rate will produce about $6.28 million more in revenue this year. A rollback millage rate of 17.107 will produce the same amount of revenue as last year.

The superintendent said increases are planned for new technology, including some badly needed computer upgrades in some schools.

The system also is requesting 15 new teaching positions and 30 new positions to comply with the new state requirement for evaluation and assessment of teachers. A total of 24 schools will have their own evaluators, and six elementary schools will share the positions, he said.

The plan projects revenues of $270 million and expenditures of $275.8 million. Money from reserves, also called fund balances, will be used to balance the spending plan, according to the school district document.

Meanwhile, applicants for the District 4 position include paralegal Rita Cabe, retired school system administrator Ramona Talley, retired educator Rocky Swann and businessman and former board member Richard Manous.

Board members are set to interview them during an executive session, Cole said.

“[Board members] felt all four deserved a face-to-face interview,” he said.

The board then will review the applicants at their July 8 meeting, he said.

“From there, they will decide if someone meets the needs of the board,” Cole said.

Manous was elected to the District 4 seat in 2012 but vacated it in March to seek election to the Paulding County Board of Commissioners. He lost in the May 20 Republican primary to Vernon Collett.

Talley is a former Paulding schools administrator who retired in 2011 as director of career and technical education. Swann retired in 2008 after 32 years as a classroom teacher throughout Georgia, including two high schools in Cobb County. He is first vice chairman of the Paulding County Republican Party. Cabe is a paralegal with the Holley Law Group in Marietta.

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