Vote Yes Supporters Upset About Buses To Consolidation Forum

By: Greg Gullberg Email
By: Greg Gullberg Email

- Valdosta, Ga. - October 25, 2011 -

Parents, faculty and board members sling rhetoric in Valdosta City School's final open forum on consolidation Tuesday night.

The forums are said to be strictly bi-partisan, but not everyone agrees.
"We should not consolidate these two school systems," said Dr. Bill
Cason, Valdosta City Schools Superintendent.

Now "Vote Yes" supporters are questioning the legality of how many parents got to the meeting.

School buses were commissioned by the Valdosta Board of Education to drop parents off.

Roy Taylor's not pleased.
"But if our buses are being used, there will be some law suits brought against our local education officials," Taylor said.

Taylor says he's a tax payer, so he owns those buses as much as anybody.

He doesn't appreciate the use of the buses.

Taylor questions if this is even legal.

"It is legal," says Superintendent Cason. "Simply because the funding source to pay for this is coming out of a private fund and not tax payer money."

Superintendent Cason says the bus transports are being paid for through a discretionary fund.

The total cost is less than 200 dollars.

That money comes from sales of coke products to students in the school.

Taylor just wants what's best for the students.

"We should be busing our children and getting our parents up to the school house to find out how their children are doing in school."

This was the last open forum hosted by Valdosta City Schools, but there is still one more open forum coming up.

It will be Tuesday, November 1st, at Lowndes High School.

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  • by Georgia Boy Location: Cairo on Nov 3, 2011 at 03:01 AM
    Public transportation is transportation designated for that purpose. Transportation of all who are willing to pay. School buses, by their very name and purpose, are to carry school students. Had they used public transportation I would have no problem with it.
  • by 1nT1me Location: valdosta on Nov 2, 2011 at 10:26 AM
    Using public transportation to transport the public to a public meeting. No wonder people are upset. It makes too much sense. Please get out and vote or we may all suffer the consequences of a political movement created by businessman and politicians with delusions of grandeur ruin the valdosta city school system for the residents.
  • by Georgia Boy Location: Cairo on Nov 1, 2011 at 04:40 AM
    Mark, I don't have a pony in this race and don't have a problem with the issue either way. My comments pertain to the use of school property for anything other than its express intended use. As a taxpayer I have a real problem with that. And school bus use is for the transportation of school kids to and from school, as well as school extracurricular activities. Not to provide transportation to anyone for political or other purposes.
  • by Mark Location: C on Oct 27, 2011 at 05:48 AM
    What I loathe about Mr. Taylor's stance is that he portrays his opinion as concern about the misuse of taxpayer dollars. This deception is much like his crusade against the former mayor. He attempts to come across as some defender of the public good while his real intentions are purely self serving. Sure, the use of tax dollars may be questionable, and no one is defending what the mayor did, but just don't act like you're doing it for some altruistic purpose.
  • by Georgia Boy Location: Cairo on Oct 27, 2011 at 04:53 AM
    School buses were bought with tax money to transport school children to and from school and to school functions. Using them for other things just increases the wear on them, adding unnecessary miles, and shortens the time before more have to be purchased. Every taxpayer has every right, and should, insist their tax money be spent appropriately. And using school buses for political gain is NOT one of those appropriate purposes. If you have enough interest to vote or to participate you will find a way to get there. There are few things people want to do that they don't. But if they are offered a free ride, you can bet they will take it. Some will argue it was paid for, but out of discretionary funds from drink machines on campus that could be used for school needs. And did it reimburse the true cost? A bus, like a car, has a finite number of miles it can be driven, requires maintenance and parts, as well as fuel. Was that factor taken into consideration and covered? Or just the cost of the driver and fuel?
    • reply
      by Mark on Oct 27, 2011 at 06:24 AM in reply to Georgia Boy
      Georgia Boy, seriously, you're worried about the use of buses? Why not just be honest? If you're for consolidation, and you want to criticize how people that are against it operate, then just say so. Don't go on with that nonsense about the mileage, and maintenance, blah blah blah. Criticize them directly about the misuse of administrative power for political gain on an issue that you disagree with. I suspect that because you know it wouldn't get traction because the forum was open to everyone from either side of the argument, you just wanted to whine about anything you could.
  • by TJ on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:34 AM
    If you have a public forum then you want as many people there as possible. I think using the buses is a really good idea. Use them on election day too, if needed.
  • by Sarah Location: Valdosta on Oct 26, 2011 at 09:54 AM
    I feel it is commendable to make sure parents had a way to the forum to be educated about the consolidation issue. If they had NOT provided transportation, they would have been accused of not helping the parents. VCS always goes above and beyond to encourage parent participation. It is sad that they have to provide transportation, food, etc. to get a parent to come to meetings or events, but at least the school is encouraging parents to become involved. Not everyone has a car, gas money or the means like Mr. Taylor to come to the school or attend meetings. I find it ironic that in the news video, the view of Mr. Taylor's huge, multi-story home that is looming in the background is shown more than one time. Along with his elaborate decorations and his nice suit. How much has he invested in the city school system that he says he OWNS? Funny how those that own property in the city are the ones wanting consolidation only because in the long run it helps them possibly sell/rent their homes. They say nothing about the welfare and education of our children, only about the long range plan-to sell and rent their substandard houses that are in the city that they don't even keep up. I know for a fact that Mr. Taylor rents buildings/homes that are not taken care of. Houses that do not have a/c that works that jeapordize the welfare of the children in the home.
  • by Tallynole on Oct 26, 2011 at 07:35 AM
    Really getting sick of all this, "Because I am a tax payer. I pay your salary or I have a right to say about the use of something that the public owns." Calculate how much you actually pay of a state workers salary or how much of that bus you really own.. I doubt it is more then 0.0000001%....
  • by Innocent Bystander Location: Tallahassee on Oct 26, 2011 at 06:58 AM
    Not from Valdosta, but I totally agree with the busing in of parents, especially if it's not at the taxpayers expence. People always want to talk trash about "bad parents" who don't show up at PTA meetings and whatnot, but as a person who grew up in a ome without a car and had to rely on public transportation, this would have been a great way for my mother to make it to many of the meetings with my teachers she missed. Mr Taylor,it seems like you are just nit picking things to make a case out of....hopefully now that you know it wasn't taxpayers money you can drop your petty argument.
  • by Me Location: Valdosta Georgia on Oct 26, 2011 at 05:45 AM
    Mr. Roy Taylor could you please stop sticking your nose in everything? You are nothing but a trouble maker and make a big deal out of everything. Stop it!
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