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Excellent schools? Renew E-SPLOST

We can disagree on politicians and politics, and we can disagree on policy and priorities, but one thing we can all agree on [is] the quality of our excellent Fayette County public schools.

Fayette citizens figured it out decades ago: great public schools are the cornerstone of great communities.

They made the initial investment in quality public schools and this investment returned the profit of well-educated and successful students.

Great schools attract great neighbors, good businesses with jobs that pay good wages, provide wonderful services, and has resulted in the great community we all live in today.

Long-time Fayette residents, and those that came before them, too, built this county around great schools. This is their legacy and their gift to us and it is now our challenge to continue this heritage in these times.

There have been a lot of articles regarding the state of our excellent Fayette County public schools. We are all aware of the $15-20 million shortfall in the coming operating budget and we are all searching for solutions that benefit, protect and advance our excellent public schools.

On Nov. 6, we have the opportunity to maintain the Fayette County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or ESPLOST and maintain the resources necessary for our schools.

This is the one penny sales tax for capital purchases such as computers, books, buses, the highly successful “bring your own” technology program and building maintenance that we Fayette County residents approved in 2008.

Since then, we — and all those that visit our county and patronize our businesses — have raised more than $60 million for Fayette County schools. In addition, the ESPLOST has even contributed to lowering our property tax bills as the school system was able to charge a lower tax for bond payments that would have otherwise fallen to the taxpayers.

Some may have differences with the ways that our elected officials and appointed administrators have run the school system. Likely you have some good ideas yourself about where investments should be made or savings could be realized.

We need to all come together to find options and solutions to propel our excellent schools in these tough times. There are workshops, school board meetings, and even this newspaper in which we can share our ideas.

I strongly encourage you to participate in these forums, as well as your local school’s PTO, or any other outlet in which you can get your ideas out there.

The ESPLOST isn’t about taxes, education policies, or about school board politics. Those are different votes and different problems that need different solutions.

The ESPLOST is only about one thing: keeping Fayette County schools excellent. It is about maintaining the investment in our community.

Whether you have kids in school or not, the benefit to you is the great community around which our schools is built. On Nov. 6th vote “YES” to continue the ESPLOST and support our excellent Fayette County Public Schools.

Neil Sullivan

Co-Chair, Fayette Citizens for Children

Peachtree City, Ga.



Neil Sullivan is the self-appointed salesman of E-SPLOSTs in Fayette County.

His wife is a high school teacher who, according to public records, pulls in about $50,700 a year from the school system financed by the taxpayers.

He appears to be part of a young crowd that hates the thought that Fayette homeowners who reach age 65 are exempt from half the property school tax, and even from the whole property school tax if they show that their annual Georgia taxable income is under $15,000.

It’s believed he has at least one very young child who over a span of 12 years of public education may cost the taxpayers about $100,000 to educate. So he’d like us to help, and he wants old folks to pay sales tax.

When he gets to be 65, he’ll probably write letters to the editor asking for relief for the old folks who don’t have kids in our schools anymore, because by then he won’t have any.

Hi Loanarranger:

You are correct that my wife is a Fayette County High School teacher and my son is a third grader at Peachtree City Elementary.

However, you are not close on your other point. It is true seniors are exempt from half the property tax at age 65 unless their income is such that they earn a full exemption, that has been the law for 27 years. Neither I nor anyone else on our committee has proposed any change to that law.

What we are concerned about is making sure we have the tools to properly fund our excellent Fayette County public schools. Nearly all (I am still checking exact number) public school systems in Georgia use an E-Splost to fund their capital funds. I think ours is one of the few that provide property tax relief in the form of lowering our school bond payment. A home owner with an assessed value of $268,000 would pay over $150 more a year without this relief. So I guess you are for a property tax increase for the working families of Fayette County?

We may not agree which is fine, but at least I am willing to come here in my name and own my words.

Take Care,

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Are you kidding me? What is next? What comes down the pike next to waste more money? You want to keep spending and then when we run out of "our" money, we can't ask you for your money, so you want more of our money? No, you dip. Pay for your own kid's education - we all did.

Good God, where do these people come from? Is this the new generation that has been bitten by the Obama-entitlement bug? Pay your own way Neil. Get out of our pockets. Please.

Live free or die!

Hi Robert:

Do you have children? How were they educated public, private, home...?

Are you saying that each parent who has put their children in our excellent Fayette County Public Schools has paid their own way and this is somehow different?

We all pay for our excelent public schools like those before us. They return to us well educated students and a premium on our home value. I paid school taxes for years before my son went to school, and will pay them when he is out.

Have a good night


Robert W. Morgan's picture

"The ESPLOST isn’t about taxes,"
Actually that "T" there at the end of that evil-sounding acronym stands for - you guessed it - "Tax".

No thanks, Neil, we will be just fine without the e-splost. As you point out, we had one, spent it all, built a bunch of schools, bought some land, hired asst. principals, used up almost all of our reserves, etc. We are now at the maximum millage rate allowed by law and an e-splost is simply and end run around that law and is very definitely another tax. Have all the meetings you want, just print this e-mail and use it as a handout. I guarantee I speak for way more than 51% of the voters on this one.

Fortunately the law requires that the majority of the voters in our county to approve it first. That ain't ever going to happen here. Fooled us once, but not again. Get used to that idea and you are on the first step to recovery. As with alcoholics, remove illusions and admit that you have a problem, then you can proceed with the recovery phase. That means closing schools, selling them and reducing staff - teachers and admin.

Live free or die!

NUK_1's picture

Neil Sullivan steps up and utters:

"The ESPLOST isn’t about taxes, education policies, or about school board politics."

It's amazing that we have to consume the same oxygen as someone who says a "tax" isn't a "tax."

Am I saying that all taxes are bad and should be done away with? NO. Am I saying to stop LYING already when you are in favor of a tax and say exactly what it is? YES. It IS a tax. To say otherwise is factually dishonest. This isn't a presidential can be honest.

This kind of blatant dishonesty and intellectual stupidity does no one in FC any good whatsoever. If you're too much of a coward to say what you mean without trying to "phrase" it in a way to mislead and deceive, how do you expect to get support?

ESPLOST is a TAX. Debate that TAX on its merits pro/con or just shut up with your attempts to frame the argument into something else entirely.

ginga1414's picture

Plain and simple, a TAX is a TAX is a TAX.

NUK_1's picture

Tax isn't a's an INVESTMENT!

I have no problem with someone advocating the benefits of ESPLOST. Neil Sullivan's BS isn't persuasive. "Oh, I know ya'll don't agree with about anything the BOE has done and might disagree with blab blah blah blah....but it's about the CHILDREN and FC"

Not a compelling argument to me. Maybe if we started really caring about the children and the BOE we wouldn't be in the horrendous mess we are today. Throwing more money at the problem ain't worked, and that includes nationally as well as FC.

Please scroll up and look at the links I provided you.
Please look carefully a few things;

1-Look at how the E-SPLOST funds were spent, also if you have time check the Sate requirements on E-Splost to satisfy your concerns that we are throwing good money after bad because you will see there are State controls on how E Splost funds are spent.

2-Please look long and hard at the milage tax credit you receive. I believe what you save is more than what you would spend in the E Splost sales tax? Again, please look at this carefully.

3-This is a vote to continue the E-SPLOST not a new tax.

Personally, I am against any new taxes, and I have no children currently in the school system. Also, both of you know what I do for a living thanks to Mr. Haddix. I would benefit from a bad system, not a good one. So, why do I support this...

a) I deeply appreciate what this school system did for my child.
b) The tax credit on my real estate more than covered what I spent at just made good sense for me financially! If we do not renew the splot, you will lose the tax credits and pay more.

Separate out your feelings for the insanity of FCBOE from the schools themselves and the teachers and staff and see if it works for you. Same for being anti-tax which I am too.

Times are tough and I understand that some people may not be able to afford the 1% retail tax and need to save everywhere they can...but if you own a home, it pays to vote YES. Also, when you want to sell a home, a good school system will help.

Also sign up on the blogspot to stay up to date. Or, try!/groups/271081379663000/ because there you will read what some on the committees are doing on re-districting and closing schools to sell off.

I am asking you to remain open minded and gather your facts.


NUK_1's picture

Let's not forget why the ESPLOST failed twice before in FC when it did.....the BOE was already going way downhill and the taxpayers were highly concerned back then too. It wasn't just because FC "hates taxes." The BOE I'm afraid also broke the law as far as advocating for those two defeated ESPLOSTS. Some of us have long memories on this issue and what has happened since when it finally did pass afterwards.

I think both you and Neil Sullivan are strong advocates for the ESPLOST and I can respect that. Like yourself and others, I no longer have children in the FC system as they have both graduated but I certainly recognize the reasoning and logic about having a good school system, regardless of whether I have offspring in there or not. Obviously a lot of voters felt the same way when they elected Dr. Marchman to the BOE despite him also not having his children in the FC school system. To me, that's a moot point. I'm most concerned that if the school system goes to hell, PTC/FC will indeed become a "retirement community" instead of everything else it already is right now and can be in the future. That's the vision of people like Haddix and Brown who are dragging the community down instead of trying to lift it up.

Larry, keep on advocating and Neil, do the same. I want to see some action first from the BOE that tells me that have anything resembling a clue/vision before I vote to renew the ESPLOST. Right now, I'm not seeing that at all. I hate to say that FC school-age children and all of us in FC may have to pay for the sins of the past, but sometimes it takes a lot of tough love to get the message across. The message right now is really simple: 'This BOE is a total fiasco and we don't trust you with our tax dollars and we also don't trust that you have any idea what the hell you are doing." Show us you do.

I totally agree with this and I do have 2 children in the FC schools.

G35 Dude's picture

I for one am not prone to giving even more money to a group that in the past has not shown the intelligence to manage it. Just think, wouldn't we be better off if this incompetent board had not had the money to build schools that we didn't need? I'm reminded of an old saying, When you've dug yourself a hole the first thing you need to do to get out of it is to throw away the shovel. Yet you come here to advocate that we give them an even bigger one? No, this board must learn to cut waste first!!! By waste I'm not saying to follow the same old methods of cutting the pay and benefits of underlings thereby chasing away the best and brightest. No we must look at the day to day operations of the school system. There is waste there. Find ways to save money. Then come back to the people and say this is what we've done to save money going forward. Show us that when you get back on your feet you can manage to stay on your feet. Then say we just need help to get over the hump. Then and only then will the people listen to your cries of of wanting a bigger shovel. Because if not used correctly a bigger shovel will only make a bigger hole.

I appreciate where Neils heart is in wanting to renew the ESPLOST, regardless of how silly his statements that its not a tax might be. I also understand your feelings on not wanting to give money to people who waste it, but I dont think thats the situation right now. When I first got hired here in the county to teach high school, the BOE budget was $200 million. We are now at about $160 million. Thats a 20% reduction. While we are servicing 10% fewer kids since that time, cutting $40 million out of the budget is nothing to sneeze at. We also need to remember that approx 80% of the budget is payroll and I'm sure you are not saying that teachers make too much, especially in light of all the cuts in pay and benefits we have endured in the last few years. We have taken cuts in pay and cuts in workers and really are at the point where we cant cut anymore from that 80% of the budget without some serious classroom crowding issues. Also, there is only so much you can cut out of the remaining 20% without making fundamental changes to the way we operate school, (such as 4-day weeks hours, bussing, school closings and the like) which I am all for by the way, everything should be on the table. Cutting another $20 mill will be very difficult, but there really will be nowhere left to go after that. I have heard all of the horror stories about how wasteful the BOE was before I got here, but 3 of the current 5 board memebers wil not be coming back in Jan. Lets not handicap the new board with not giving them the revenue from ESPLOST on top of the the projected $20mill shortfall. The school system would collapse under the weight of that burden. The incoming BOE is not responsible for past spending, the economy, property tax, the state contribution or emigration due to lost jobs. Saying "were not going to give you a bigger shovel" will only hurt the schools worse, blame them for problems they didnt create, and make it that much harder for Fayette property values to come back due to a damaged school system. People like you and NUK refer to the board as if it is just one person who has been there since the 50's. It's not. They made bad choices years ago, so now the new board members, who got elected on a platform of fiscal responsibility, have to earn your trust before you will give them the money they need to operate the schools? It sounds like youre saying, "we arent going to give you the money you need to do the job because your predecessors screwed up, but youd better do it anyway or we aren't going to give you the money later either!" I call that setting someone up for failure. Give them they money they need. If they screw up, find someone else to do the job. I know that doesnt sound like a great option, but its a better option that handicapping them from they start, so that if they fail, (which you have practically guranteed they will) you can pat yourself on the back and say "yay! the school system is in shambles! I was right all along!" Talk about your empirical victory.

Maybe this is not the right time for the board to be asking for the esplost. Let the new people come on and show the taxpayers that they could be good stewards of our money before we give them more. This esplost is NOT going to help with this $20 million deficit as the current esplost is still effective.

I do feel bad for the teachers and the staff's for the cuts that they are having to take, but lets be real...many of us have been taking pay/benefit cuts for years! It's only within the past few years that it's been effecting the school systems.

When is a good time for ESPLOST? if we didnt renew it, we would be the only county in GA without one. Lots of people from other counties come here to spend their money. why let that revenue go to waste? You are paying it when you leave FayCo. So you dont mind paying for other peoples schools but dont want to pay for your own? ESPLOST will not help with a $20 mill deficit? Really? if we dont renew it, the deficit will be worse. How is that not 'helping?" Yes, teachers have taken cuts, starting in 2009, just like everyone else. But what has that got to do with renewing the ESPLOST? ESPLOST money cant be used for payroll anyway, by state law. man. get a grip.

Wow! You didn't have to cop such an attitude! Geez!

By the way, the current esplost doesn't even expire until April of 2014

Per GMA guidelines

"Any SPLOST approved through a referendum will be effective on the first day of the
calendar quarter that begins more than 80 days after the date of the referendum. For
example, a SPLOST that is approved in a November referendum will be effective April 1
of the next year. Likewise, a SPLOST that is approved in a March referendum will be
effective July 1."

Could we not wait until new board takes over?

but if you dont want harsh criticisim, dont write silly things. Some of the stuff you said was just ill-informed nonsense and you are being awfully casual and flippant about a topic that is going to affect a solid 25,000 people directly (students and staff) and many tens of thousands of people indirectly (property owners and taxpayers).

You still didn't comment on the fact that we can hold off on the esplost vote until the new board comes in since this one doesn't expire until 2014. And here's something else...according to the Mayan calendar, the world is ending in December so this is all a mute point, right? ;-)

by saying it might not be the right time to ask, becasue you want to hold over the vote till next time, then i understand where youre coming from. That seems reasonable even, but others on here are asking for it to be shot down all together, so as to "teach the BOE a lesson" about fiscal responsibility. As if the current school board is somehow responsible for the downturn in the economy. No matter how wasteful the previous BOE was, there was plenty of money, due to the economy. Now their is not enough money, but its not becasue of the BOE, its due to the economy. None of those jokers predicted the crash, but they are mad not only that the BOE did not see it coming, but that they didnt prepare for it years in advance. How rediculous. And dude, you DO NOT want to know how many kids ask me if the world is really going to end in december. it was cute at first, but these are high schoolers.........

That was exactly what I was talking about.

Now, with the world sure is fun telling my younger child not to make a Christmas list since there won't be one...:-)

NUK_1's picture

I've been all over the BOE for about 15+ years or so and it's not about one person whatsoever. It's not even about the Smith-Smola-Wright group that did so much damage to this school system that it will take several years to get above water again. I hardly hold Todd and Key blameless for that matter.

This has been going on for a LONG time in FC and it's only because of a great group of teachers and highly-involved parents and their students that it didn't implode over 20 years ago. Now, it's a financial crisis. Next time, it will likely be an educational crisis due to the severe cuts that have to be made to try and restore some financial order to this huge fiasco.

If someone has a great plan to cut 15-20mil next year from the BOE without there being any compromises in to hear it. Sorry, but reality pretty much dictates otherwise and there isn't anyway to avoid that, only minimize just how hard of a toll it's going to take on the school system.

that this has been brewing for a long time. like I said, I only come on board in 2007. But this isint a financial crisis completely because of incompetence. The housing market imploded and took the job market with it. So our 2 sources of revenue, property taxes and the state contribution (generated from income tax) started to dry up. Nobody saw that coming. So why do you expect the board to have predicted it years before it happend in time to do something? If the economy hadnt tanked, we wouldnt be having this conversation. The old BOE might have been wasteful, but there would be plenty to be wasteful with. Doesnt make it right, just saying we wouldnt be in this mess. All the other school boards in the state are facing the same difficulties. Are they all incompetent too? Our BOE may have been all morons, dont know. The voters thought so. But it just seems like you are making it their fault for not having $ 20mill to spend next year, when clearly they dont control revenue. If you cant come up with a plan to shave 20 mill next year, why are you beating them up for not being able to either? My real question though is directed at your last statement. Explain to me how not renewing the ESPLOST next year will minimize the toll on our schools?

[quote]All the other school boards in the state are facing the same difficulties[/quote]

. . . and most throughout our country! Anxious to read Nuk's answer to your question.

G35 Dude's picture

I have 30+ years in private business experience. During that time if I wanted money for a project I was expected file a request for it. In that request I had to explain how much I needed and what it would be used for. If I blew my budget and I needed a one time request just to get things back on track, kind of like a SPLOST, I had to explain why I was over budget and what I'd be doing differently so that it didn't happen again. If my explanation didn't convince the powers that be I didn't get any more money and I was still expected to do the work. So far I'm not impressed with the BOE's explanation.

Now I understand your concern as you'll be directly affected. And I'm tired of the only option that the board looks at is cutting your pay and benefits. My first post was a call for the board to look for ways to cut waste and be more efficient before cutting your pay or asking for more money from taxpayers. When I worked in private business the company that I worked for would form efficiency teams that would review the process' of other departments to find ways to save money. We found quite a bit. I want to see the BOE do this BEFORE they ask for a SPLOST. Giving these people more money is like giving a drug addict more drugs. They'll never actually try to be more efficient until they are forced to do so. You don't help an addict by continuing to supply him with drugs.

As for this being out of the BOE's control, well to a point you're right. Some of it was. Still the people as a whole think that the BOE has been wasteful on top of the things that you mention. The company that I worked for would still have wanted a convincing plan of action before they would have given me any more money. Requiring a plan of action does not place blame as to how you got where you are it just shows that you have a plan that should avoid the same pitfalls in the future.

I often wish some govt services were operated more like a buisiness. But here I dont think your analogy fits. If you hired someone to do a job, and they were miserable failures so you fired them. Would you hire a new guy for half pay so as not to "give drugs to addicts." You admit that the current problem was not all of the BOE's fault, but want to treat the new members as if it is all their fault. Efficiency will happen next year,weather they want it to or not, with a $20mil shortfall. Dont make their difficult job even harder by taking away even more moeny from them.

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]Requiring a plan of action does not place blame as to how you got where you are it just shows that you have a plan that should avoid the same pitfalls in the future.[/quote]

Please re-read the last part of my post. I'm glad we have new blood on the BOE but if they want more of my money I want to know how they plan to right the ship. A way that doesn't involve asking for even more money later. Just blaming the last regime isn't enough for me.

NUK_1's picture

I understand completely that our present situation didn't happen overnight and that MAYBE we have to forgive and overlook all the sins of the past in order to correct things NOW, but I remain on the fence about renewing the ESPLOST.

On one hand, we are getting Dr. Marchman and very likely Ballacao on the BOE that represents a very fresh start thankfully! On the other hand, it's very difficult to entrust the BOE with any further money after what they have done in the past and renewing the ESPLOST sort of sends the wrong message that we're here to bail you out non-stop.

I am really, really disgusted with the BOE and I'd like to see a real house-cleaning on the administrative side first, then I'd be a lot more likely to vote for ESPLOST. Bearden is on his way out, but I'm thinking of others whose heads need to roll and then I'll be convinced that progress is being made instead of the screams of poverty and despair if we don't vote in favor of ESPLOST. That tactic didn't work twice before and it won't work now in this environment.

No one wants to see our school system be in the financial position it is in now and it simply can't happen again. All GA school systems are operating right now under these harsh conditions with a lack of state funding, but others were MUCH better prepared to deal with it than ours. That's totally unacceptable.

Our school system needs the ESPLOST and the BOE has to make a case for it besides gloom and despair. I want to see Sam Sweat gone, Laura Brock way gone, and then we're getting to the point that the ESPLOST might be some medicine we all have to swallow to cure the sickness.

I'm on the fence right now. The BOE can either make it or break it for me by showing they either have a vision and some leadership or howling about disaster. Let's move forward with the very tough decisions and leave the BS behind us.

How about the solvency of the school system? Is that not compelling enough? On one hand you say you're glad for the fresh start on the BOE, but on the other hand still insist on punishing them for the sins of their predecessors. The new school board is not to blame for property values falling, or the QBE contribution being reduced. They are not to blame for the $20mill shortfall for next year. But you insist on punishing them as if they are. Moreover, you want to punish them by taking away even more money, the ESPLOST and making the job of balancing the budget even more difficult for them. Your logic just isint tracking on this issue. I trust that if you and G35 say the old board was wasteful, then it was. But i disagree with your assesment that all the other counties were in a better position to deal with this than ours. if that is so, then why were one of the only two counties in the state WITHOUT and ESPLOST when this happened? Some counties sued the state over their QBE, because they coundnt get by without it. Despite the fact that i am a teacher, I am very conservative politically. I happen to feel that a lot of this problem is due to the over reaching, over regulating bloated behemoth called the federal DOE. There is so much in the budget we cant touch because it is federally mandated. There really are practical limits to how far you can go with cuts, before you have to start looking at raising recvenues. And no, I dont want to raise taxes, but I dont think we should eliminate the ESPLOST either.

NUK_1's picture

Especially the part about how when it was approved before we got vacant schools and also plenty of vacant land as the payback to our tax dollars.

Show some fiscal responsibility or do a helluva better job explaining why this tax needs to be extended BEFORE simply expecting the taxpayers to write you another blank check that you very STUPIDLY have wasted in the past. You've also shown no clue whatsoever about what you are tasked with doing and this BOE is about the last committee I would entrust money too.

Sorry, but EVERYONE from the schools, the children, teachers, parents, BOE is going to suffer some, but you've been horrible stewards of our tax dollars and it's now time to prove that you are responsible instead of the blithering idiots you have been for years.

We're getting a new school board that will thankfully be minus Smola and Smith who dug a huge hole, but there is a long way to go to regain our trust and the "for the children" mantra is simply not good enough.

The Fayette BOE needs to demonstrate even a mediocre stewardship of the taxpayers' monies before anyone should give them more to mismanage.



Fayette Parents:

Remember to keep up to date with FAYETTE CITIZENS FOR CHILDREN by clicking on this link. sign up to receive regular updates too!

Also, be sure to scroll down to the red button CALCULATE MY TAX RELIEF to see how the E SPLOST provides milage tax relief to Fayette homeowners.

Be informed when you vote on November 6 to maintain the Fayette E-Splost!

Fayette Parents

To learn more on how the Fayette E-Splost funds have been spent so far, please see the attached link:

Also, be sure to scroll down to section entitled

SAVINGS BASED ON A $250,000 HOME FROM 2009 TO 2012.

Be informed when you vote on November 6 to maintain the Fayette E-Splost!

Hi Robert

Well I better stick to accounting as I missed it on rhetorical writing this time. So I do apologize. My point is the E-Splost is bigger than a classification of just another tax discussion. The issue, at least for me, is how do we fund our excellent Fayette county public schools so that we do not go back to trying to rob Peter to Paul to have adequate and current technology. How do we fund repairs without talking about more cuts from classroom operations?

I had made the point before; we have a funding issue as well as a cost problem. Larry makes the point we are near average in Georgia per pupil spending. I completely agree our board (all of them) have let us down but we need to punish them not our schools. Honestly I would like SACS to come in and give us a check up.

We have spent nearly $21MM of E-SPLOST funds on technology, books, buses, and renovation/repair in the past three years. Even if we spent half or $3MM a year on basics, if we are already cutting bone to get to the $20MM, where does THAT $3MM per year come from?

My point is simple; we need a plan to fund both operations and capital. The QBE does not fund capital. I understand the assumption is “everybody” has an E-SPLOST. In fact, some systems are on their third E-Splost and have reserves as they have been paying for their capital items for more than a decade. We spent those years spending our operating funds on computers, books, buses.. and have no reserves. Not the only reason, but a piece of the puzzle.

I’ll try to respond where I can as I am real busy with work so please don’t be offended if I do not reply much.

Take Care,


PTC Observer's picture

Why do you think we are in the fiscal predicament we are in today?

Why should we trust, Mr. Sullivan, our money to a board that has proven they can't do the job? What if we elect more people just like them?

Why should we give matches to arsonists?

Please read my posts and click on the links...hopefully that will answer most of your questions...thanks

I have been a PTC resident for 7 plus years with kids in the school system and never heard of this group. I attend FCBOE meetings when time permits, but follow the happenings religiously as I too believe that we have an obligation to all children.

I want what is best for my kids, other kids, and our property values. I don't like what is happening with our school board. We have great teachers, an abundance of facilities and careless spending. We don't need to spend a lot of money on new facilities, we don't need to spend a lot of money on technology that will be outdated in a few years. We have to spend money where it is needed most, on the children, teachers, and books and learn to live within our means.

Personally, I am in favor of the e-splost. I would love it when out of county people help with our kids educational costs, but other than groceries and an occasional night out to eat, most of my spending occurs outside of FC due to the limited choices we have, and my job which is outside of FC.

Now my skeptical radar was raised after reading some of the comments below. Having never heard of this group before, I have questions about this special interest group. Other than tooting the horn for this tax, what does the FCFC really do? Is this group, you or your wife, paid a consulting fee by the FCBOE to champion this tax? A similar tactic was used by the building trades during our last election for the transportation tax. Since I don't know anything about this group, please educate me.

Hi hope you are well.

Fayette Citizens for Children formed during the last ESPLOST discussion. We are parents, teachers, retired teachers, partners in eduction, and other concerned citizens. Some of us got involved after an information session last time and we found other kindered souls along the way.

We focus on trying to get information out about our schools and work hard to stay on a logic and fact based discussion. We believe in our Excellent Fayette County Public Schools but we do not take orders or coordinate with the FCBOE.

We have gotten involved each legislative session on issues such as SB10 and others that affect school funding. Our usual method of communication is email and an occasional leter here in the Citizen.

My wife has been a Fayette County Social Studies teacher (Sandy Creek)for ten years, my son goes to Peachtree City Elem and we live in Centennial in Peachtree City. I am a CPA and work in the not for profit sector as a consultant. I have no business relationship with Fayette County Schools. Actually since I was publically involved with the ESPLOST campaign last time, I consider the FCBOE to be a potential conflict.

Hope that helps! You can get more information at the website and I think there is a spot to get on the email chain.

Take Care,


I visited the website and it appears incomplete. There is very little information. The first page is a plea for everyone to vote yes on the tax, the About Us page is another plea, and the Why E-Splost page only proves to everyone that FC residents have been living above our means for too many years. The other 4 pages on the website are blank.

You have one local sponsor.

So I ask, who is supporting your special interest group for this tax plea? Or is this a right off on someones taxes?

I would think that someone who wants to work for the students should run for the school board where you may have a better chance to right the wrong way path we have been on.

It is not where we want it yet, but will become populated in the coming week or two. We use a three step quality control process to check all infromation to be accurate and logic based. Unfrotunately, someone (me) is holding up the process as I am pretty busy at work. We produce our own infromation so we need to find it, analyze it, check it, and then share it.

We have one sponsor who is sharing our information on his facebook page, so far we have not collected money and had no plan to, but we are getting ready just in case. If we do receive funds or other applicable donations, they will be disclosed in accordance with state law. But we have a lot of yard signs from last time and now work almost exclusively electronic so we do not need much money.

Take Care,


I hope you don't mind that I answer, Neil works and I am almost retired.

No one is paid, we are volunteers trying to provide information on the E SPLOST. I personally am not in the management of this group, as Neil is who is the co-chair. Just a volunteer supporting the cause.

FCBOE has voted 5-0 to support the renewal of the E SPLOST but the schools can not campaign for it so volunteers do. See this link:

Thank you and if you want more information and other blog links feel free to e-mail me at and I will provide them to you.

Thanks for the education. One has to be leary of special interest groups true motives.

Now my comments on the e-splost: We (FCBOE) need to learn to live within our means. We have relied too long on this tax. Lets get back to basics.

Don't take this as me being opposed to the tax, because as a parent with two children in the schools, sure I want others to help pay for their education. This is a selfish act on my part. My family doesnt spend a lot of money in FC. Sure we buy groceries and spend an occasional night out to eat, but most of my familes monies are spent in other counties for clothes, shoes, ect... I prefer my wife to stay away from the Fayette Pavillion due to safety concerns. Kids clothing can be purchased in PTC but at retail prices. We go to Coweta and spend our money on clothes at the discount stores. I just dont see a need for my elementary school kids to be decked out every day in designer duds they outgrow so quickly.

We choose to live in FC because the schools were better than neighboring counties. We have liked every school teacher we have dealt with and find them to be true professional. I would trust them deciding how to spend this tax money than the school board at the present time.

Thanks for your response.

I totally agree that the schools need to live within their means. And the school system is undeway looking for cuts to close the budget gap as they need to.

Over the next few weeks there will be a series of Letters to The Editor from Neil Sullivan outlining the benefits to the E SPLOST as well as the financial responsiblities and accountabilities surrounding the State of GA program.

For now, in order to make the correct financial decision for you, I suggest you look at the home real estate tax credits you receive from the E SPLOST and weigh that against the retail tax of the E SPLOST to determine where you stand.

Also, please note that Coweta has had an E SPLOST for 10 years now so when you shop there you are supporting their schools which is fine. I believe that 170 of the 180 school districts in the State og GA have E SPLOSTS which the state encourages.

I invite everyone to check the home/land tax credit you have received for the past 5 years. I also respect anyone's decision to vote NO on principle resulting in the loss of this credit, hence paying a higher tax on their real estate.

In your case, if you spend little in the county, the real estate tax credit makes sense to vote YES unless you wish to stand by your principles.

Here is the link:

then scroll down to to the link that reads:

See breakdown of savings based on a $250,000 home from 2009-2012 by clicking here.

and do the math.


ginga1414's picture

Perhaps, if we ask nicely, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Sussberg, Scott Hollowell, Anna Regi, Melissa Lohr, or Jan Krzykwa will answer some other questions concerning the Fayette Citizens for Children group.

1. If Mr. Sullivan is the Co-Chair for Fayette Citizens for Children, who is the other chair?

2. Is Scott Hollowell the other co-chair or just a member and supporter of the FCC group? "Scott Hollowell is a local business owner proud PTO dad at Kedron Elementary School" and recent BOE candidate. He was also "recently appointed to the Superintendent's Community Advisory Committee."

3. Is Anna Regi the other co-chair or just a member and supporter? "Anna Regi is a local business owner and proud PTO mom at Tyrone Elementary School and Band Booster mom at Sandy Creek High School. She, too, "was appointed to the Superintendent's Community Advisory Committee."

4. Is Melissa Lohr the other co-chair of the FCC, or is she just a member and supporter? She is the "current PTO President at Tyrone Elementary."

5. Is Jan Krzykwa a member and supporter of the FCC, or is she the other co-chair? "Jan Krzykwa is a local business woman and former PTO President at Tyrone Elementary School."

Surely the officers and members of Fayette Citizens for Children are proud of their group. Why wouldn't they acknowledge their officers and members?

Still not sure what it is, but something smells fishy.

Not quite sure what this group does to help children other than lobby for a tax. My radar wonders if anyone in this group is benefiting from this tax.

Or, is this group set up by the Board of Education since they are not permitted to lobby for this tax.

We've all seen this before in the last election

I invite you to call me on my cell to discuss this.
This is an important issue for Fayette schools.
Call me as a private number if you wish to remain private.

I invite anyone to call...if they wish to discuss this.

Thanks. 770-877-1008

While I appreciate your willingness to discuss this, I just don't see the point at this time. I understand the importance this tax is to the schools. I have two children in the public school system, my wife and I attend the school functions, and I have occasionally been to school board meetings when they don't coincide with my childrens extracurricular activities where I coach or help out.

This group is new to me and I am trying to find out what it really does other than lobby for the e-splost. I see nothing wrong with what they are doing either. I will listen to all opinions and then form my own.

But one has to wonder about this especially after the last election where we had many groups lobby for the t-splost. Most of the loudest supporters of the t-splost had financial incentives. This makes me question that if the e-splost fails, will any of the people in this group suffer financially, due to the loss of the existing tax other than possibly higher school taxes.

At this time, I am still up in the air about this tax, mainly because I think our school leaders need to learn how to live within our means. What better way can we teach our children fiscal responsibility than showing them first hand that you don't buy something on (population) projections or because we have to keep up with the Joneses.

We have some fantastic teachers in our community and they are the ones that deal with our kids on the day to day basis. In my humble opinion, we have to treat them fairly and supoort them as best we can as they are the true conduit to a better education.

Thank you
I will let Mr. Sullivan respond on who the members are. He is checking with everyone.
To answer the questions, these are volunteers only who are concerned parents. No one has any financial gain from it...

Except maybe me who is not on the board because since I no longer own a home and rent I would benefit from the lower retail sales tax and, if the schools suffer and standards drop I do more business in my center.

On another note... The FCBOE can not by law campaign to support the E Splost.
As individual citizens they can voice individual opinions without the use of schools or school materials.
So the notion they are involved by Ginga is silly and tactic to create confusion.

As for teaching the lesson of living within your means.... The State of GA keeps cutting their support to the individual school systems because they don't have the revenues to fund the schools. We have a revenue problem not spending and the board is working on the required cuts

As I have stated, if the GA. ESPLOST is voted down, you will lose real tax credits. On average you will have to spend $14,000 at retail in Fayette county in saved sales tax to offset that.

Maybe Ginga will cover that tax credit loss for you? Do the math.

As for the other concept that some believe, google the rules of ESPLOST to see the rules on where and how the money can be spent! It is governed and controlled! It's not good money after bad and it's needed.
It pays for busses, bus maintenance, roofs, HVAC maintenance, textbooks, etc.

Did you know that ESPLOStT will provide $95 million to Fayette schools over 5 years?
Did you know people from other counties come to the Avenue and contribute to our Splost.

Please do your research.

I know I am not fully informed on this matter. Thanks for sharing the information. I will do my homework and hopefully in the coming weeks, more information about the e-splost and this group will be forthcoming.

NUK_1's picture

[quote=Larry Sussberg]

On another note... The FCBOE can not by law campaign to support the E Splost.As individual citizens they can voice individual opinions without the use of schools or school materials.So the notion they are involved by Ginga is silly and tactic to create confusion.

Actually it's not because FCBOE has twice before been caught campaigning for ESPLOST in the past.
As for teaching the lesson of living within your means.... The State of GA keeps cutting their support to the individual school systems because they don't have the revenues to fund the schools. We have a revenue problem not spending and the board is working on the required cuts

Sorry, but this completely inaccurate. EVERY school system in GA is faced with the same state cuts and it just so happens that FCBOE is one of the very very few school systems that have been already maxed-out on the state limit of 20mills. They were already maxed on taxation BEFORE the worst of this recession. THAT was an indication way before now of a SPENDING problem.

Now Larry, please tell me how this is a revenue problem when we have a Rivers and two half-vacant schools? FCBOE dramatically overbuilt years ago and recession or not, this day was coming. Also, why isn't every other school system in GA maxed-out on millage taxation and also having to cut 10-15% of their budgets in one year?

There are reasons to support continuing ESPLOST, but you're not giving them when you gloss over reality of what it took to get the BOE into the present disaster they/we are in. Stop blaming the "state" when every school system has already been dealing with this.

As I have stated, if the GA. ESPLOST is voted down, you will lose real tax credits. On average you will have to spend $14,000 at retail in Fayette county in saved sales tax to offset that.

Maybe Ginga will cover that tax credit loss for you? Do the math.

As for the other concept that some believe, google the rules of ESPLOST to see the rules on where and how the money can be spent! It is governed and controlled! It's not good money after bad and it's needed.
It pays for busses, bus maintenance, roofs, HVAC maintenance, textbooks, etc.

Did you know that ESPLOStT will provide $95 million to Fayette schools over 5 years?
Did you know people from other counties come to the Avenue and contribute to our Splost.

Please do your research.[/quote]

[quote=Larry Sussberg]
Maybe Ginga will cover that tax credit loss for you? Do the math.[/quote]

Sorry, this comment was wrong and totally inappropriate!
My apologies.



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