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BOE discusses Ad Valorem with Commission

The Butler County Commission held a workshop and meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Members from the board of education, employees of the Butler County school system, and other concerned citizens were in attendance, as the first presentation to the County Commission was given for the approval of the ad valorem millage increase was presented.

At the last meeting County Attorney Calvin Poole addressed the commission with an overview of the tax and step-by-step process for a special election in preparation for this meeting. For months at board of education meetings, Superintendent Dr. Strycker has clearly stated his plan including this presentation of the ad valorem millage increase at the October commission meeting. Meeting all the requirements—signed petitions and approval by the board of education—Dr. Strycker formally requested a special election to be held by the commission for Jan. 2019 to raise the Ad Valorem tax to benefit the educational system of Butler County. After much discussion and weeks of reviewing the law on both sides, the special election was approved and scheduled. Therefore, in Jan. 2019, the Butler County Commission will host a special election to increase the ad valorem tax for all property owners in Butler County.

In other business, the board approved Calvin Poole as the Legal Counsel for the new fiscal year 2018-2019. Commissioner Frank Hickman spoke highly of the Poole firm.

“In all the years that Jesse and I have served on this county commission together, the Poole Law Firm has been our legal council,” he said. “It has always been my honor and pleasure as a member of the bar, to offer up Mr. Poole for this job.”

For the employees of the county, the commission approved the health insurance plan for the new fiscal year, as well as a holiday schedule allowing employees to return to work the Thursday after the Tuesday Christmas holiday. In closing comments, Commissioner Allin Whittle thanked the commission and community for reaching out in the past months after his absence due to personal reasons. Whittle also voiced his concern for the ad valorem increase.

“We had no choice in it [the special election], the law was pretty clear. Somebody paid for me to go to school, I don’t think I would have ever been anything in life if someone before me hadn’t paid for me to go to school,” he said. “I feel obligated as a citizen to do my part to help educate others.”

Commissioner Hickman added, “I very much support public education. I did not appreciate; still do not appreciate, the method in which this was handled by the school board. It should have been discussed but it wasn’t, but I will support it.” Commissioner Joey Peavy spoke against the way in which the school board handled the election.

“I support public school, I am for the vote, but I do not support the special election, it is a senseless waste of tax payers’ dollars,” he said.

Peavy also thanked EMA Director Chris Ware for her storm coverage.

“Chris has worked extremely well to keeping the county informed this week,” he concluded. “She does a great job for our EMA, and there are countless hours of work that we don’t even see, so thank you.”

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 13.