by Sam Hieb
At last night’s contentious meeting, the Guilford Board of Commissioners approved a $300 million school bond that would go on the November ballot. The school system and liberal members of the county commission were hoping for a $1.6 billion bond to go before voters.
The debate grew testy. Rhino times county editor Scott Yost reports:
The highly uncomfortable discussion at the Thursday, May 21 meeting included Commission Skip Alston hurling strong personal insults at Republican commissioners, and, though the commissioners never reached the level of shouting at one another, it was as brutal an argument as the commissioners have had in years.
….Before the motion was approved on a 6-to-3 vote, Alston led the charge against the Republicans. Alston had hoped the board would approve a bond referendum for a maximum of $1.6 billion – or, in truth, at least $800 million or $900 million.
Commissioner Alan Branson made the motion for $300 million, which set off Alston who called the motion a total insult to the school system and the students it serves.
“Shame on you,” Alston said, adding that it the motion showed Branson “didn’t give a damn” about the county’s school children.
As the N&R reports, commissioner Kay Cashion–the lone Democrat to vote for the $300 million (although she added she would like to see a larger amount on the ballot) said she knew “many people in business who are really hurting and some of them are not going to make it” and that a tax increase would not help.
Pandemic or not, if GCS and its friend Skip Alston can’t get a even a $300 million bond to pass, then it will really be back to the drawing board.