Jackson City Council approves the partnership for a new Madison Academic and JCM

In an article by Adam Friedman of the Jackson Sun:

The Jackson City Council approved the public-private partnership to build a new Madison Academic and Jackson Central-Merry high schools.

The city council voted 5-3 to approve the deal, with an amendment that the city will hire its own representative on the project to work with the project’s developer — Healthy Community, LCC — to make sure cost doesn’t escalate further.

Councilmembers David Cisco, Paul Taylor and Ross Priddy voted against the deal and councilmember Gary Pickens (District 1) was absent from the meeting.

The council’s vote is the final local government hurdle for the project. The last hurdle is approval from the Tennessee Comptroller on the new version of the deal.

The members voting for the financial downfall of the city were Council members Johnny Dodd, Harvey Buchanan, Ernest Brooks, Marda Wallace and Russ McKelvey.

Of course this handles everything but the money. The domino effect caused by acceptance of this deal will cost both the city and county taxpayers millions in additional taxes. The finance committee headed by Councilman Taylor has already reported the city’s inability to meet the financial demands of this project. Apparently 5 members of the council cannot add or subtract or they care to.

So here is what we see:

  • the city/county agreement to share the resources hijacked by the Gist administration which gathered about 12 million annually from a sales tax referendum voted on by the taxpayers in the early 1990’s will end.
  • this will cause the county no other options than additional tax to fund the ever enlarging school system capital budget. With the county’s wheel tax option out, we see a property tax increase in the near future.

“Both are painful,”stated a former Hamilton County Commissioner Curtis Adams in 1991, at the time of the choice between a wheel tax or a property tax rise. “It’s like a choice between a root canal and the removal of a wisdom tooth. But the wheel tax spreads the pain around more fairly.”

On the other side the problem with a wheel tax, Ben Miller said in an op-ed in 1995, is that it “imposes a harder burden on the tadpoles than the frogs.”

Either way everyone pays. The question you must ask yourself is should everyone pay? Why not a tuition based education where only those that attend pay? Why not end compulsory education or lower the age requirement, at least? Fast track education for those that have the talent to go forward? Apprentice systems for those that have the talent for it?

In other words cut the expenses….. just a thought.


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