Letters to the Editor

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Many unanswered questions on referendum

I have reviewed a copy of the referendum ballot that the Beaufort County School District wants the citizens to approve in November. This would enable collection of a 1 percent sales tax for a period of 10 years. Its purpose is to provide approximately $313 million for the district to spend on new buildings, modifications, major repairs, gifts and … ?.

They have provided a list of items without estimated costs identified to them. Prior cost sheets that were circulated indicate spending “needs” of $217 million. This would leave a major slush fund of just under $100 million dollars.

After the nepotism rule changes, admission of ethics failures by the superintendent, and failure of  any punitive action by the school board,  who in his or her right mind could vote to provide a million-dollar slush fund for this board and superintendent?

The board had discussed publicly many times about reducing the debt millage rate if this referendum is passed. There are no specifics in this referendum language except a meaningless broad statement concerning debt millage.

This document the board wants approved by voters is without equal in its lack of legal specifics. It does not even appear to have been prepared by a qualified attorney, but by someone who wanted details kept from the voters.

Jim Bequette
Retired CPA and major corporation financial executive
St. Helena Island (Dataw)

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