As far as the tax vote goes, we did the right thing
By By Chuck Bodiford Publisher
A former Advance staff member wrote a column a few short months ago entitled, "We made the bed; now we've got to sleep in it." This column was in response to the Amendment One vote that did not pass, in September. In his column the state of Alabama was looking at three areas to help solve the $675 million budget deficit facing it. The first thing listed in that column to cut was our public schools.
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize." We, as residents of Atmore and Escambia County, felt the same as we accepted the renewal and increase to the ad valorem tax. Even though each one of us is going to have to adjust to the higher tax we came together and voted yes to ensure our children have every chance to earn a quality education. The rewards more than outweighed the small hardships each of us will have to endure.
Tuesday both those supporters and opponents of the tax came out to voice their opinion and make sure they had a say in the matter. For weeks leading up to Dec. 9 many opinions and facts were given to sway the vote one way or another. At Williams Station Day the Escambia County School District Superintendent, Melvin "Buck" Powell, could be seen walking Pensacola Avenue giving out literature that stated what would happen if the tax was not given a yes vote.
Unlike Brian's column, I can come to you and say that as a member of this town and county we did the right thing. In what was probably one of the darkest hours for our local educational system, we came in and voted yes, lighting the path to a brighter future for our children. As a product of Huxford Elementary, Rachel Patterson, Escambia County Middle and High schools, I thank you for saving many school programs or entire schools themselves and giving my child a chance to experience some or all of these wonders as I was given.
Chuck Bodiford is an Atmore native and publisher of the Advance. He may be reached by calling 368-2123 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org