Madison County resident and Georgia State Representative hopeful David Vogel addressed the Elbert County Board of Education during their regular monthly meeting on Monday.
“It seems like the Christian thing for you to do would be to help spread that pain. You are not at the top of your millage rate”, said Vogel. “You could save this school system by saving its teachers and spreading the pain around instead of firing teachers”
Vogel, who is running against Republican Incumbent Tom McCall, continued.
“I would say that is not only the Christian thing to do, but a Christian imperative, and if I hear those of you who voted for the closure of Bowman school saying that you can not change your minds about this. I will have to tell your children that Christianity has its evil side.”
Vogel is running on the Democratic ticket for Georgia’s District 30 State Representative Seat in November’s General Election. McCall told WSGC that he had no reaction to Vogel’s statement to the school board.
Elbert County School Superintendent Rick Higginbotham said that topping out the millage rate would not have helped given the situation the school board faced.
“Right now our millage rate is right at sixteen mills, and the highest it can go is twenty mills. Four mills would raise less than two million dollars a year”, explained Rick Higginbotham. “In 2011, the deficit was 4.9 million dollars. Even with the highest mill rate we would have still been 2.9 million dollars short.
The school board approved the 2012 Millage Rate of 16.057 during Monday night’s meeting.