NP School Bond

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Trustee objects to NP school bond

By Jason C. Mattox

The North Panola School District Board of Trustees voted 4-1 Thursday night to approve a $2.2 million bond issue without hearing from those in the audience.

Trustee Lydia Smith was the only opposing vote.

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NP conservator Dr. Oscar Love said the bonds are being issued in order to pay for maintenance and repairs to the district’s facilities.

Smith spoke up first asking why the legal notice informing tax payers about the bond issue was published in The Panolian rather than The Southern Reporter.

“The statute requires we publish in a newspaper that has a general circulation in the county,” bond attorney Warren Greenleee said.

Smith said she believed the notice should have been published in The Southern Reporter because it is the official newspaper of Sardis and the first judicial district of the county.

“It simply states it must be published in a newspaper that has a general circulation in the area, it doesn’t say it has to be published in the district or in the paper with the biggest circulation in the district,” Greenlee said.

“There are lots of people that have been concerned because they did not see it published in the local paper,” Smith responded.

Greenlee said there was no specific reason the district chose to use The Panolian, but he added that he believed the paper had a bigger circulation in the district than The Southern Reporter.

“We were following the law of what was required,” he said.

Smith then asked why the notice was signed by the board of trustees and not the conservator.

“The notice also says that the matter will be discussed at 6:30, and we had some presentations tonight, but a lot of the time, we start at 6 p.m. and we are gone by 6:30 p.m.,” she said.

Smith then said had the matter been explained more clearly when first brought to the board she would not have supported a bond issue.

“It is my opinion that we are in a recession and any increase on people’s taxes is too much,” she said. “I don’t know if we can put that burden on the taxpayers.”

Smith asked Love if a petition of opposition had been presented, but it had not.

“We have received no petition in opposition of this bond issue,” Love said.