The Marshall County Commission will hold a public meeting on Thursday, Aug. 1, at 9 a.m. to discuss the proposed car tag fee to fund school resource officers in the county schools. The meeting will take place in the Commission Cchambers on the 3rd floor of the Guntersville Courthouse.
Commission Chairman James Hutcheson said that this is for information. The special meeting will hopefully clear up some loose ends and help the community understand more about where the funds will be distributed.
He has provided the commissioners different scenarios using different amounts from $10 to $20. He said that some include the school board contributing $50,000. He is hoping for an answer from the school board about their contribution during the meeting.
This is a public meeting, not a public hearing. Hutcheson said that the public is more than welcome to attend, but this is a meeting for information.
District 3 Commissioner David Kelley said that he would like more questions answered. District 2 Commissioner Rick Watson called for the special meeting.
Kelley said that the only reason he voted for the bill was to keep the price low. He did not want the cost to be $20 to $25. He knows that it would be a hardship for some of Marshall Counties citizens to come up with the extra money to pay for multiple cars.
He has been doing some research since the meeting and has more questions than he does answers. His biggest question is why go from four to six part-time SROs employees to fourteen full-time. He wants to know what the great threat is to have fourteen SROs.
“We are putting the cart before the horse,” he said, “and we really need answers.”
He spoke with Superin-
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tendent Dr. Cindy Wigley and she told him that about 60 percent of the citizens at Douglas High School are so poor that they cannot afford anything. If that is the case, how can they afford to pay the extra money for the car tags, he asked.
He wants to know what the big change is for the need of the SROs and hopes that he can get answers at Thursday’s meeting.
Hutcheson said that that they will have the probate office, school board and others involved at the meeting. They are not anticipating a vote this week, but there is a scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 14.