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Baldwin Co. Board of Education and CSCPAC PDF  | Print |  E-mail


The future of how adequately and safely we serve our students rides on the outcome of the March 31 referendum. As that date draws close, a calculated effort has been made to destroy our national and statewide reputation by a quickly formed group of citizens that readily admit that they oppose all taxes. In their desperation, they are spreading lies and untruths about our schools, especially our finances. They very much have the right to their own opinion. They, however, do not have a right to their own set of facts. The facts that we have provided you are audited, analyzed and state-verified numbers. This group needs to know that two half-truths do not make the complete truth nor does a partial truth make the entire truth. 

Seeking to destroy the reputation of our school system and its service to this community is not something we take lightly nor will we tolerate this. It is intentionally designed to confuse and distract our citizens from the truth. They have sought to capture the microphones of local television stations and media that have given them a platform. We have made the issue clear to all, but it seems the most important and crucial piece of information is getting lost. We have more students than we have classrooms to put them. In fact, we are at least five years behind in building schools to accommodate our current enrollment. In nine years we are projected to have 10,000 students in unsafe portables. This directly correlates to how our children will be served by the Baldwin County Public School System. Our campuses lined with portables will also be an unmistakable statement about Baldwin County. We cannot and must not let this happen. 

It is unfortunate that a few loud people have made this a discussion about taxes and politics and have attempted to take the focus off what is the entire reason this school system exists and that’s our children. I am asking you to keep the focus on meeting the needs of our children. 

We all have work to do. If you’ve not let your friends and neighbors know what is at stake here, now is the time. Baldwin County has always stood up for our children and our schools. I am confident that we can come together to give our children what they deserve - a safe, suitable place to learn. It is amazing to me that anyone would argue for what we are advocating for – a safe school house for children. 

Let us stand up for our children and community and spread the word. We need you now. 
Norm Moore, President
Baldwin County Board of Education 


Dear Cecil, David, and Norm (please forward)
Norm's letter that has been sent to any number of us now, is an example of what we are fighting against: an arrogant opinion more interested in making propaganda points against Common Sense Campaign PAC and the other groups opposing him. There are plenty of places in Norm's letter that are laughable, but one sticks out for me: Norm says that the media is giving us a "platform"--RIGHT--the liberal media giving a TEA Party PAC a voice--REALLY, Norm? No, Norm, the only reason they are half way interested is because of the unanswered questions we keep raising, the poor responses given by the Superintendent, and critically, Superintendent Owens's willingness to play hardball by launching an economic boycott against a citizen who Norm says has a right to an opinion, but when he expressed it, he was attacked! So, if the BOE message is getting "lost" as Norm claims, he needs to look no further than to himself and Superintendent Owen's handlers who have followed a take no prisoners, answer no questions approach to this election. Those are the unpleasant facts Norm seems to want to avoid--much easier to slander us with more lies and obfuscations such as this gem:
"...a calculated effort has been made to destroy our national and statewide reputation by a quickly formed group of citizens that readily admit that they oppose all taxes. In their desperation, they are spreading lies and untruths about our schools, especially our finances...."
No, Norm, wrong again:
SOME FACTS: 1) You, and the Superintendent, not CSC PAC, are destroying your reputation with your tactics--the whole state knows about your economic boycott of Kevin Spriggs and from the feedback I'm getting from other parts of the state, people are SHOCKED, APPALLED, MAD at what you did; 2) As a matter of fact, CSC PAC has been in existence since 2010--we are not a  Johnny-come-Lately organization to the issues important to our communities in Baldwin and Mobile Counties, especially our fight against Common Core; 3) I'm not sure where Norm found out that we are opposed to "all taxes." Even if "TEA Party" does stand for Taxed Enough Already (a point few in our state disagree with!), the FACT is that in all of our speaking engagements, literature, TV interviews, websites, and our social media, we have specifically said we are in FAVOR OF RENEWING THE CURRENT SCHOOL MILLAGE, BUT NOT FOR INCREASING IT! COME ON, NORM, AT LEAST GET THAT EASY ONE CORRECT!; 4) Norm says we are "spreading lies about [y]our finances"--NO, we are QUESTIONING WHAT YOU HAVE DONE with the money you have! Was the Press Register lying when it ran a front page Sunday story about all the issues and problems associated with the so-called Digital Renaissance? We'll let the public be the judge on that one!; 5) Lastly, you say that, "we are at least five years behind in building schools to accommodate our current enrollment," thus justifying your call for a 67% increase in the property tax levy for the schools. QUESTION: If the Penny Tax was passed 5 years ago and if it brings in around $30M per year and if you have had budget surpluses soon thereafter, as is the case, and you had $3.4m in BP oil spill funds available, why wasn't it possible to put together a "Building Fund" to start addressing the facility needs you claim are now so important? As a matter of fact, the 2010 "Penny Tax" was sold to the public as a way to "save 350 teachers from losing their jobs" and to deal with "facility" needs.  BUT NORM, LOOK WHAT YOU DID SOON AFTER THE TAX PASSED--DR. LEE SPENT $15M ON MAC COMPUTERS! But, you say we are liars about your finances--well, did Dr. Lee spend $15M or not? From my perspective, it appears he did, but you say we're lying about your finances--where is the lie, Norm?  THIS GOES TO THE HEART OF TODAY'S DEBATE: Did you (or anyone on the BOE then) say NO to Dr. Lee's $15m expenditure when YOU KNEW YOU HAD FACILITY NEEDS? DID YOU JUST GO ALONG WITH DR. LEE AND SAY NOTHING ABOUT WASTING PRECIOUS FUNDS ON AN EDUCATIONALLY QUESTIONABLE VENTURE GIVEN THE CLASSROOM NEEDS YOU KNEW EXISTED? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING ABOUT WHEN YOU LET DR. LEE WASTE ALL THAT MONEY? YOU SAY WE ARE NOT CONCERNED ABOUT THE CHILDREN, BUT WHAT THE BOE DID IN WASTING $15M SEEMS TO ME TO BE AN INDICTMENT ALONG THOSE LINES OF THE BOE, DON'T YOU THINK, NORM? DO YOU SEE THE CONTEMPORARY PROBLEM NOW, NORM? IT'S NOT US, MY FRIEND, IT'S REALLY YOU AND YOUR LACK OF CREDIBILTY THAT IS UNDERMINING YOUR EFFORTS TO SELL SOMETHING THAT THE PUBLIC IS VERY (JUSTIFIABLY) SKEPTICAL ABOUT.  
But, folks, Norm's real issue is that we have the audacity to ASK why there was NO prioritization of available funds then and why we should listen to him now when his record is so LACKING IN CREDIBILITY when it comes to accountability, transparency, and sound judgment! THE PAST IS TRULY PROLOGUE--HE AND THE BOE DO NOT DESERVE ANOTHER DIME UNTIL THEY CAN DEMONSTRATE OVER TIME TO THE PUBLIC THAT THEY CAN BE TRUSTED WITH WHAT THEY HAVE, MUCH LESS WHAT THEY ARE NOW ASKING FOR!
Norm, I'm afraid that your complaints are aimed at the wrong target--look inside your own tent and perhaps you'll find the answers to the publics' lack of support and confidence in your plans, but in the absence of any self-reflection, let me propose a possible solution: Why not you, Cecil, Robbie, whoever you want, come to an open debate, not the dog and pony shows you have been putting on, where the public can hear for themselves both of our positions: CSCPAC has another opportunity for a real debate on these issues this coming Tuesday, 24 March at 6:15pm, at the Daphne Library.  If you accept, we'll make other arrangements for a larger venue and we'll invite a media group to moderate it and hopefully televise it.
Dr. Lou Campomenosi, CSC PAC, Coordinator