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Church's location dooms request to Richmond County Board of Education

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It appeared to be a routine agenda item for the Richmond County school board.

The district administration had requested approval to donate 25 folding or stacking chairs to Praise and Deliverance Ministries, and administrators said they had the chairs in surplus.

But when board Chairman Marion Barnes saw the church's address -- 3837 Martinez Blvd. in Martinez -- he said he would support the donation only if the church was in Richmond County. Board members could not determine during Tuesday afternoon's committee meeting which county the church was in because the Martinez mailing address covers parts of both Richmond and Columbia counties.

A check of Richmond County's official Web site, www.augustaga.gov, shows that the church is just over the line in Columbia County.

"I'm against (the donation) if the church isn't in Richmond County," Barnes said during the meeting. "Nothing against the church, but if the church is in Richmond County, I'm for it. If it's outside Richmond County, I'm against it because of whose money it is."

He was referring to any donation of school system equipment, ultimately paid for by Richmond County taxpayers, going outside the county. No action was taken Tuesday, but several board members nodded or otherwise indicated they agreed with Barnes.

Contacted after the meeting, Pastor Kimberly Williams said she was surprised. She said Praise and Deliverance Ministries had been in Augusta, at 222 Sixth St., for the past couple of years, until just three weeks ago.

"My personal view is, I'm the type of person that I just want to help God's people. It doesn't matter what county they live in," Williams said. "I think if that's their personal opinion, I really feel sorry for people who think that way."

The nondenominational church has 16 regular members, but attendance is often more than that with visitors, she said, adding that Praise and Deliverance recently gave another church its pews and gave away a piano.

"One of the reasons we needed extra chairs was, we had a revival about two weeks ago, and the church was packed from front to back," she said. "We have a pretty good amount of chairs. ... I believe in trusting in God. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that even if we don't look for someone else, God will send somebody."

In other business

The following items were discussed during the Richmond County school board meeting Tuesday afternoon:

- Jeff Baker, of Hanscomb GMK, provided a building update, including that the Vocational Magnet High School had gone out to bid earlier in the afternoon and the board might be able to take action on the low bidder as soon as its regular meeting next Tuesday.

- Baker added that the C.T. Walker Traditional Magnet School roof project went out for rebidding last week, and the board might be able to take action on it next week.

- The approval of Victoria Nauful Sanders, who has served as student support specialist for the district since 2001 and is a 35-year education veteran, to become testing coordinator for the district, was recommended.

- There was a brief discussion about an updated policy and procedure on the seclusion and restraint of students, which the state is requiring all districts to adopt.

Comments (60) Add comment
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Tisk tisk what is this world coming to
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Good grief... What a bunch

Good grief... What a bunch of morons. I think I will not purchase anything else in Richmond County because I live in Columbia County and I am opposed to the money I spend going to ignorant BOE Board members to spend.

TrulyWorried
16487
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TrulyWorried 11/09/10 - 07:49 pm
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What a true Christian spirit

What a true Christian spirit - ridiculous and regrettable.

scoopdedoop64
2488
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scoopdedoop64 11/09/10 - 08:08 pm
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This is laughable.

This is laughable.

luckie
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luckie 11/09/10 - 08:15 pm
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i am appalled at these

i am appalled at these findings about the chairs that were surplus and were going to a previous county occupant. I live in Martinez and work in Richmond. I see so much abuse of taxpayers money in Richmond that I actually make it a point to purchase my gas in Richmond so I am giving back to that county. These pitiful morons do not understand how helping someone else can gain help later on.

momster59
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momster59 11/09/10 - 08:17 pm
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OMG!

OMG!

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 11/09/10 - 08:24 pm
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So, instead let's keep the

So, instead let's keep the chairs in storage, where water can leak on them and rats can chew on them to the point that no one can use them.

Anyone ever taken a look at the school board's "storage"? There's plenty in there that could have been salvaged at some point, but has been allowed to rot to the point of being scrap.

double_standard
166
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double_standard 11/09/10 - 08:35 pm
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The church has crossed county

The church has crossed county lines. None of you opposed when a richmond county business donated a car to the columbia county teacher of the year.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 11/09/10 - 09:41 pm
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With the overwhelming mandate

With the overwhelming mandate that these people were elected at, there's no need to complain.

Why are we donating taxpayer funded equipment to anyone? This surplus should be auctioned off and used to pay for the expenses, along with any unused real estate or vehicles.

We can use those chairs when they screw up the budget and there are 45 kids per class...

TCB22
694
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TCB22 11/09/10 - 09:54 pm
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It's a short-sighted

It's a short-sighted decision. Columbia County citizens and businesses contribute money to Richmond County agencies every day. This is a divisive attitude. You guys shouldn't cut your noses off to spite your face. Also, you do realize that churches are private, non-profit entities and survive on donations, right? Thankfully we can all still pray across county lines.

justus4
113
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justus4 11/10/10 - 01:09 am
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If the church is outside the
Unpublished

If the church is outside the RCBOE's authority, then the donation would probably violate some statue that requires approval from the receiving county. In other words, it would be an improper use of assets and should be avoided. It matters not how charitable an act appears, it matters whether the act is legal. More research is needed to determine the proper procedure.

NoCatchyName
63
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NoCatchyName 11/10/10 - 07:18 am
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Basically, I think Taylor B

Basically, I think Taylor B has it right. I am all for charity and helping those who are in need. BUT -

Government at any level should not be in the charity business.

Government should be in the business of governing and providing for a safe environment with the infrastructure in place where the citizenry can be productive and charitable.

JustMe
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JustMe 11/10/10 - 07:24 am
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If the chairs were given this

If the chairs were given this post would be filled today with people moaning and groaning. RCBOE just can't win. They did the right thing only because I believe the RC taxpayers would have been up in arms as they always are.

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 11/10/10 - 07:27 am
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In theory, I agree that the

In theory, I agree that the government shouldn't be in the charity business.

But the school board has a whole bunch of stuff in schools it no longer uses that is considered "surplus." This is stuff that in years past they have paid people to haul away as junk. This is stuff they have tried to auction off online. This is stuff that is just sitting there taking up space.

bettyboop
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bettyboop 11/10/10 - 08:02 am
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Idiots...plain and

Idiots...plain and simple.....you voted Augusta...hows that working out for you?

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 11/10/10 - 08:03 am
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25 chairs, at $5 a piece

25 chairs, at $5 a piece equals two days of pay for a bus driver. I will be the first to buy a few chairs.

concercitizen
733
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concercitizen 11/10/10 - 08:03 am
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Would the school board's

Would the school board's attitude have been the same if the ministry had offered to buy the chairs? Will there be division lines in heaven by counties? Some people---geesh!

dichotomy
37418
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dichotomy 11/10/10 - 08:19 am
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I think this board member

I think this board member asked a valid question. And when it became known that the requesting entity was in CC, appearences alone made the decision obvious. Correct question, correct decision, non-issue.

gaj265
201
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gaj265 11/10/10 - 08:25 am
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The chairs were purchased

The chairs were purchased with Richmond County taxpayers' funds. They can be SOLD to anyone because the proceeds would go to the RCBOE. They should not be donated to ANYONE. If they are going to dispose of them, they should be sold. Why is a church asking the BOE for donations, anyway?

hope7
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hope7 11/10/10 - 08:28 am
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Hoping the chairs are

Hoping the chairs are delivered today to this church by someone in Columbia County!
SOOOO petty, childish, and selfish behavior!

peonynut
2
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peonynut 11/10/10 - 08:52 am
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First they have a place to

First they have a place to sit then they give it away now they are asking for someone to give them a place to sit? The entire article was confusing.

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 11/10/10 - 09:04 am
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Is it possible that by

Is it possible that by donating surplus they get a bigger tax writeoff than if they were to try and sell these chairs for a couple dollars each?

greygranny
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greygranny 11/10/10 - 09:05 am
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Why, exactly is the Richmond

Why, exactly is the Richmond County Board of Education donating ANYTHING to a church??
Sell--do not donate--especially to a church. Other organizations within the Richmond County government may have a use for these chairs--or even Richmond County taxpayers should have a go at them before a church.

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 11/10/10 - 09:08 am
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peonynut, the church moved

peonynut, the church moved from sixth street and donated their pews and a piano to another church. When they had a revival in their new location it was packed and I suppose that is an indicator that their membership possibly will increase so now they need more chairs for their service. The pastor stated "we have a good amount of chairs" but evidently that isn't enough.

NoCatchyName
63
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NoCatchyName 11/10/10 - 09:14 am
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InChristLove, the answer for

InChristLove, the answer for the church should be: Come worship with us and bring a chair. If God has blessed you with extra, bring two.

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 11/10/10 - 09:14 am
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greygranny, why do you say

greygranny, why do you say "especially to a church", "donating ANYTHING to a church", "have a go at them before a church"?

Do you have something against the church? We're talking about 25 chairs.....geez

greygranny
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greygranny 11/10/10 - 09:20 am
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The Board of Education is a

The Board of Education is a governmental organization--a church is a church. I have nothing against churchs just governments that defy the concept of separation of church and state or any "excessive entanglement" as the Supreme Court refers to it.

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 11/10/10 - 09:39 am
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*

*

Cadence
219
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Cadence 11/10/10 - 09:22 am
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Justus4, I have to agree,

Justus4, I have to agree, It's one of those spirit vs letter of the law. It is RC tax money and must be spent in RC. Maybe the chairs could be sold to the church for one dollar or something. If we are going to hold our leaders to the law, and we have *got* to start doing that, it means for everyone. Otherwise we start with the "who is related to whom" and paying for stomach stapling stuff again. But, I'm sure there is a way to get the chairs to the church.

bojangles
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bojangles 11/10/10 - 10:00 am
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There is an old saying that

There is an old saying that states, "You may be right, but if you are rude, then you are wrong." I am just assuming that there were no Public Relations personnel in attendance because this makes the board members look like jerks. I agree with the previous posts that suggested selling the chairs for a dollar. I also find it very ironic that who ever mentioned that idea probably thought of it in about 2.3 seconds yet no one on the board even attempted to do so. These are the elected officials of a school system that ranks 141 of 155. Is anyone shocked?

TK3
562
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TK3 11/10/10 - 10:30 am
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gaj265 nailed it !

gaj265 nailed it !

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