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Some Columbia County school board members decline new iPads

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Columbia County school board members didn’t seem too interested in receiving new Apple iPads when given the option Tuesday.

Three of the five board members are eligible in Jan­uary to receive a new laptop issued by the school system. School Superintendent Charles Nagle said they could instead receive a new iPad, ranging in price from $529-$729.

“That’s totally up to you,” he said. “I think that should be your choice.”

Chairwoman Regina Bucca­fusco and board members Mike Sleeper and Roxanne Whitaker said they didn’t want an iPad.

“I say we save the money and use it for something else,” Whitaker said.

The board agreed to let members make their own decision.

The board approved a change of venue request at Tuesday’s meeting, moving Harlem High School’s graduation in May from James Brown Arena in Augusta to the school’s football stadium.

Harlem High Principal Diet­mar Perez said senior class officers asked him to hold the graduation on campus at 7 p.m. May 24. Polled twice, 91 percent of the 170-member senior class approved the decision, he said.

Parents seemed to agree with the idea, Perez said, after he asked them to contact him with any concerns.

“I only had three parents that replied and said they thought it was a great idea,” he said.

The ceremony would be moved inside the school in case of inclement weather, limiting the number of guests. Columbia County’s four other high schools will continue holding ceremonies at the downtown arena.

Because the ceremonies last nearly the entire day, Nagle recommended that board members consider spanning the graduations across two days.

Board members agreed to table a middle school rezoning until Nov. 27 to have more time to consider the proposal. The rezoning would shift 350 pupils at Columbia, Evans, Greenbrier and Grovetown Middle schools.

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soapy_725
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soapy_725 11/14/12 - 07:44 am
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What a jesture?
Unpublished

Decline the hundreds publicly. How nice and respectful of their constituents. Reputation is what people see. Character is what you are when no one is looking but God.

markwhitaker
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markwhitaker 11/14/12 - 07:48 am
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board members
Unpublished

WISH SHE THOUGHT THAT WAY AT HOME SOMETIMES .......

Riverman1
93347
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Riverman1 11/14/12 - 08:20 am
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I've never understood why BOE

I've never understood why BOE or Commissioners are given cell phones, iPads or any dang thing. How much school and county work is actually done on it? Very little is my guess. It is mostly used for personal use. Let the IRS do a study of the use.

As far as having graduation in the football stadium, I've long wondered why that wasn't done. Everyone fits and it's convenient. The site is unique to your school. Students and families are not queued up waiting for other schools to finish. Colleges do it. Why not all Columbia Cty schools?

woodymeister
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woodymeister 11/14/12 - 11:06 am
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Reply to Riverman1

You don't understand why BOE or Commissioners are given these devices? If not mistaken, Columbia County BOE members do not have cell phones given to them by the county. A laptop is issued and certainly I would think is used frequently for the intended purposes. Police officers probably stop on the way home to pick up milk while driving their cruisers - does that mean they should start leaving the car at the station and picking it up every day prior to their shift?

Instead of honing in small dollar issues, why don't we as the public focus more on issues that affect students? It's easier I guess to complain than to get involved in the real issues. this is the proverbial nickel holding up a dollar.

The biggest issue I see is the rezoning question. As looming as that is, it got one small paragraph where i-pads got five paragraphs. You folks in Columbia County better listen up to the rezoning conversation because your kids could be moving to different schools in the near future - and taking away phones or laptops won't help you change it.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/14/12 - 11:20 am
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Woody, you are right. BOE

Woody, you are right. BOE members are not given cell phones or paid for using their own. Commissioners are given $120 a month for cell phone use. But I'll stick with my assertion that iPads and laptops at county expense are not needed. I know the IRS would consider it taxable if given something like that and it being used only occasionally for work. The police car analogy doesn't fit. Sure you are right again, it's nitpicking, but it's the principle of the thing with public officials.

woodymeister
385
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woodymeister 11/14/12 - 11:37 am
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Taxable?

The laptop, ipad, cell phone, etc., would only be taxable if it were a gift or at least given to the employee. All equipment given to these members is property of the county, complete I'm sure with identification displaying ownership. If an employee quits, gets fired, or is voted out of their position, they are, I'm sure, required to return the equipment.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/14/12 - 02:39 pm
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Reply to Woody

In Columbia County they are not given cell phones, but Commissioners are given $120 a month for them. I'd consider that taxable if the phones are not used that much for county business. Like I said, it's admittedly a minor thing, but it's a matter of principle with public officials.

Nagle wanting to give BOE members iPads or laptops is being a little presumptuous in my opinion. What in the world can't be put on their personal computers? What's the big deal that they need the county to give them iPads?

As far as rezoning, who said no one was going to look at the issue? But the truth is with a growing county redistricting is an ongoing occurrence.

In reference to complaining rather than getting involved, don’t underestimate the power of the written word. Others would rather be doing attention-grabbing stunts while some invest time, energy and intelligence into anonymous comments without stroking their egos.

woodymeister
385
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woodymeister 11/14/12 - 06:04 pm
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Public Officials Shouldn't Use County Equipment?

What principle is violated by public officials using county or state supplied tools of communication? Should these elected officals be forced to use their own personal equipment? Phones are a stretch, I agree, but the modern day communication vehicle is a computer. We want to be able to communicate with our officials but we don't want to make it easy for the public I suppose.

When did the BOE start reporting to Mr. Nagle? All along I thought he reported to them. Kind of strange that he would be "giving" them new ipads.

With regard to rezoning, I simply meant that while the press spent much more time reporting on the offering of ipads, the larger issue of rezoning went almost unreported. For the media, a good story about elected officials getting offered free ipads is much more sensational than the fact that our children may likely have to change the middle schools they attend because of rezoning. I fully understand that redistricting is required in growing counties. What I do not understand is how schools like Stallings Island Middle seem to stay beneath the radar when it comes to shifting students. The school is under populated yet the word on the street is that we want to send more kids to other schools instead of there. There is no real estate growth in that area so why not move some there to take the load off other schools?

Finally, I don't underestimate the written word. I'll take your final comment as directed at me. I do not find much use for many of the comments left here nor do I often leave input. On topics such as this though, I find a correlation between the reporting, editorials, and these comments posted on this topic. It's very much like reading the Columbia- County Times.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/14/12 - 06:53 pm
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Woody, you make some good

Woody, you make some good points, but Stallings Island Middle School is in a growing area. There's a new housing area right on the end of Blackstone Camp Rd and Point Comfort. Since the school is close to the river, it's hard to shift students there without long drives.

735
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Barry Paschal 11/14/12 - 08:51 pm
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Rezoning

The middle-school rezoning is to accommodate the opening of a larger, relocated Columbia Middle School that will relieve severe overcrowding at Grovetown Middle, the county's fastest-growing middle school. Stallings Island isn't affected by this rezoning - but Lakeside, Riverside and Harlem aren't, either.

As for the laptops and iPads, years ago the board members were issued laptops so the superintendent's office could stop printing huge meeting books with hundreds of documents before each board meeting.

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