Overspending gets attention

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As Richmond County school board members look to raise your taxes, they continue to sort through questionable handling of public money.

In a couple of 6-4 votes, board members approved moving money around Thursday to cover overspending by two departments, spending that drew the ire of board members earlier in the week.

On Tuesday, the board learned two budgets had overspent by $850,000 - $205,000 from the print shop and $645,000 from the Title I Department.

To cover the overspending in Title I, the board dipped into the School Nutrition Department's budget Thursday.

"The general fund has absorbed these expenditures, but we're also recommending bringing in the revenue to cover it," Controller Gene Spires told board members.

To make up for the overspending in the print shop, the board transferred money from its natural gas account. Mr. Spires said the account had about $500,000 in it, largely because of the mild winter, which led to the lower cost to heat the schools.

The financial dealing didn't sit well with some board members, including school board Vice President Joe Scott who wanted to know how the overspending could occur.

Board members are hoping that Dana Bedden will clean up some of the financial mess that recently has come to light.

Dr. Bedden is the board's choice to be superintendent, but the two sides haven't settled on a contract.

By law, the board must hold three public hearings to give residents the opportunity to comment on raising millage above the rollback rate. No one showed up to either hearing this week.

The final hearing will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday at the board's central offices, 864 Broad St., followed by a meeting to approve the millage.

Under the proposal, the owner of a $100,000 house would pay $6.62 more in taxes.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

BUDGETS IN THE RED

DEPARTMENT OVERSPENT SOLUTION
Print Shop $205,000 Transferred money from
the natural gas account
Title I $645,000 Transferred money from the school
nutrition program

Source: Richmond County Board of Education

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butterflygina
164
Points
butterflygina 07/20/07 - 03:09 am
0
0
It is not like the board is

It is not like the board is going to change their minds about raising the millage because the public comments. It would be a waste of our times.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 07/20/07 - 05:28 am
0
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amen@butterflygina

amen@butterflygina

getalife
4
Points
getalife 07/20/07 - 05:40 am
0
0
These areas of the system

These areas of the system that have overspent should be audited and investigated. It is so easy for people to line their own pockets or to spend monies for unnecessary items. Show the taxpayers some accountability.

Interested Citizen
0
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Interested Citizen 07/20/07 - 06:23 am
0
0
As usual the answer to every

As usual the answer to every stupid thing these people do.....is raise the millage rate and/or raise the assessments.......either way, the taxpayers are the victims. Does no one in either the city/county government or the BOE know how to manage money???????? Tighten your belts and QUIT SPENDING.

GuyIncognito
1
Points
GuyIncognito 07/20/07 - 06:49 am
0
0
What does the Title 1

What does the Title 1 department do and how is that more important than the school's nutrition budget? Considering about half of the students eat 2 meals at school (breakfast and lunch), shouldn't this be a higher priority? Think of the kids!

taegrece
0
Points
taegrece 07/20/07 - 07:14 am
0
0
Guylncognito/ title one do

Guylncognito/ title one do alot for our schools like after school program,reading and math for kids that is a little sslow of learning it also gives saturday school that needs help in keeping up with the other kids, not last but to name some of the things title one does they also take most of the kids in most programs on end of the year trips to say JOb well done thats to name some. Now you tell me with is more important the learning or them eating witch we know they will not be hungry the kids will eat.

redapples
681
Points
redapples 07/20/07 - 07:16 am
0
0
Title I is the government

Title I is the government program that provides funds to educate low income students. It is supposed to provide funds that would pay for for extra teachers, extra academic programs, etc. In my experience, I have seen administrators find "creative" ways to misuse these funds, spending them in ways not in alignment with the guidelines. I believe that an audit should be initiated immediately and culminating with the firing of anyone found to have misused funds. If the new Supt. is seeing all this, he must be thinking twice about coming here. No wonder there has been no agreement of a contract.

Little Lamb
49260
Points
Little Lamb 07/20/07 - 07:27 am
0
0
Get a load of this Joe Scott.

Get a load of this Joe Scott. He "wanted to know how this overspending could occur." It occurred because Joe Scott and his fellow trustees did not do the job they were elected for. They should be examining the expenditures EVERY MONTH to discover problems with the budget and problems with expenditures. They act like they are surprised when the annual expenditures are disclosed, but they are asleep at the wheel all year long.

Spurs07
1
Points
Spurs07 07/20/07 - 07:52 am
0
0
Dr. Bedden has a busy, heavy

Dr. Bedden has a busy, heavy load ahead of him and I hope he is much more fiscally responsible than the board and administration in this money waisting school district. They can even track spending in the school district. That really looks very bad on Richmond County

work for a living
0
Points
work for a living 07/20/07 - 07:53 am
0
0
It seems to be the working

It seems to be the working class, homeowners who continually pay the price for the inept government in Augusta. Augusta has a hugh welfare, rental population and it seems these are the folks who continually benfit from all the programs while the other half continually are punished by their taxes going up. If I were a property owner in Richmond County I would consider moving because your taxes are going to do nothing but go up, up, up. Raise the sales tax so that everyone pays and quit punishing those who get up and go to work and try to own something from that hard work.

J.W.
2
Points
J.W. 07/20/07 - 08:33 am
0
0
Here's the math problem of

Here's the math problem of the day: As stated in the article that ran a few days ago, Title I has traditionally ended the year with a $2M surplus that has in turn been used to bail out other areas that went over budget. Sooo....If my math is correct, Title I either used all of it's money for a change, or (and probably closer to the truth), Title I monies have been used throughout the year for OTHER than Title I programs thus leaving the Title I program now short $645,000. So, BOE do the math, where did all the Title I funds go? Finally, if Dr. Bedden is as smart as I think he is, he should demand a full audit of the entire finances of the school system, including grant funding, prior to signing on the dotted line. No way I'd assume responsibility for this mess!

bone
23
Points
bone 07/20/07 - 08:58 am
0
0
i wish title 1 would help

i wish title 1 would help some of the posters by establishing adult literacy programs. some of these posts are almost unreadable. a misspelling or two & a slip in grammar or punctuation wouldn't be so bad; but the string of unintelligible ramblings that are posted here by frequent contributors (i'm not naming anyone) is ridiculous.

getalife
4
Points
getalife 07/20/07 - 09:05 am
0
0
The RC BOE should be updated

The RC BOE should be updated every month with budget info, including items going over budget and identify those under budget so they can be reviewed. This is done in private businesses and should be done with all the school systems and all government sectors. Heaven help Dr Bedden. This is not the only problem, remember the secretary that gave herself a raise with money from a grant??

class1
300
Points
class1 07/20/07 - 09:06 am
0
0
Dr. Bedden should call the a

Dr. Bedden should call the a state audit on Title 1 money when he takes over the job. Well, maybe the Augusta Chronicle will launch an investigation were all the Title 1 money has been going over the past few years.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 07/20/07 - 09:11 am
0
0
Adult literacy programs are
Unpublished

Adult literacy programs are already available according to a large sign in front of Langford School on Walton Way. Kind of pointless though if you can't read at all. Excellent suggestion regardless, bone.

NoGoodReason
0
Points
NoGoodReason 07/20/07 - 10:03 am
0
0
Sounds like somebody is

Sounds like somebody is cooking the books instead of lunch....

jack
11
Points
jack 07/20/07 - 10:23 am
0
0
If the tax payers of RC

If the tax payers of RC aren't concerned enough with the RCBOE not monitoring spending to show up at these hearings, then you deserve just what you get-more taxes to pay for incompetence.

jack
11
Points
jack 07/20/07 - 10:25 am
0
0
I believe a recently elected

I believe a recently elected legislator named Gloria Frazier manages the BOE's Title I funds. Perhaps an annual audit needs to be conducted and tghose who can't manage their budgets fired/replaced with someone who can.

sassytree
1
Points
sassytree 07/20/07 - 10:32 am
0
0
Abusing federal funds is

Abusing federal funds is TOTALLY illegal. An investigation needs to start immediately! Not just a Title One audit, but the other federal programs that fall under the school system. I have a strong suspicion that people are lining their personal pockets. Help us taxpayers, please.

bone
23
Points
bone 07/20/07 - 12:12 pm
0
0
LOL fd1962. i'll amend my

LOL fd1962. i'll amend my former suggestion to include IF YOU CAN'T READ THIS, YOU NEED TO SEEK AN ADULT LITERACY PROGRAM. but they probably won't be able to read this, either, so this is now a moot point.

J.W.
2
Points
J.W. 07/20/07 - 12:20 pm
0
0
A day of reckoning is rapidly

A day of reckoning is rapidly approaching...Overspending, sloppy record keeping, padding the payroll, misuse of federal funds, is that the sound of galloping hoofbeats I hear headed this way? (again) Sounds like a GBI-FBI posse to me.

Little Lamb
49260
Points
Little Lamb 07/20/07 - 12:51 pm
0
0
The GBI-FBI are pretty good

The GBI-FBI are pretty good at getting private individuals and crooked businessmen in jail. But GBI-FBI looks the other way when it involves government officials.

J.W.
2
Points
J.W. 07/20/07 - 01:01 pm
0
0
Little Lamb--Linda Shrinko,

Little Lamb--Linda Shrinko, Robin Williams, and Charles Walker may debate that with you.

Little Lamb
49260
Points
Little Lamb 07/20/07 - 01:15 pm
0
0
You have a point, J.W., but

You have a point, J.W., but Robin Williams and Charles Walker, while they used their government connections to help them in their crimes, were mainly convicted for private activities, not government activities. Shrenko, on the other hand, was government corruption all the way.

Parents United
1
Points
Parents United 07/20/07 - 03:06 pm
0
0
Now do you see why Parents

Now do you see why Parents United is in existence. We seek to bring accountability to these people. They do worry about money. If you run out of money just go up on our taxes. It's too easy. What about accountability? Don't forget they are running parents to the next county. Every time RC lose a student so goes $8K.

Call into PARENTS UNITED RADIO TO DISCUSS THESE ISSUES.\
10AM SATURDAY MORNINGS ON FREQUENCY AM DIAL 1230 ON WNRR NEWSRADIO.

CALL IN NUMBER 1-877-4AM-1230

truthbknown
0
Points
truthbknown 07/20/07 - 03:13 pm
0
0
Seems to me that Charles

Seems to me that Charles Larke left some more unfinished business. Someone needs to be held accountable for this. Isn't there someone who they answer to. Thier accounting dept should have been awae of this all along. I cant understand how they go $645,000.00 over budget without anyone noticing until this next budget year.... I think it really needs to be investigated...

sassytree
1
Points
sassytree 07/20/07 - 03:26 pm
0
0
I bet there are many at the

I bet there are many at the Marble Palace (BOE) who are involved in this. And yes, I think it began with our buddy Charles.

m23866
0
Points
m23866 07/20/07 - 03:41 pm
0
0
well theres must be somebody

well theres must be somebody that you can call ie representative or senator and expose whats going on, demand a accountability of what and where th monies going other than hollow pockets

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 07/20/07 - 05:28 pm
0
0
It would be interesting to
Unpublished

It would be interesting to know the average of the cumulative IQ's possessed by the members of the BOE. Any guesses? Let's face it, Ga. & SC schools aren't 48th and 49th in the nation for no reason.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 07/20/07 - 05:41 pm
0
0
Our newspaper is right up
Unpublished

Our newspaper is right up (down?) there with the schools too. All phony self-esteem and no knowlege. Doesn't someone have a clever pre-teen they can send down there to show them how to set the clock on this comments forum? That's Augusta - a day late and more than a few dollars short.

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