Breaking news: School tax vote on hold

By Staff
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
A councilman’s abstention from voting on a resolution rewording a proposed school tax vote has put the process in jeopardy.
Councilman Bill Drake abstained from voting on a reworded resolution setting the date for a 12.5 mill property tax vote. That abstention left the council with a 3-1 vote, with Council President Kenny Thompson and councilmen Samie Wiley and Bill Smelser voting in favor of the revised resolution. Councilman Mark Mizell wasn’t present at the meeting.
Because of the lack of a unanimous vote, Rep. Ronald Grantland, D-Hartselle, said he won’t introduce the resolution to the House of Representatives. Morgan County’s legislative delegation has had a long-standing policy of only introducing resolutions receiving unanimous council support. Such a policy is not required.
The new resolution clarified the wording to stipulate the money generated from the tax could only be used for construction of a new high school. Any passage of the tax would still have to be approved by a public referendum.
The school board passed a similar resolution Monday night.
An earlier resolution that didn’t include specific earmarking was previously unanimously passed by the council.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, the motion to pass the new resolution was introduced but when Drake was asked for his vote, he introduced a motion to table. The other council members continued the vote on the resolution and it passed.
On the same night, Drake also cast the lone dissenting vote in reappointing Jennifer Sittason to the Hartselle School Board.
The council will try again for a unanimous vote at its April 17 meeting. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at City Hall. It’s a week earlier than normal due to conflicts with a League of Municipalities meeting. No work session is scheduled for Monday night.

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