The public hearing session of the Iredell County Board of Commissioners meeting lasted for about an hour as principals, parents, community members and even a student voiced their opinions in front of the board and audience. Most of the comments surrounded the issue of a proposed $125 million bond to fund a new school.
Though a large majority of those who spoke were in favor of the bond, there were three community members who were against it. One argued against property taxes being raised and suggested an audit of the school systems spending.
“Just because I may not be support of a bond doesn’t mean I’m in the wrong political party. It doesn’t mean I don’t believe schools should be built,” said Lynne Taylor of Mooresville. “It just means I think we need to look at how we’re spending the money that’s already in the coffer.”
Commissioner Gene Houpe later pointed out there is an annual audit of the school systems.
Taylor said she was against property taxes being raised again when her income has not increased as well.
Taylor suggested an audit to prove money the school systems have already received has been spent well.
The two other dissenters also requested an audit of the school systems. By law, an annual audit of the school system is publicly available.
“If we wish to teach a lesson to future generations, it should be to live within our means, not to borrow against a future that none of us are guaranteed,” Taylor said.
Mooresville resident Craig Maus said he was concerned about retirees in the area being able to afford the higher taxes in the county.
Maus added that businesses came to Iredell for the low tax rate. While having good schools may be a draw for business, raising the tax rate is a deterrent.
“This year we reassessed taxes. My taxes went up 10% and my elementary school’s end of year grades went down about 20%. It’s terrible.” Mooresville resident Robert Murphy said.
Murphy said he thought the school systems were not listening to the citizens of Iredell and the school systems were not transparent enough. There were issues not covered through the bond.
Murphy said there were elementary schools that were failing as well.
He added that he had gone to a large high school, and large schools could perform just as well.
“I don’t have faith in this (school) administration,” Murphy said. “I don’t have faith in this bond.”