Sep 252009

fter witnessing the automobile giants & banks line up for billions in bailouts last fall, why shouldn’t a local PTA seize on the concept and boldly ask government to pay for a walking track at Marvin Elementary? After all, it is a worthy project.

walking-silhouette-clip-art-main_smApparently, funding for the walking track that had been accumulating over years from raffles and collections, was spent on ‘technology’ instead, by a previous principal. So to some, a ‘Bailout’ is the quickest solution to get what they want.

The timing of this request neatly coincides with the November election and from the emails in circulation, pressure is being applied to the incumbents running for re-election and candidates vying for votes. Can you say ‘Pushing Politicians to Pander’ 3 times fast.

On Saturday, September 26 at 9:00 am, the Village of Marvin is holding a ‘Special Meeting’, without public comments I might add, to discuss the proposal from the Marvin Elementary PTA that the Village support monetarily the construction of a the track on school property. The proposal includes a 1/5 mile walking track, irrigation and maintenance for 3 years. Mind you the concept involves the Village giving the funding, but ownership, of course, remains with the UCPS and Marvin Elementary. The Village’s PGR (Parks, Greenways & Recreation Advisory) board even floated the idea of building a Pavilion & Farmers market adjoining the track.

What makes this a non-starter in my view, is that only a small number of Marvin residents will actually benefit, but then again as the Mayor said, “this is the only school in Marvin!”

By the way of comparison, those of you living in Marvin, with children attending Sandy Ridge Elementary, your PTA paid for your walking track without any taxpayer contributions from the Village of Marvin or any other town.

I wouldn’t want to give the impression that Marvin Elementary PTA is coming to the table empty handed, no they’ve accumulated $10,000 to contribute to the estimated $65,000 cost of the project. Unlike a typical taxpayer funded project, like a recreational park, Marvin residents would only be allowed to use the track after 6:15pm and weekends.

The project is still a work in process, but unless lighting is added to the plan, the track will be of no use during the winter hours, unless you like to walk with a miners light or a torch, this further reduces the value to taxpayers, however justified.

We are in a recession, the economy is tough for most of us, so perhaps I am being too hard on the local beneficiary/proponents of the walking track project. Actually, like Oliver Twist, the PTA has every right to ask for more. My objection is if the Marvin Council buckles and says ‘yes’.

Just last month, the town of Weddington was grappling with a proposal to give $145,000 to Weddington High School for a weight & conditioning room. A number of residents and candidates for office came out and blasted (to coin a phrase) the Weddington Council over the idea, which they eventually turned down.

What remains to be seen in Marvin is whether the Council will recognize their fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers and turn down the PTA Moms and as important, for voters to see if any of the candidates running for office has the fortitude to risk the scorn and rejection to do the ‘right thing’ and advocate the protecting of taxpayers money. It doesn’t get any clearer than this.

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 Posted by at 6:12 pm

  4 Responses to “Bailout request comes before the Marvin Council”

  1. Bringing home the pork, otherwise known as buying votes, is a time honored practice in politics.

  2. Everybody wants something. Everyone thinks this is free money. But it is not. It is a long term note with the government (you) that will have to be paid back by YOU and your children. What happened to pride? What happened to feeling shamed for asking for help? What happened to wanting a better life for our children? Go door to door and see how much Marvin residents want to pay right now for this project. If the answer is nil, ask why do they want a long term note with the governement to pay for it. Crank out an amortization schedule and show people how much this will really cost them. Here’s a novel idea: save and pay cash for this project. Or put the money in the bank and walk on the grass or cut some trails with your weed wackers. Our children could probably figure that out. Come on leaders, stop the asinine spending and wanting mentality. Let’s revert to some common sense and Economics 101.

  3. I’ve only lived in Marvin for the last 3 years, so I don’t pretend to know everything about local politics, but my wife has “heard through the grapevine” from her fellow moms at Marvin Elementary, and the word was that only the incumbents (one council member and the mayor) would support getting Marvin to pay for the walking track. No other candidates could be trusted, they said. That is funny because I have yet to hear anything directly from any of the people running for this election about the track subject in newspapers or anywhere else! It is strange that certain people at our school seem to know exactly who to tell everyone to vote for, based on this one issue, when nobody running has even said what their position is!! Hmmmm.

    Even though I have two children at Marvin Elementary myself, I think this is the dirtiest kind of outright bribery. Are people aware that Marvin Elementary is a county school, not private, and that children from places outside of Marvin go here already and more can be bused here from other towns? I thought we paid property taxes to the county which then used them on school projects anywhere in the county. I was not aware that my taxes to Marvin itself would be spent on county projects like this too. Will marvin taxpayers have to spend for Marvin Elementary’s other financial needs? Textbooks? Lunches?

    Like the person who wrote the letter at the beginning of this page, how was Sandy Ridge elementary able to build a track without Marvin’s money?

    We don’t know many other parents at Marvin Elementary, but the ones we do ALL “heard through the grapevine” on who they had to vote for to get their free track.

    I was going to go to one of the Marvin meetings to speak up on this, but I notice that none of the meetings where this subject is brought up, allowed public comments. Why is that? Are they afraid of what people will say?

    Marvin Elementary has been talking about building this track on their own for years, or at least since we moved here. Why is it that all of a sudden out of the blue, Marvin’s Council decides they are going to pay for the whole thing, just a month before they are up for re-election? This is the same Council who wants to put a public walking and bike trail through my neighbor’s back yard!!

    I enjoy this website quote a lot. I’ll try not to be so angry next time if I make a comment.

    One other thing, a person below the main letter asked why people thought this is “free money” . Well in fact it is free money to all the students and their parents who go to school in Marvin, but do not live in Marvin or pay Marvin taxes!!!

    • MES Dad,

      The issue will be on the agenda at next Tuesday’s Marvin Council meeting (October 13, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at Banks Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall). I suggest that you or any concerned Marvin resident take advantage of the opportunity to speak at public comments and voice their opinion.

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