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Chapman: Public Has Been 'Duped'

House Bill 978, the controversial redistricting bill, was sent to Gov. Nathan Deal late Thursday.

On the last day of the legislative session, a controversial redistricting bill that would change the way voters elect the school board was sent to Gov. Nathan Deal. Earlier this week, Cherokee County Board of Education Chairman Mike  the measure, known as House Bill 978.

Today, he issued this statement in which he renewed his call for a veto.

The Cherokee County Legislative Delegation, through its abandonment of House Bill 1223 and slipping of House Bill 978 onto the Governor’s desk on the last day of the session, has duped the public and ignored their wishes.

It’s my hope the Governor follows the request I sent to him, as School Board Chairman and on behalf of the School Board, asking that he veto HB 978.

There’s no reason why the Governor could not veto HB 978 and leave the posts and the governance model as is. A 2002 court case over the same issue in Cobb County determined there’s no legal requirement for the Legislature to reapportion when elections are at-large, as they currently are for our School Board. The Delegation’s efforts to redraw the lines to put two incumbents into the same post and to limit how many School Board members voters get to elect are not only obviously political payback, they’re also unnecessary.

This is not a good bill for the public, and they should hold our legislators responsible. When more people -- not just parents, but everyone in the community -- realizes what has happened, I think the reaction will be strong and unmistakable.

My greatest concern with this entire situation is protecting the future of our system and the families that rely on it. Our schools are clearly under attack, and I must say any good conservative would never condone this type of activity. There are many ways to improve the return on investment in public education.  Clearly, none of our legislators have a business background. We should all be addressing the root cause of the problems in public education… not destroy it and leave Cherokee County’s 38,000-plus kids’ future at risk – it’s unconscionable.

Frank Jones March 31, 2012 at 02:18 AM
@Mikael...Chapman was duly elected to office by the citizens of this county. He fullfilled his duties by listening to the majority of his constituents to the dismay of a few powerful politicians and unelected "party" leaders. And for that, Chip Rogers and friends and Chapman's own political party have cast him aside by rigging the voting districts to force his exit. This is un-American and if the Democrats were doing it, you'd be crying foul! I'm an independent and I'm crying foul! Anyone who doesn't speak out against this is tacitly approving it. And worse, those who outright support this type of political corruption is saying that the PARTY is more important than the people. Once we allow that to happen, America as we know it is finished. Now for sarcasm...Why don't we just have a Republican Politburo and end elections?!
"The Real Deal" Education Advocate April 01, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Personally and objectively, I don't think the public has been "duped." Chapman is speaking only for himself and certainly not someone representing the BOE and Cherokee County. Mike Geist, Kim Cochran, and Rob Usher have made this clear to all. They personally had to make this clear in a recent Letter to the Editor in The Ledger because of the media storm of inaccuracies Mike Chapman is creating and the media seems to be unfortunately supporting. The only duping of the public that is going on in my mind, is Mike Chapman's inaccuracate statements as if they were true (which they are not). http://www.ledgernews.com/opinion/1208-march-21-2012/4760-school-board-minority-speaks-out I went to many of the public meetings regarding the redrawing of the lines. Russ Sims, CCSD's Dir. of Forecasting and Planning, made it clear that the lines would need to be redrawn because of the growth of the county and to rebalance the population within each Post. It was only normal to expect that current BOE Members would end up being placed in the same post. Sims made it clear that the lines would be redrawn based on population balancing, like school system flow, with the priority being population balancing. At no time did Mr. Sims state that the lines would be redrawn in order to keep current all BOE elected and serving, that would be arrogant and self-serving, no? For Mike Chapman to suggest that the lines were redrawn to purposely force he and Janet Read out is akin to libel.
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