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Stadium volunteers offer views on sales tax vote

SoVaNow.com / October 21, 2019
Two supporters of Comet athletics were honored Thursday night by the Halifax County School Board for their recent efforts to spruce up the high school football stadium.

Dale Harris and Kerry Nelson both stepped forward to receive thanks for their work at Tuck Dillard High School — doing minor repairs, power washing, painting and other jobs, with the help of students, parents and other volunteers who pitched in to join the mid-summer facelift effort.

As they spoke before a large audience at Sydnor Jennings Elementary, scene of the School Board meeting, Nelson and Harris each offered their views on the Nov. 5 Election Day ballot on a 1 percent local sales tax — an initiative that could lead to major renovations of the dilapidated, nearly 60-year old football stadium.

“There’s a ton of people in the county who are going to vote ‘no,’” said Nelson, who urged trustees to work hard to get the message out in favor of the initiative. “If you don’t take care of it, people are not going to vote yes,” he said.

Nelson added that it has taken time for him to come around to the opinion that the sales tax, which would raise about $3.5 million annually for school capital improvements, is a good idea for the county. “I’m not one of them” — a “no” voter, he said.

“I think the world of Halifax County. But if you don’t take care of [changing public perceptions] you’ll be right back to where you were,” he said.

“I’m just telling you, as a community member, you’ve got work to do.”

Nelson’s remarks stood in contrast to a comment earlier in the evening by School Board Chair Sandra Garner-Coleman, who said support for the referendum in the community is “overwhelming.”

Harris, part of the first class of graduates at then-Halifax County Senior High School in 1980, the spring after the school opened in 1979, drew comparisons between the work that he, Nelson and other volunteers put in at Tuck Dillard Stadium, and efforts by local officials to get the sales tax referendum added to the Nov. 5 ballot.

“The School Board is putting in the effort, the superintendent has put in the effort,” Harris said. “Now it’s up to us to do our part and put in the effort to put us over the top.”

A supporter of the sales tax, Harris urged members of the Sydnor Jennings audience to “reach out to … friends, neighbors and co-workers and encourage them to vote” yes to the school referendum.

Harris, whose son plays on the Comet football team, spoke about the experience of visiting other high schools where athletic facilities are modern and well-maintained, and where schools show pride in their teams.

Halifax County also has a proud fan base, Harris suggested — telling an anecdote about having visited Jefferson Forest, a school renowned for the quality of its athletic facilities. “Impeccable,” he said of the Jefferson Forest football stadium.

At a game against the Comets, Harris witnessed the spectacle of fire trucks blaring their sirens and flashing their lights as the home team ran out onto the field. When he described the scene to his sister, a teacher in the school system, she contacted a friend, Jennifer Slagle, who said she would take care of having fire trucks showing up at Comet football games.

“People are there — people are there for your support,” Harris said.



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Comments

That is what parents of players should do. These schools that he mentioned have more population and more tax base. What don't these yes people get? A brand new or remodeled building does not make the kids learn!?!? Sorry as our population declines, I am sick of taxes being raised. VOTE NO! Also make sure that you tell your BOS member if they vote to raise taxes any taxes that they should be voted out!

Comments

Amen all political, there is no light at the end of the tunnel from these thieves on the BOS raising our taxes and stealing our money. They keep forgetting, more are dying in this declining county than are being born and FORE SALE signs are up all over this county. The citizens better close their pocket books or they will steal every penny. Taxes are too high for what very little services they fail to provide. AND IT SUCKS THAT OUR TAX DOLLARS ARE PAYING FOR THESE YES FOR TAX SIGNS!!!! Only on good ole Halifax County-CORRUPTION CENTRAL.

Comments

The BOS and School Board do NOT properly maintain their facilities. There are still mobile units at various elementary schools. Overall, this school district is in disarray. I wonder how many of them actually set foot in a school building other than recently with the HCHS movement. There are meals taxes, personal property and real estate taxes, even trash disposal fee (tax), hotel lodging tax, and now they want the taxpayers to vote to implement a higher sales tax. Where does it end folks? Why are we facing replacement of a building that is simply in disrepair and improper maintenance. No homeowner can expect plumbing or HVAC to last 40 years. These among many other issues should have been and need to be in a Capital Improvements Plan. Just vote NO in NOvember and send a message that enough waste is enough.

Comments

Halifax County is becoming a place where the taxes are to high to try to live here. Ya’ll remember the meals tax,”If you get the meals tax real estate and property taxes won’t need to be raised,” said Nick Long and the Farm Bureau. Getting to expensive to live here.

Comments

@Vote No - I remember that being said about the meals tax, you can't believe anything these people say. They are simply playing a political game and remember their job is to persuade people to vote themselves a dang tax increase. The only people truly pushing this issue are public servants and THEY should remain silent due to a conflict of interest due to the fact that their salaries or those of their spouses are paid for with tax dollars!! Vote NO in NOvember and let these people know you don't appreciate being misled when you see them. I won't name their names but they are clearly listed in the Op-Ed letters to the Editor. The so-called "leaders" of this community have lost touch with those that they serve, they simply want to keep their jobs no matter what the costs to the common hard working taxpayer.

Comments

I agree concerned, but don't call them leaders, they are servants to the people that elect them and people seem to forget that especially some of those in power. That is why I call them all by their first name. They are no better than me, and they are paid by me why should I have to bow to them. It is time for the normal folks to take the local government back.


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