Hamilton County School Board, Commission members plan joint meet - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hamilton County School Board, Commission members plan joint meeting

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 Anticipating a difficult budget year, and demands for new and improved facilities, Hamilton County School Board members and County Commissioners will hold a rare joint meeting on December 10.

School Board chair George Ricks tells Eyewitness News that such a meeting "is long overdue."  At a recent School Board retreat, Ricks was among several Board members who suggested meeting with Commissioners.  Ricks said, "Everything ought to be on the table, including increased funding."  Commissioners have long been shunning the idea of a property tax increase, and it is unclear if the mood of the overall Commission has changed since the August election.  Two new Commissioners were elected in August.  Sabrena Smedley now represents District 7, and Randy Fairbanks defeated longtime incumbent and tax increase opponent Fred Skillern in District 1.

Ricks says the December 10 meeting will primarily involve members of the Facilities Committee from the School Board, and the Education Committee from the Commission.  However, he says, "I expect several other members of both bodies to be present.  We'll talk about facilities, security issues, and how we will go forward funding our district to meet our mission."  Ricks said, "We have to communicate with each other better.  We haven't had any meetings with them in several years."

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