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Hi Mack: Volunteers are asked to generate $11,500 to win a trip. Gwinnett County Public Schools has given about $900,000 to the chamber. What do teachers and school children get in return for the school board and Wilbanks giving education dollars to the chamber?
jackster: If Mary Kay Murphy is right, and everything I have said, and all of the documents I have received from open records requests are, "untrue", I would be happy to retract all of my statements, take down the GwinnettPetition website, and apologize. Because I have sent her emails asking about this issue that she has not answered, she has my email address.
Dr. Murphy: I look forward to receiving an email from you about my "untrue" statements so that you can point out my mistakes and I can apologize.
jackster: You can go to the GwinnettPetition website and see a copy of the invoice from the Gwinnett Chamber for their employees' salaries that are paid by Gwinnett County Public Schools. I obtained it from an open records request and GCPS was required by law to provide it to me. I am surprised that Mary Kay Murphy claimed that there have been no payments to the Gwinnett Chamber. GCPS released a statement saying that Superintendent Wilbanks discussed this with the school board and they approved it, but additional open records requests show that there are no minutes of any meeting in which this was discussed. I have sent emails to all school board members on this issue. I would love for Mary Kay Murphy to officially go on record saying that these payments have not been made, so that we might finally be able to get real answers to our questions about these payments. You are welcome to contact me at my email address which is my user name on this posting at a hotmail.com address. I am happy to provide the results of open records requests to anyone who asks.
I asked Gwinnett County Public Schools how they determined that they received $6 million in return for paying the salaries of Gwinnett Chamber employees, as they had said in a press statement. I received an email response this afternoon that said, in part:
"Other than what was provided in the district's statement I do not have any additional information on this topic."
A lot of people wanted to know if they could pay salaries at the Gwinnett Chamber and get $6 million in return. Donald Trump doesn't even get that kind of return on investment.
Call your school board members and your county commissioners. You can do a google search for Gwinnett County Public Schools and the board members are listed on the website. You can also search for Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and find the bio and contact information on the county website for all 4 commissioners. .
Hi Bev: It doesn't seem to matter if taxpayers are fed up. When I contacted GCPS to ask if they were going to continue to use education tax dollars to pay the salaries of Gwinnett Chamber employees, while freezing teacher pay, furloughing teachers and cutting expenses, I was told that they were going to continue to what they have done since 2007. I have repeatedly asked Sloan Roach to explain how GCPS determined that they received $6 million in return for paying chamber employees' salaries, but she has not responded. They don't care if Gwinnett residents have questions.
ELECTED OFFICIALS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS: I am a grandmother with a laptop who spends 90% of my time out of town, taking care of sick relatives. I started asking questions in February. This is August and I have more questions than answers. If I can dig up information in a few minutes using only my laptop, why is it taking all of you so long to answer my questions? Given all of the deplorable scandals that have rocked Gwinnett County recently, are you completely tone deaf to taxpayers’ concerns, or do you understand why taxpayers wonder about the “insider trading” questions that arise from payments to the Gwinnett Chamber? Bless your hearts. I know you are busy, but I think you need to take a few minutes from your busy schedules to give Gwinnett residents some answers.
Jim Maran, the CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber, sits on the board of the GCVB, which gives $100,000 per year to the Gwinnett Chamber. Richard Tucker, the former CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber, also sits on the board of the GCVB, as does Bert Nasuti, the former District 2 Commissioner, who was the biggest proponent of taxpayer funding of the Braves Stadium. Preston Williams, CEO of the GCVB, serves on the board of the Gwinnett Chamber.
Also serving on the board of the GCVB is Tommy Hughes, who described himself to a reporter as a close friend of indicted former BOC commissioner, Kevin Kenerly, and said of Kenerly, “Anybody that can win four terms of office in Gwinnett County, you’ve got to have admiration for that.”
I could go on and on, but after researching all of this, I’m beginning to ask, “Who’s on first?”
Jace Brooks, who is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, just won the primary to replace disgraced former commissioner Shirley Lasseter, and will be the District 3 Commissioner. Jace served on the Suwanee City Council, which gives $25,000 per year to the Gwinnett Chamber. He also served on the GCVB, which gives $100,000 per year to the Gwinnett Chamber, was on the Gwinnett Chamber’s board in 2006 and was a member of the Partnership Gwinnett 1.0 Steering Committee and Implementation Committee.
Alvin Wilbanks, the GCPS Superintendent, serves on the board of the Gwinnett Chamber. GCPS pays the salaries of Gwinnett Chamber employees with no contract, no minutes of any school board meeting where the payments were discussed, and no board vote to approve them. I received an email from GCPS saying that Superintendent Wilbanks has the authority to make those payments without board approval, even though a previous email said he discussed this with the school board and received their approval. When GCPS was asked if they planned to continue to pay Chamber employee’s salaries while teachers are being furloughed, class sizes are being increased and Superintendent Wilbanks and the school board complain publicly about budget woes, the answer was yes, so the payments are continuing.
The first item listed on District 3 Commissioner Mike Beaudreau’s re-election campaign website, under “What’s Been Accomplished” is his support of the Gwinnett Chamber’s Partnership Gwinnett program. I have repeatedly asked Mike questions about taxpayer funding of the Gwinnett Chamber, and despite repeated promises to get back to me, I have not received any information from him. If Mike’s # 1 accomplishment as a commissioner is supporting the Gwinnett Chamber, you would think that he would be happy to brag about it.
Gwinnett BOC Chairman Charlotte Nash, who honestly appears to be trying to clean up Gwinnett County, is an ex-officio member of the Gwinnett Chamber’s board of directors. She also serves on the Executive Committee of Partnership Gwinnett. The Gwinnett BOC has been giving the Gwinnett Chamber $500,000 per year on a no-bid contract. Chairman Nash has confirmed that Partnership Gwinnett is NOT a separate entity from the Gwinnett Chamber.
Last login: Wednesday, March 20, 2013