CHELSEA, Ala. (WIAT) — The city of Chelsea will vote on an ordinance to decide whether or not to have a vote in July on a potential property tax increase in order to generate funds for a new school system.
Mayor Tony Picklesimer presented the ordinance to the city council earlier in the week. As of now, the council seems to be split on the decision: two for, two against and one undecided. If passed, the people of Chelsea will vote on July 12 on whether to have a $12.5 million property tax increase or not.
Picklesimer tells CBS 42 after receiving more and more public feedback on the matter. He believes this is the right move.
“I believe there are a lot of good things that we can do by forming our own city school system,” Pickelsimer said.
Picklesimer and the city have tried to find ways to create a school system for some time. He believes having their own will not only provide students with a great education, but even opportunity with up to date facilities.
“The school board could take our finances and manage them in such a way that we can build new facilities. We can make improvements to existing facilities,” Picklesimer said.
One of the council members against it is Casey Morris.
“I think that there other options we can consider,” Morris said.
Morris says when it comes to processes like these, they shouldn’t be rushed. He also believes they need to do more research to make sure the numbers truly add up. Morris also feels separating from Shelby County Schools isn’t the right thing to do at this time.
“I think, they partnership we have with Shelby County Board of Education and the commission is to vital for us right now to just step away from being a Shelby County School System,” Morris said.
While there may be differences in the process, both sides agree at the end of the day, the taxpayers should have a final say in this decision.
“If it’s what the citizens want, then that’s fine,” Morris said.
“As far as I’m concerned, if the vote fails, it’s over. And then, we will start looking for a plan B,” Picklesimer said.
The council will vote on the ordinance on May 3.