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Monday, November 09, 2009

Milton Georgia - City of Hors....Schools?





Signs Of Protest On The Bethany Bend Site - 11.09.09.

By Tim Enloe; Accessmilton.com

In a city which normally harbors topics along the line of sewer or equestrian related airs, one has to wonder if the Milton constituency has unknowingly taken their eye off the eight ball in the dark corner.

Come the fall of 2013, Milton will have a total of nine public schools within it's borders.

They are:

1. Summit Hill Elementary.

2. Birmingham Falls Elementary.

3. Crabapple Crossing Elementary.

4. Cogburn Woods Elementary.

5. Hopewell Middle School.

6. Freemanville Middle School (2013).

7. Northwestern Middle School.

8. Milton High School.

9. Bethany Bend High School (2012).

Currently, that is one less than the City of Alpharetta who holds a population of 49,903 as of 2008 and a square mileage of 21.4 according to wikipedia.org. Milton? A mere 15,156 heads and a square mileage of 39; almost twice that of the former yet less than half of their population...and in a few years we will carry the same amount of schools?

When Bethany Bend High School opens, there will be a major attendance shift with the majority of Milton kids going there while Milton High School will cater to the Roswell crowd.

Oh, and to my neighbors off of Cogburn, sell now or buy some ear protection and plastic bags. The noise will be horrendous and roadside trash will increase three fold.

I have heard the argument numerous times; Fulton doesn't consider school placement by city, it is by the county as a whole. This, in itself, is problematic.

Consider the City of Milton's Vision Statement for example, "Milton is a distinctive community embracing small-town life and heritage while preserving and enhancing our rural character." Right. Phrases such as "small town life" and "rural character" normally give one a feeling of little traffic, quiet, small population and the like. With the infamous FBOE at the wheel, more people will come into the city to attend public schools and not pay a dime for the city funded streets. Oh, you thought the wonderful clan at the FBOE shared in the cost of road improvements? Nope. Dangerous traffic and obnoxious noise will help to push out those whose properties give Milton it's unique feel. They, of course, will sell for the highest and best use just like you would. So forget the mission statement; under the current approach, it is not realistic.

In 2003, the FBOE actually helped kill some of our "rural character" when they kicked out seven families at the corner of Freemanville Road and Birmingham Highway for the "needed" new Milton High. Those families were in tears as board member Katie Reeves slept easy. The old Milton High wasn't fit for students in '03, but today it is ok for the inner city kids...even though no improvements have been made...

Then there are the countless hours given by not only our elected city officials, but also by unpaid city volunteers, from CPAC to the Design and Review Board along with other city apointed committees. All working diligently to insure what we should put where in our humble town to make it the best it can be. Does the FBOE have to follow our requirements or answer to us in any way? Hell no they don't. Can they place a school anywhere they want? Why, Hell yes they can.

I know what you are thinking, "The school board brings alot of money to our city!" Think again, they don't bring a single dime to any city in which they are located. With Milton, however, this is even more deterimental due to our having such little retail to cover the city's expenses. Did I mention that the FBOE is the largest land owner in Milton? Troubling, to say the least.

Mark my words; in less than ten years, you will see another high school built in Milton. This time it will be in the Birmingham Crossroads area.

As I close with this piece of brain fodder, I leave you with a few points. First, I appreciate the education I received from the FBOE thanks to taxpayers like you. I appreciate the teachers who helped make me who I am today - I wish you were paid more but the FBOE spends money like every day is Christmas and harbors zero accountability. I hold no ill will towards the future of America; these kids go where the system points them. However, in a free society, we all have to answer to someone, including the FBOE. The clock is ticking...

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

FBOE...perfect example of the tail wagging the dog.

Anonymous said...

So you want local control? Okay Tim, push for a local system funded by the city of Milton. That would give you a Milton City school board. Many towns and cities in this state have done so. But with no real economic base how would a system be supported? Milton can't keep its roads repaired, much less support a local city school system. And it you think that is a problem, wait until we have to deal with three other cities (one which stretches inside 285)if this Milton County deal is pulled on us. Milton County, that's where we need to keep our eye on the ball.

Anonymous said...

Tim, good story. For whatever it's worth, I'm starting to see some nice writing and new ideas and video on AM and very pleased. It's a nice diversion from our recent election "comments" and creates food for thought in a more meaningful way. As you always say Keep Safe - and keep up the good work. --Patti

Zack said...

Don't forget that a lot of us with school age children moved to Milton because of the schools.

Anonymous said...

The fundamental problem is that under Georgia law, boards of education aren't subject to local land use ordinances like other property owners. In other states, they are. This would require a change in state statute which might not be politically possible but that is the fundamental problem.

Anonymous said...

Tim: Would it not also be true that FBOE would be the largest employer with all those schools in Milton? Retail/commercial is not the only way to get the economy going.

Janet said...

FBOE has reportedly gotten the message that no one likes the "ski lodge" look of the first plan for the new high school. The next plan should have a more traditional look.

I was pleased to learn that there is a strong group of HMS and CWE parents keeping the pressure on to make sure the new school measures up to Milton's high standards.

Tim Enloe said...

Blogger:

Yes, it would be true that FBOE would be the largest employer with all those schools in Milton. However, where do these employees live? As you know, Milton is not cheap. Where do they spend their money? Due to our low amount of retail, they are more likely to go to other cities.So the point has no bearing if the city recieves little or no financial benefit off of them.

You folks are missing the point here. I am not against public schools. What I am saying is we continue to have school after school built here for populations outside of our borders. They are the largest land owner in the city and we get zero returns as far as tax revenue. They pay nothing for road maintenance and improvements once their buildings have arrived.
They pay not taxes towards our fire and police departments.

Does it not puzzle you that Alpharetta, who has more than double our population, has almost the same amount of schools?

This is an issue folks. The more they build these behemoths on our old country roads, the sooner those that provide what little remains of the "rural character" will move out and sell to the highest bidder.

Property values are higher in Milton due to the RC fact. You lose that, you lose your advantage.

Keep safe,

Tim Enloe
Accessmilton.com
770 653 0552

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The good news is Milton revenues will go up because no one will be able to leave Milton and shop [or work] elsewhere.

Everytime they build a school, it's placed on a major artery already congesed with passers thru from Cherokee and Forsyth Counties.

At cetain times of day, there ain't no way outa here.

Anonymous said...

Janet - do you have any contact info for the parent group that is working to ensure the standards at the new high school - I think alot more would like to be involved but were not aware efforts are already underway. Thanks!

Janet said...

Most of the parents involved are PTA officers from HMS and CWE whose contact info can be found at

http://www.hopewellmustangs.net/pta/index.htm

http://www.cwepta.com/resources.cfm

I believe Katie Reeves reached out to the PTA reps she knows through her community meetings.

Anonymous said...

Did Tim say that property values were high because of RC Cola?

This is Coca-Cola country!

I hope someone from Milton High School reads this.

They need to tear up that contract that their yankee principal signed with Pepsi!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that FBOE is building all of these schools in an attempt to make establishing Milton County all the more difficult?

Anonymous said...

If we were a real "rural" community, everyone reading this blog would know what RC Cola is and have had one before. I doubt that is the case.

Anonymous said...

I had plenty of those RC colas up North.

Anonymous said...

Up north where they have municipal school systems and staggering local tax bills that push seniors out of their homes?

Anonymous said...

I don't think that's what pushes seniors out of there, poster 17. It's more like the crappy weather and arthritis. Otherwise the birds wouldn't fly back.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Milton HS student and we've tried so hard to get Coke back.. No one likes Pepsi at our school, so many once Tesch leaves we'll get Coke back

Anonymous said...

Very good point Tim.

The current new Milton HS will be mainly Alpharetta and Roswell kids once the new new Milton HS opens on Bethany Bend.

While schools serve the county not the city it is very bad for us that the boe is placing all these schools here when the existing Milton would likely be large enough to serve only Milton kids for a long time.

If we were our own county there would be county money for roads and other public services but Milton can't afford to do anything right now given the lack of revenue from commercial...mainly because Alpharetta and Roswell snaked up any good parcel it could from us before incorpration. That cost as a ton.

We won't see much or any county money until we become our own county.


below is a comment from the other HS blog above....it points out the lack of planning on the BOE's part on the properties they bought and the lack of any function in our public works department.

the bad news is that construction is scheduled to begin in May 2010 on the new HS. Can this runaway train be stopped?

***

So instead of building two schools on the old property - a HS needed now and a MS they don't need for the forseeable future - they choose to build the HS which needs the most land on the new smaller site.

Why not build the HS on the 100+ acre site and find a much cheaper alternative for the MS in the future. Nooooo...that makes too much sense - they simply went and spent 20 Million on a much smaller site that will be too small for the HS While the 17 Million much larger site sits empty on freemanville reserved for a MS that will be much smaller. Sounds logical to me.

The Cogburn site was to be a great tax generator for the city and instead it will cost us a small fortune to improve around it for the school.


Yes City Council is too blame but it certainly appears the BOE did little to no planning prior to buying 37 Million in property and neither site fits their/our needs properly.

I have an idea. Lets swap the 200 acre Birmingham Park Site for the two school sites and build both schools up there. Then the City can build the park on one of the two sites and sell the other for something that generates income.

Yeah the wealthy horse owners will complain but their political voice was just cut down to size some last week.

***

ps - I prefer Cheerwine!

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that hundreds of Milton residents on the east side of Highway 9 currently attend Alpharetta HS in Alpharetta.

Also remember that until the new Milton HS was built in Milton, all of the long-time residents who attended old Milton HS (like Tim?) went to school in Alpharetta on roads maintained by Alpharetta tax payers.

Finally, all of our new, state-of-the-art high schools are financed by SPLOST (sales tax) dollars. Alpharetta's retail components generate far more of these funds than Milton's, and Alpharetta residents certainly pay more of a price in terms of traffic.

It is the great schools that keep real estate values high in North Fulton. (If you think it's rural character, check the real estate values in Dahlonega and areas further north.)

Milton residents should make the best of what we have relative to Alpharetta and Johns Creek and stop whining about all of the great new schools within our borders.

Anonymous said...

5:33 am.

It would be prudent to do some real economic fact finding before we jump on the bandwagon for a Milton County. At present the proposal only adds more territory and issues to the mix; territory that stretches inside of 285 to Atlanta city limits has little in common with the needs north of the river. Bringing in that area (Sandy Springs)will do little to help our area. Milton County north of the river, yes! But we all know that the votes for that idea are not there.

Anonymous said...

so what areas are proposed for milton county

I thought it was sandy springs, roswell, milton, alpharetta and JC.

Are you saying sandy springs would be bad for us in milton? I don't have any idea and I did not know there were issues in ss that we want to avoid.

Anonymous said...

plus I know ss has a ton of revenue that would certainly help us up here in hc.