By BEN DUDLEYThe Wilson Post
Wilson County residents will vote on Thursday, Oct. 1 on whether they want a $25 Wheel Tax increase that will help build a new Lebanon High School.
In preparation for the vote, several concerned citizens have started a political action committee, or PAC, to help voters make an informed decision.
The PAC, called One County One Future and led by a group of individuals, has a website with plenty of frequently asked questions and answers, as well as a history of the Wheel Tax in Wilson County and dates of two town hall meetings planned to discuss the issue.
“We started the website as an avenue for people to get information about our cause,” said Larry Hubbard, a citizen and parent who has long been involved in the effort to construct a new LHS. “We started the PAC to allow people to donate money for advertisement. We gave away balloons and bumper stickers at the fair and that bill was paid through donations.”
On Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m., there will be a roundtable discussion of the $25 Wheel Tax Referendum hosted by the Republican Women of West Wilson County at the Mt. Juliet Library.
Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead will be hosting a forum to discuss the wheel tax referendum at Lebanon City hall on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 6:30 p.m.
“I will help Mayor Craighead at his meeting,” Hubbard said. “Mr. Craighead is very supportive. This is something we need for our children.”
Following are some of the FAQ’s and the answers given by the One County One Future website:
If we didn't need a tax increase to build MJHS, why do we need a tax increase to build LHS? MJHS (Mt. Juliet High School) was built using growth dollars funded by the impact fees that are paid when building permits are issued.
Why does the proposed Lebanon High School have to be so much larger than the Mt. Juliet High School? Lebanon High School is also home to the Wilson County Career Technical Center, or Vocational School. Students from the other three schools take specialty classes at Lebanon that are not available at their own school.
If the referendum does not pass, what next? Several things could happen. The County Commission could pass a tax increase to provide funding on their own, but that is highly unlikely. A more likely scenario is that a new LHS building will be years down the road when funding becomes available, and other building projects will be put off as well until the LHS project is completed. This could cause a ripple effect in that we may have more portable classrooms show up on school campuses across the county instead of brick and mortar additions. As of now, 46 classes are held in portables throughout the Wilson County Schools and that number could increase significantly.
“This is just a grassroots effort to share information,” Hubbard said. “We’re not trying to start a political party or anything. We are citizens who are concerned that their children should get what others in the county have. We want to put education at the forefront of Wilson County.”
The website is www.onecountyonefuture.com. If you would like to donate, make checks payable to: "One County One Future" c/o Java Joe’s, 1029 W. Main Street, Suite K, Lebanon, TN 37087.