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Cathy Dyson writes about King George County. You can email her at cdyson@freelancestar.com.

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About 20 people attend Brooks’ town hall

About 20 people attended Cedell Brooks Jr.’s town-hall meeting tonight, which included two hours’ worth of presentations from county officials.

David Moody, chief of the King George Department of Fire, Rescue Emergency Services reported on 2013 activity, as did Sheriff Steve Dempsey. (Look for future blogs on their information.)

School Board Chairman Mike Rose talked about the school budget and the fact the supervisors gave them less money than members asked for, as they always do.

That prompted questions from various audience members, including several school employees, who said their salaries as starting employees at Walmart would be more than what they’re making after nine years of work for King George schools. Dreda Newman, a paraprofessional, was one of those.

“It’s a shame, we never get an increase but they always want us to do more work,” she said.

The schools asked for asked for $15 million from the county but got $14.1 million instead.

However, the schools estimated a higher average daily membership for the next school year, which means King George will get more state funds. Here’s a copy of Rose’s presentation: BudgetFY15Rose

Brooks pointed out that the supervisors give the schools a lump sum of money, then School Board members decide how to spend it.

“It’s all how it’s presented,” Brooks said, adding “it makes the Board of Supervisors look like a bad guy.”

Brooks said he had stuck his neck out for schools in previous years and didn’t always get the support of the majority of the board.

He encouraged residents to come to Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting and speak at the public hearing about the county’s proposed budget. It includes a six-cent tax increase, although half of that is to compensate for reassessment. The other half, or three cents, is the real tax increase.

Former state delegate Albert Pollard also presented a report on fracking at Brooks’ town-hall meeting, which was held at Shiloh Baptist Church.

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