The Lilburn Business Association is urging Gwinnett County voters to learn all they can about the Nov. 8 referendum to extend the penny sales tax for county schools.
The LBA can’t endorse the extension – the group is barred by its tax exempt status from taking a political position. But the LBA did decide to provide on its website, www.lilburnbusiness.org, a prominent link to a website with lots of information gathered by the non-profit group working for the referendum – www.gwinnettkidscount.com
LBA President Andrew Bell said the LBA determined that part of its civic duty is to help get the word out about the upcoming vote on school funding. He characterized the Nov. 8 referendum as a sleeper issue.
“A lot of people are unaware this is on the ballot,” said Bell, whose day job is as financial center leader at BB&T. “It’s not that we endorse it, but it’s unfair to a lot of people in the community who haven’t even heard about. Helping them learn is our cause.”
Bell gave credit to Lilburn parent Mike Levengood for focusing the LBA’s attention on the Nov. 8 vote to extend the sales tax. Levengood is an at-large member of the LBA Board of Directors and the father of three children who graduated from Parkview High School.
Levengood also is co-chair of the Gwinnett Kids Count campaign. Levengood said he’s involved because he wants to give back to a school system that provided such a good education for his children.
“Our three children have now graduated from Parkview High School, where they each received a world-class education,” Levengood said. “They participated in regional and state championship athletic and academic programs and as a result of their experiences they are now succeeding in college and career,” he said.
“We moved to Gwinnett County 24 years ago in order to raise our family in a community whose residents value public education and quality of life,” Levengood said. “We are glad that we did. We are very fortunate that Gwinnett County Public Schools has continued to focus on teaching and learning for all of its students and we wanted to help by volunteering as parents in our children’s schools.
“Now that they have graduated, we want to do our part to ensure that current students and future generations of teachers and students will have the same opportunities that our children had for a world-class education,” Levengood said.
“The Education SPLOST enhances the ability of our teachers and students to focus on their primary mission, teaching and learning,” Levengood concluded. “That is why we will vote yes on Nov. 8, and why we encourage each of you to do likewise.”
Bell, the LBA president, said voters can visit the LBA website, at www.lilburnbusiness.org, and click on the link to www.gwinnettkidscount.com to learn about the construction programs and technology improvements that will be provided to students, parents and educators if the school sales tax is extended.
“We’re going to give you the know-how and who, what, where and when,” Bell said. “It’s designed to lead a horse to water.”