New leaders have been sworn in and are ready to office in Tuscaloosa.
In a joint inauguration ceremony the Tuscaloosa City School Board and Tuscaloosa City Council took the oath of office and outlined their plans for the future.
Tuscaloosa School Board Chair and former City Council member Lee Garrison detailed an extensive plan he's calling "TCS 2018."
In a ceremony filled with pomp and circumstance 16 officials recited this oath: I do solemnly swear that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Alabama. So long as I continue a citizen thereof. And I will faithfully and honestly discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, to the best of my abilities so help me God.
In what Lee Garrison is calling a bold vision more than $175 million worth of projects were detailed. Including repairing or rebuilding elementary and middle schools, addressing overcrowding issues, buying new school buses, and capital improvements like new playgrounds at elementary schools.
Garrison added, "When I visited every single principal at every single school and laid my eyes on what was going on in every single school. I have a legal pad this thick of things that I came away with."
The new chair said the funding for the vision can come in the form of a property tax renewal in November of 2015.
But Garrison also challenged the community to vote to also renew the county wide one cent sales and make the tax permanent.
Superintendent Dr. Paul McKendrick said some of the ideas that new board Chairman Lee Garrison presented here today are in line with his vision for the school system. "If you look at most of the things that are there, they are very much in line with what we've all talked about over a period of time," McKendrick added.
As for the funding options Garrison presented, superintendent McKendrick agrees those are some of the best options to support the ideas for the future of the school system.
City officials that were inaugurated were Walter Maddox, mayor; Burrell G. Odom, district one; Harrison Taylor, district two; Cynthia Almond, district three; Matt Calderone, district four; Kip Tyner, district five; Eddie Pugh, district six; and Sonya McKinstry, district seven.
Board of Education members include Lee Garrison, board chair; James Minyard, district one; Earnestine Tucker, district two; Norman A. Crow, district three; Cason Kirby, district four; Harry C. Lee, district five; Marvin Lucas, district six and Erksine Simmons, district seven.
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