St Johns Commissioner Bill McClure addressed the members of the St Johns County School Board and fellow county commissioners with a plan to ensure that school funding is a top priority during a joint special meeting on Wednesday, April 24.
Historic City News has observed that one of the largest challenges locally for our school district, is one over which commissioners and board members have little control — continued population growth in St Johns County.
School Board member Patrick Canan remarked to the panel, “This discussion is fine, but can we do something actionable?”
That is when Vice Chairman McClure presented an overlay of the county zoning with the capacity schools identified, and asked for the following:
• Creation of a “commercial enterprise zone” in areas where schools are at, or above, capacity.
• Coordination and inclusion of the school board on all PUD projects.
• A shift in school impact fees at the issuance of the building permit.
• Some contribution to the schools for each PUD approved prior to November 2008.
“All of these are actionable items which will help out schools, without raising taxes or impact fees,” McClure told Historic City News local reporters. “I made a promise during my campaign to ensure schools, safety, and infrastructure, were items of top priority for funding.”
During the discussion other participants seemed to blame the shortfall in school funding on the state legislature; however, former Commission Chair Cyndi Stevenson, and freshman Commissioner Rachael Bennett, expressed support for McClure ideas and indicated that they wanted to see the items move forward.
“Now it’s in the hands of County Administrator Michael Wanchick to implement,” McClure said.