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Sittason seeks reappointment
Hartselle Board of Education candidate cites tax campaign as reason for wanting second term

By Deangelo McDaniel 340-2469

HARTSELLE - The school board, which proposes using the money the tax would generate to construct a high school with an estimated cost of between $25 million and $30 million, plans to kick off its campaign in August.

It's a campaign that has some big hurdles to overcome because Hartselle voters have historically opposed tax increases.

It 1990 and 2004, voters overwhelmingly said no to proposed increases for the school system.

Hartselle residents pay 39.4 mills, which is less than homeowners pay in Decatur, Falkville and Trinity.

If the increase passes, Hartselle residents will pay the highest property taxes in Morgan County, 51.9 mills. Decatur residents will pay the second highest, 45.3 mills.

Hartselle had planned to hold the election in May, but Rep. Ronald Grantland, D-Hartselle, didn't have time to introduce the legislation authorizing the election in the current session.

That's when the City Council opted to move the election to October. LLE — Saying she wants to follow through on plans to lead the tax campaign for a new Hartselle High, Jennifer Sittason is asking city leaders to reappoint her to the Hartselle school board.

Sittason, who has four children in the school system, has a master's degree in counseling from The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The council appointed the 1985 Hartselle graduate in August 2005 to serve the remainder of Ronnie Abercrombie's term.

Abercrombie resigned in June 2005.

Sittason was picked over three other candidates, including Dr. James Joy, who had served previously on the board.

Council President Kenny Thompson said the city is accepting applications for the position through Friday at 4 p.m.

If there are no other applications, the council will reappoint Sittason for a five-year term, Thompson said.

"She's been an asset to the school system," he said.

Thompson and Councilman Samie Wiley said it's highly unlikely that they will pick someone over the incumbent.

Sittason, who is vice chairman of the board, agreed almost six months ago to lead the campaign committee that is trying to persuade voters to pass a 12.5-mill property tax increase.

Last year, Sittason said her plan was to get the committee together and prepare them to educate voters on why a new high school is needed.

She said she plans to ask the committee members to work with church and civic organizations and with school PTOs to make sure an informed voter goes to the poll for the high school vote.

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