Feuerbach sworn in, school board approves millage rollback

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Cartersville City School Superintendent Dr. Marc Feuerbach ended his first official week on the job by being sworn in as the system's new leader. 

His swearing-in was the first order of business at the school board meeting Monday night.

In a short ceremony conducted by Cartersville City Clerk Meredith Ulmer, Feuerbach raised his right hand and swore to support the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions, to observe the ordinances and charter of the city of Cartersville and to "faithfully discharge" the duties of superintendent of the city's school system.

He then presided over his first meeting.

Feuerbach, who was named former Superintendent Dr. Howard Hinesley's successor the same night Hinesley announced his retirement last October, said he had "a great first week."

"I couldn't have asked for anything better," he said. "Everyone was very warm and welcoming. I kind of got settled in, and here we are in week 2. I'm just real excited about the opportunity to serve."

As the former principal of Cartersville High School, Feuerbach, 38, knows his way around the system, but since he's never actually worked at the central office, he spent part of last week "really trying to get situated, getting adjusted."

"Settling into the new office, having some meetings," he said. "Walking around, getting to know people a little bit more because, again, although I've been part of the system, I have not worked at the central office yet. We have a system leadership meeting coming up in a few weeks so I've already been planning for that and was starting to get some of those details finalized last week."

He also spent part of the week visiting the primary and middle school with Director of Operations Ken Paige. 

"I had several meetings with Ken because Ken and I went and walked the facilities, and we'll be going to the elementary school and the high school this week," he said. 

Although Hinesley's last day was June 19, Feuerbach didn't officially take over until July 1. 

"I basically worked out of the high school, trying to close up some high school stuff, but would come over here [to the central office] for a few hours each day and start getting settled in," he said, noting he started "slowly" moving a box or two at a time into his new office before his first day. "So instead of unpacking boxes last week, I was able to hit the ground running."

In the interim, Assistant Superintendent Ken Clouse was on hand at the central office "and is a phenomenal resource," Feuerbach said.

"But if they needed me, they called me," he said. 

Now the superintendent is looking forward to getting a new school year started next month.

"We're busy preparing for it, making sure everyone is ready to rock and roll," he said. "We are actively getting ready for Aug. 8, our first day with the kids, and we're looking forward to it."

As for his first school board meeting, Feuerbach said it "went fine, went well."

"Thankfully, I've had the opportunity to be in the system for four years so I'm used to the flow and the operations of our board meetings, and I thought it went well," he said. "I appreciate everybody's support, and I'm looking forward to many more meetings."

During the meeting, board members voted 6-0, with Floyd Braid absent, to recommend the rollback millage rate of 15.668 to the city of Cartersville for the upcoming year, as long as there is no significant change to the preliminary tax digest of $953,804,406. 

"Our previous millage rate was 16.192," Finance Committee Chairman Tim Chason said. "The recommendation is to roll it back 0.524, which would put us at 15.668 [mills]. One mill now represents about $954,000 for the school system."

And based on research done by Finance Director Richard Dyke, "the last time it was this low was 1998, 20 years ago," Chason added. 

The chairman also reported the school system's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax check for June was $408,224.33.

"That's $108,000 over last month's SPLOST check, and this is the highest check we've ever received since we've been receiving SPLOST," he said. "The monthly average is running nearly $433,000 for 2018. Compared to last year, that's about a 14 percent increase received in sales tax revenue for special purpose sales tax for us."

The board also unanimously approved:

  • Purchasing band instruments from low bidder Washington Music Center in Wheaton, Maryland, at a cost of $6,590.20 for the high school instruments and $1,140 for the middle school instruments and low bidder Music & Arts in Frederick, Maryland, for $9,054 for the rest of the middle school instruments.
  • Sending Feuerbach to the Georgia School Superintendents Association new superintendent orientation at Homewood Suites in Macon Aug. 27-28. 
  • An overnight/out-of-state trip for the middle school band to perform at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, March 21-24, 2019.