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VOL. XV, NO. 11
3/25/97 - 4/7/97

Life Forms
Community Calendar
Letter to the Editor
Harbinger Eludes Capture
Candor-Free America
Talking AIDS to Children
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Promo Pipeline
Events, Etc.
Gary James Interview
Modern Composer
Book Review
Mobile Then & Now
For The Planet
Plunder At The Top
Clark Powell

14th Birthday


School System Received Two Additional Payments in 1996

by Edmund Tsang

Four years to the month after Charles Ratcliff, former business manager for the Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS), told the school commissioners that the system had received only two out of 26 promised payments in lieu of school tax by companies financed by bonds issued by the City of Mobile Industrial Development Board (IDB), only eight remain on the list of those who have not paid. Two additional companies made payments in 1996, bringing the total number of such payments to 10 companies. In 1993, the public school system was in the grip of a financial crisis, and Ratcliff's report prompted one school board member to exclaim: "This makes the headline."

Another eight companies that also promised to make such payments have made the payments, not to the school system but to the Mobile County Commission. In response to a request for an interview, J. Bruce Jones, vice-president of Alabama Power-Mobile Division and president of the City of Mobile IDB, sent a letter to The Harbinger stating, "During 1996, two such issues were resolved...In these two cases, all outstanding 'in lieu' payments have been made."

"As I have indicated to you, the Board intends to continue to provide assistance to the Revenue Commissioner and the Mobile Board of School Commissioners in resolving any outstanding issues relative to the 'in lieu of' arrangement," the letter continues. "We will continue to work toward resolution of additional outstanding issues and it is our hope that the remainder of such issues will be appropriately disposed of in the not too distant future." (...Full Story)

The Harbinger, Mobile, AL