School board debate gets heated - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School board debate gets heated

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David Maschke David Maschke
Richard Anson Richard Anson
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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

October 28, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - In the battle for a Dougherty County school board seat, candidates faced off Tuesday.

David Maschke and Richard Anson are both vying for the District one seat. The two went back and forth on issues like the budget, and just which candidate was responsible for policy changes.

The biggest issue up for debate in front of Dougherty County Rotarians seemed to be the truth. "Let's get the facts straight," yelled Anson. "Let's get 'em straight," replied Maschke, "because you're incorrect."

District 1 School Board candidates David Maschke and Richard Anson had some heated exchange involving Maschke getting reimbursed by the school system for work he wasn't asked to do, and Anson taking trips Maschke didn't believe were warranted.

Maschke said, "I bring information and ideas that are based in fact and supported by data. My opponent makes lots of allegations and offers little or no support documentation and just expects everybody to believe what he says even though it's not true."

Other issues included Anson's wife's employment with the school system being brought into the campaign. He said, "I think it's completely inappropriate to bring my wife into this campaign, to introduce her as an issue. My wife worked for the school system two years before I ever decided to run for the school board."

Maschke defended sending his daughter to private school, saying all taxpayers have a stake in the school system and he has a right to serve on that board. He criticized Anson for not bringing more proposals to the table. Both men support a tax break for seniors.

Anson said, "People that are 65 years of age or older would get twice the home stead exemption from the current $10,000 for up to $20,000 if they satisfy the criteria for in need."

Maschke said, "I have no problem with senior tax relief. I think along with any proposal to cut taxes, you should also have the corresponding proposal and ideas on how to cut the budget, in order to offset the revenue loss. It's very simple business."

When asked what their greatest concerns for the school board were, Anson said he had a problem with partisan elections. Maschke said he is concerned with outdated equipment in the schools.

Anson has served on the board of education for 12 years. He is stepping down from his current at-large seat on the board to run against Maschke for the District 1 seat.

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