Dear Editor:

I attended the Florence City Council Meeting on Thursday, May 9, 2019. I made it known that the Council needed to move in a different direction. Among the many things I stated in my five minutes was that the Council should consider fully supporting the Scholar Dollar Scholarship Program, by giving enough money to fund the program for two years. The Council has spent millions of dollars on streetscapes and roundabouts. That was good but in the past. Our children and education are the future.

The Council should be encouraged to increase the percentage of the 2019 one-cent sales tax increase to the Florence Board of Education to 25% or more. The Board now operates the Kilby School. In a few months it will add the former WC Handy Head Start to form a Pre-K program. These operations cost money. The Board graciously keeps the Burrell-Slater school open as it recognizes the Heritage at the school and community. The stadium lights a Lewis Field need to be replaced.

I support education and I also support teachers. Therefore, I fully support the efforts of our faith-based schools and their importance to the Shoals area and Alabama.

I could strongly support the Lauderdale County Commission and the Florence City Council to find a partnership to present a clear title of ownership of the Collins Medical Building on College Street to UNA at no cost. This will show that we are proud of our Division I University.

Sam Pendleton

Former City Councilman

Florence