Gilbert Schools Board Member Julie Smith: “Statement Regarding My Nov. 12 Vote”

I would like to thank my fellow board members for agreeing on November 12 to table the vote on a letter of no objection in support of the establishment of a subzone of foreign trade zone.  It is unfortunate that the vote was delayed due to a failure on the part of administration to provide all necessary information.  I am greatly disappointed with the handling of this situation.  Our citizens deserve better. 

In the document provided to the board, the statement that concerned me the most was under ‘Property Tax Benefit’ which states, “The reclassification may result in a 75%-80% reduction in real and personal property taxes.”   This statement seemed to contradict the spreadsheet provided by Administration relating to the “projected” tax revenue.  Questions that came to my mind were, “Will this deal that provides a tax benefit to the applicant result in a larger tax burden to all the other GPS taxpayers?  Could this deal be a potential harm to them?” 

Since the delay in the vote, I have had the opportunity to obtain significantly more information and facts necessary to make an informed decision that is in the best interests of Gilbert Public Schools and all GPS taxpayers.  I take my responsibility on the board seriously and am looking forward to casting my vote on Monday, November 18. 

I want to extend my gratitude to the Gilbert Town Council and State Legislators of Legislative District 12 who were of great assistance in helping me obtain information that was lacking.   The collaborative effort among our three levels of government is outstanding.   I am leaning towards supporting this project and believe it can be a great asset to our community.  However, if additional information is forthcoming that causes me concern, I reserve the right to change my vote. 

I would like to thank all who have contacted me and shared their opinions. 


Julie Smith
Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board Member

Gilbert Watch Note:  

How many of you believe that the purpose of duly elected school board members is to approve without question whatever is put before them by the school district’s superintendent?  In this case, the GPS Governing Board was given virtually no information by GPS Administration but was expected to approve the item.  In addition, there was no presentation made by the applicant or anyone else.  There was no work study.   Yet, several representatives from the media have been demanding an explanation from this Conservative Board member.  

Click Here for the link to Agenda Item 7.01, Nov. 12, 2013.

Click Here to see the packet of information provided by Administration to the governing board members.

Please also note that the reason the meeting that was scheduled to take place on 11/13/2013 had to be cancelled was due to the failure of Administration to provide the proper notice.  Therefore, the meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.