Board to vote on moving meeting nights in January
by Staff Writer
LINCOLNTON – The Lincoln County Board of Education has announced plans to meet on Tuesdays to give residents more opportunity to attend meetings.
Member Ed Hatley asked the board to consider the move because some county residents attend Wednesday night church services, forcing them to choose between regular board meetings and church. Moving meeting nights, he said, would help increase transparency between the public and the board.
“Wednesday night has always been a conflict for people,” he said.
An official request to move meetings to the second Tuesday of each month will go before the board for an official vote next month. But because current policy allows the board to move meetings to different days of the week on a case-by-case basis, the first meeting of 2013 will take place on Jan. 8 – a Tuesday.
Regular meetings will continue to begin at 6:30 p.m., but the board might vote in January to hold meetings in different locations around the county, Hatley said.
The new policy will allow the board to meet “at a regular time each month as determined by the board,” said Dean Shatley, who served as the board’s attorney for the meeting.
“That way, four years from now if you want to change it to Monday or you want to change it to Thursday, whatever, you can do that …,” Shatley said.
Denver resident Martin Oakes said during the open comment session that changing meeting days will allow the public to become more involved in the newly elected board’s decision-making process and increase public trust.
“One of the most important things about having a new board,” he said, “is you can change things that have been in place for far too long. And, the most important issue is transparency.”
Monday night committee meetings currently conflict with regular Lincoln County Board of Commissioners meetings, board member Bob Silver said.
“I think that if it’s going to help the public sit in and get involved and take ownership of the school system” then it’s worth pursuing, Silver said.
• Lincoln County Clerk of Court Fred Hatley swore in newly elected members Mark Mullen (at-large), Cathy Davis (District 1), Tony Jenkins (District 4) and Hatley (District 3). Mullen, Davis and Jenkins are new to the board, while former chairperson Hatley is serving is second consecutive term. New members signed a Code of Ethics at the beginning of the meeting.
• The board unanimously elected Candy Burgin as chairperson and Mullen as vice-chairperson.
• The board unanimously voted to put Asheville-based law firm Campbell Shatley PLLC on temporary retainer until members can find a school board attorney to replace David Black. Black recently resigned his position after 11 years.
• Executive Director of Facilities Darrell Gettys reported that work will begin on seven damaged condenser units at North Lincoln Middle School. Johnson Controls Inc. provided the district with the lowest bid of $117,278. The units were damaged during a 2011 summer hailstorm.