By DALE GRAHAM
The Cheatham County Board of Education met Monday night. All members were present. Dr. Tim Webb was happy to present some budget amendments to the Board, calling them “good news, these are increases in revenue from what we anticipated”. Tax collections and other line items are turning out better than expected, but the biggie is $148,468 in TVA incentive funds, which the system qualified for as a result of their “energy efficient schools initiative”. “This is new money, because of the work that you’ve done”, Webb said to the Board. “You should be very proud of that”, he added.
Webb also explained updates to the 2012 – 2013 budget. There was an increase of $93,752 dollars in local revenue from taxes, a portion of which ($36,200), will go to increase the board’s portion of classified employees’ insurance from 35% to 50%. Before the updates were approved, Tammie Lavender wanted to speak about a proposed change being made to field maintenance at the schools. Rather than paying coaches’ supplements ($1500 each annually) for maintaining athletic fields county wide, Webb plans to subcontract with maintenance employee Joey Dority. Dority will maintain all of the system’s athletic fields, after his working hours or on weekends for $7500/year. Board Chair Dianne Proffitt told Lavender that the subject had been discussed “thoroughly” at last week’s workshop, and since the expense was less than $10,000 the board would not vote on it, and the decision was Webb’s to make, since the money was already in the budget. Lavender said that she wanted to make sure that it was discussed so that people would know “that this is what’s going to happen”. The updates were approved unanimously.
Pay for substitutes was increased at the meeting, both substitute teacher and driver pay. “Although the board recognizes that it is not enough, we’re trying to move forward on this”, Proffitt explained that substitute teacher pay would go to $55 / day, ($60, for certified teachers) and substitute bus driver pay would go to $50 / day, broken down to $25 / a.m., and $25 p.m.
Also at the Board’s workshop last week, 2 candidates were interviewed to take the position of Director of Schools. Those candidates were current Transportation Supervisor Stan Curtis, and K-12 Supervisor Sharon Kinnard. Monday night the board voted to accept Dr. Stan Curtis as the new Director of Schools. Curtis was to meet with the board attorney to come up with a contract, who would then meet with the Board on Thursday to go over the contract, and approve it. Curtis will serve as Director for 1 year and will begin July 1st.
During comments at the end of the meeting, Tim Williamson spoke about a comment made by Greg Horton and quoted in the May 12th S. C. Advocate. “I guess I need to apologize the Dr. Webb, because I didn’t have any idea that myself and another board member but I’m going to speak for myself, was harassing Dr. Webb for the past 15 – 16 months. So if that’s the case I apologize to you Dr. Webb if I’ve been harassing you, and was one of the two board members that pushed you out of the system”.
Greg Horton used the time to celebrate that he will no longer be a board member come August. He thanked his wife for 25 years of marriage, “the last 4 years especially for putting up with me and this ignorance, pony show of a school system, board whatever”. He continued saying that “if most of you knew what went on behind the closed doors, what’s said actually, it would shock most of you”, adding that he thanks both Dr. Curtis and Ms. Kinnard both for even thinking about stepping into Webb’s position. “Dr. Webb’s taken us a long way, and I hope that Dr. Curtis will continue that on and go forth with it,” he added. “It’s been a pleasure to serve the people of this county in this aspect, but it’s been the most horrendous 4 years of my life”, Horton concluded.
Dr. Webb ended the meeting by saying, “There are many wonderful people here”, and that the system will move forward with “Dr. Curtis’ leadership, and this board’s leadership, and I’m very proud to say that 2 years of my life were spent in Cheatham County.” He added, “I love you all, I appreciate you letting me be a part of your life, and I wish you Godspeed, and it’s going to be great.”
The Cheatham County Board of Education meets the first Monday of each month at 7p.m. in the board annex building at 7p.m.