By Kyle Lovern
CINDERELLA HOLLOW – Three new board of education (BOE) members were sworn in on Monday night at the regular meeting for the Mingo County School system.
June Glover, Jackie Branch and Mark Colegrove, who were elected back in the May Primary election, took the oath administered by Director of Human Resources Dr. Richard Duncan.
Both Glover and Branch had previously served on the board of education, however this is the first time for Colegrove. The three will serve 4-year terms which started July 1st.
Bill Duty and David Farley remain on the board having been elected two years ago. Duty is a longtime BOE member, while Farley was elected in 2012.
Once the new members were sworn in, it was time to elect the new officers for the local BOE.
Duty nominated Branch for president, but she respectfully declined the nomination. Then Colegrove nominated Farley and the nominations were closed and he was elected to serve as the new president for the BOE.
“I appreciate the support of the other board members and hopefully we can work to get our board back under local control,” Farley said of his role as new president of the BOE. “That’s my major goal – besides safety and education of our students – but, in order for us to do that, we need local control.”
Glover then nominated Branch as vice president and the nominations were then closed.
Colegrove was elected to serve as the RESA II representative for Mingo County.
This was also the first meeting for Dr. Robert Bobbera, who was recently chosen by the state to become the new Superintendent of Mingo County Schools. Bobbera, who had served as the assistant superintendent, replaced Randy Keathley, who retired in June.
The new BOE members also decided to change the day for the regular monthly meeting time to the second Tuesday of the month. The starting time for the meeting will remain at 6 p.m. The meeting had been held on the first Tuesday of the month.
This change came after a request by Duty. He had said that financial reports were not available in the first week of the month and he felt changing the meeting to the second week would be more efficient.
There was also a long discussion on whether to approve the minutes of the June meeting. Duty felt that since the three new members were not on the board at that time, they may not be able to vote to approve them. That only left Duty and Farley. However, Dr. Bobbera had contacted a state BOE representative, Dr. Howard Cull, about the matter.
In an e-mail Cull stated, “A county board of education is a continuing legal corporation. Thus, minutes from a previous meeting – in this case from a fiscal or school year having been concluded – actually constitute ‘continuing’ expressions of the public entity, meaning the county board as constituted on or after July 1, 2014 – or upon county board reorganization which occurs July 7 – can consider and approve the minutes. One of the two ‘returning’ members may wish to make the motion to approve the minutes. The other ‘returning’ member could second the motion. Barring any unforeseen such as abstentions, the board then could consider the motion.”
Cull further stated that “Theoretically the three newly-elected members could abstain, deciding not to vote on the matter.”
Mingo County Prosecutor Teresa Maynard, who attended the meeting as the board’s legal representative, agreed that the minutes could be approved.
Maynard said that with the two holdover members that were at the last meeting both voted on the minutes, that she felt that would be a majority. However, if the three new members abstained and the two members disagreed, then that could pose a problem.
Farley made a motion to approve the minutes in “form” only, but there was not a second. The matter was tabled until the next meeting.
Also on the agenda was the matter of personnel decisions. This was also approved, however first Duty asked Dr. Duncan if the county would meet the formula for professional personnel. Duncan said he was sure that would be the case, but that the new enrollment figures have to be in place before that can be accurate. He felt the county would be fine on the hiring formula set by the state.
Duncan said it looks as though the enrollment figures should stay about the same for the 2014-15 school term.
Glover stated that there is usually an influx of students after school starts.
The board also adopted the revised edition of the Robert’s Rules of Order (RRO) as the parliamentary authority for the BOE meetings. Duty stated that he thought this had already been done in the past.
The new members had recently attended a training session in Morgantown and stated that this was something that was suggested.
Duty agreed to adopt the Robert’s Rules, if the other members agreed that this was already previously approved, that this vote would be just to “reaffirm” the RRO.
After some further discussion, the members voted to adopt this official way of conducting their meetings.
The final item on the agenda was the monthly financial report. Once again, Duty said he felt that this item could not be discussed since financial representative Beth Daniels was not at the meeting. Dr. Bobbera informed the BOE that Daniels was at a conference. So the matter was also tabled until the next regular meeting.
The next regular meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, August 12, 2014. This would be the second Tuesday of the month.
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 33 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)