Commissioners to meet with school board on resolving differences

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A letter from Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education Chairman Dr. Richard Miller addressed to Rowan County commissioners was well received Monday.

The letter calls for a meeting, and commissioners indicated they are willing to sit down with the school board next week.

“The (Rowan-Salisbury) Board of Education had requested our mediator, Judge (Willis) Whichard, to declare an impasse. He declined to do so – (instead) requesting that we have another meeting to see if we can resolve our differences,” said Jim Sides, chairman of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.

Sides said he is in favor of having the meeting, but he wants it to be an open meeting versus a closed meeting.

Miller sent a letter to commissioners Monday requesting the two boards come together in a special meeting in order to see if the disagreements between the two groups could be mitigated through discussion.

Miller’s letter called for a meeting slated for 2 p.m. Monday.

“I don’t know that we have anything additional to add, but I’m certainly willing to give (the school board) that opportunity,” Sides said.

When discussing setting the meeting, Sides said he “honestly thinks the results are going to be pretty much the same as what they have been in the past.”

The board debated the time schedule for the meeting following Commissioner Jon Barber’s comment he could not be available Monday and would rather ask the school board to reconsider the meeting date.

Rowan County Commissioner Craig Pierce said he is in favor of a possible rescheduling so all commissioners can be present.

“As much time as we have spent on this issue, I would prefer to have all five commissioners available to have a final vote if it comes down to it,” Pierce said.

Commissioner Chad Mitchell made a motion to accept the school board’s request to meet and consider an additional day, Tuesday, for the school board to be considered.

Commissioners agreed to meet with the school board, and the date either will be Monday, Tuesday or Thursday.