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Question raised about consent agenda at school board meeting; board hires two

By Shavonne Walker
shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Although it was on the consent agenda, school board member Dean Hunter still raised a question about the June budget amendments that he says were handed to members just prior to the Thursday called meeting.

There were eight items on the 2016-2017 budget resolution that were listed under the consent agenda and therefore automatically voted on and approved by the board.

Hunter said he just thought that it would behoove them to ask if there were anything that should be brought to their attention from the resolution.

Interim CFO Pam York said technically the board already voted on it because it was under the consent agenda. The consent agenda can be approved in one action, rather than filing motions on each item separately. The consent agenda in this case grouped the budget amendments and various policies together.

Hunter questioned why they just received the information at the start of the meeting with no discussion.

“I’m not saying it’s out of order, but we’ve already voted,” said Vice Chair Susan Cox.

Hunter said at that point he guessed it didn’t matter what he was told about the budget.

“You had the opportunity to pull it from the consent agenda, but you did not,” Cox said.

Board member Richard Miller asked that they reconsider the budget resolution section to answer questions that any board member might have.

Cox asked Hunter if he had any questions. He said he wasn’t questioning what was given.

Board member Travis Allen asked York if there was anything unique in the resolution, to which she mentioned money taken from the fund balance to cover charter schools and the money appropriated from the county to cover the construction of the new West Rowan Elementary School.

Local funding increased by $190,759.87 that was used to cover the charter schools, she said, because the money appropriated at the beginning of the year was not enough. Year-end adjustments were made within revenue accounts and transfers were also made within the program and individual school budgets.

York said $33,918,857.94 was recorded from Rowan County-approved appropriations to cover the construction of the new middle school and other facility improvements, such as roofing needs.

The capital outlay budget was, however, separated from the consent agenda and there was some discussion about what carry-over projects meant. Allen asked for an example.

Assistant Superintendent Anthony Vann said those are projects like flooring or carpeting that typically have to be done over summer break, which may mean it has to be carried over to the new budget year and finished in August or September. Other such projects would include asbestos removal because it would have to be done when the children were not in the facility.

Cox said because the board doesn’t yet know what to expect from the state legislature or the county. The school system will operate as it did last year the state and county budgets are finalized. The county commissioners approved their budget on June 5. The school system will have another meeting in August.

Once out of closed session, the board hired Justin James as principal of Corriher-Lipe Middle School in Landis. James is currently the assistant principal for Mooresville Middle School and was previously a middle school math and science teacher. James attended the meeting with his family. Former Corriher-Lipe Principal Tonya Brinegar-German is now at East Rowan High.

The board also hired Candace Lindstrom as the new director for exceptional children. She currently serves as a consultant for various North Carolina and South Carolina school districts providing professional development for teachers and administrators. She was also a compliance supervisor II for exceptional children with Guilford County schools.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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