The Mecklenburg County School Board gathered for a special meeting on Monday, January 6 to elect a new chairman along with other positions. Members in attendance were Wanda Bailey, Rob Campbell, Lindell Palmer, Glenn Edwards, Gavin Honeycutt, Dora Garner, new elected member Ricky Allgood, Brent Richey, and newly elected member Gloria Smith.
The first position to be voted on by the Board was Chairman. Mr. Glenn Edwards was the first to speak, nominating Mrs. Dora Garner for the position following a second from Mr. Ricky Allgood. Mrs. Wanda Bailey then nominated Mr. Gavin Honeycutt, who has served as Vice Chairman and has had the opportunity to lead meetings in the absence of the former Chairman and Board Member, Mr. Dale Sturdifen. Mr. Rob Campbell seconded the motion. The Board first cast its votes for Garner with the results being four yes’ and five no’s. Gavin Honeycutt was elected as Chairman of the Board with a five to four majority vote. After moving to the Chairmans seat, Mr. Honeycutt led the proceedings for the duration of the meeting. The nominees were then put forth for the position of Vice Chairman. Mr. Lindell Palmer immediately nominated Dora Garner for the role, seconded by Mr. Glenn Edwards. She won with a unanimous vote and moved to the Vice Chairman position at the table. Also unanimously voted on were Paula Giammatteo and Sharon Shuttleworth, who will be returning as Clerk and Deputy Clerk to the Board. Mr. Campbell and Mr. Palmer put in motion a vote for a Code of Conduct for School Board Clerk that everyone voted yes to. There was motion from Glenn Edwards for Ricky Allgood to become the Parliamentarian, based on his previous experience and the need for the position to be filled. Mrs. Garner seconded the motion. Wanda Bailey expressed her thoughts on the position in general. “As Board Members we all have an obligation to make sure that we are abiding by rules and the governance of this body and, while a Parliamentarian is helpful in providing guidance, I think we all need be diligent to make sure that we are going by the rules that we set forth.” she continued, “I’m not sure that we need a Parliamentarian, though I fully support Mr. Allgood in that position.” Mr. Edwards added, “I would like to see someone in that role so that we don’t do something stupid and can tell us if we need to change our ways or correct us in some of the mistakes that we all make.” Mr. Honeycutt asked Mrs. Bailey, so that everyone was clear, if it was her recommendation that they do not fill the role of Parliamentarian, to which she responded, “My point was just that that’s a lot of responsibility to put on one person and I think it’s necessary that we all hold each other accountable as we conduct business.” The Board voted unanimously for Mr. Allgood to take on the role. Abe Jeffers and Christy Peffer were voted to remain as Superintendents Designees. Mr. Jeffers was also voted Superintendent Designee for meeting attendance, which means he would attend meetings on behalf of Mr. Nichols in his absence. Dora Garner will be the Governor’s School Delegate and Mrs. Smith will serve as the Governor’s School Alternate.
Mr. Honeycutt asked everyone to leave the room so that the Board could hold a closed meeting to discuss personnel. Next on the agenda was the Superintendents Informational items, in which Mr. Nichols discussed some questions about the Board voting to accept the contract with Cleveland Construction for building the new middle/ high school facility. Mr. Nichols was under the impression that the contract was voted on at a previous meeting. There had been a discussion but no official voting on the process. Mr. Nichols requested that the item be voted on by the Board at the meeting. Mr. Edwards pointed out that he thought it was a good move.
In the action portion of the agenda, the Board voted on the personnel discussion that took place in the closed meeting. All members voted yes except for Ricky Allgood, who abstained from voting, and Glenn Edwards who voted yes but with exception. The motion passed with a majority vote. The next and last item to vote on was the construction contract with Cleveland Construction for the new school facility, which passed with a majority vote. Gloria Smith and Ricky Allgood both abstained from voting. Before the meeting adjourned, Mrs. Garner mentioned that the special training session, to be held on January 7 for Board members, be voted on because there would be an expense for the food provided and training of new Board members. There was some confusion about whether the matter had been discussed and voted on in the previous meeting. The motion was eventually put to vote and passed unanimously.
Mr. Honeycutt adjourned the meeting around 7:45 p.m. The next regular School Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 21 at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of the MCPS Office in Boydton