BOS wants school reps at meetings

Published 10:29 am Friday, October 16, 2020

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The Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors (BOS) is requesting a representative from the school board be present at each meeting as in the past, following a unanimous vote by the board during its meeting on Thursday, Oct. 8.

The discussion arose when County Administrator Tracy Gee noted to members that the superintendent’s report was included in the board packet.

Supervisor Robert Zava inquired why there was no school board representative at the meeting.

“I think they should be here. As big of expenditure, this is to the county … I think someone should be here,” he said.

Gee and Board Vice-Chairman Frank Bacon told members a letter had been received from the school board stating no representative from the school would be attending meetings any longer and would provide a report before each meeting.

“The Lunenburg County School Board will be delivering the school board budget to the county administrator before each meeting, beginning Oct. 8,” a letter from the Lunenburg School Board dated Sept. 14 addressed to BOS Chairman Randy Slayton reads. “This is being done because of unsolicited comments or opinions that are not deemed necessary and are not budget items. The aforementioned procedure will fulfill the school board obligation to the monthly budget report. And directed by the school board, Mr. Charles Berkley, superintendent and Mr. James Abernathy, finance director, will not be attending the monthly meetings.”

Supervisor Mike Hankins said the letter just didn’t make sense to him, while Zava and Bacon said they both had questions about the submitted report but that there was no one there to answer them.

“I did call the superintendent today and spoke to him, and he said that it’s the desire of the school board to make a decision,” Gee said. “I spoke to Mr. Carnes today, the chairman of the school board, and he indicated that what he needed to say was in the letter and that if the supervisors had any questions or concerns, he would be happy to discuss it.

“They are the largest portion of the county’s budget, and I feel communication is important,” Gee said.

According to Deputy County Administrator Nicole Clark, the Aug. 13 BOS meeting was the last meeting in which the school’s representatives attended.

“Typically, a representative from the school administration or school board reviews the monthly report at the meeting,” Clark said.

The BOS now plans to send a letter back to the school board requesting that a representative be present at each meeting.