Superintendent, Mayor to meet about property

Published 5:39 pm Friday, November 18, 2011

The Butler County Board of Education’s plans for the old Georgiana High School property have been put on hold until Superintendent Darren Douthitt is able to have a discussion with Georgiana Mayor Mike Middleton.

After some confusion on the board’s part of what specifically will be sold and if there has been some interest in purchasing the propery by the City of Georgiana, Douthitt clarified what exactly is for sale and why there is a need to meet with officials from Georgiana.

All of the property with the exception of the football field is for sale.

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“What I asked Mr. Lisenby to share was his wisdom on some confusion about whether the property was rightfully property that we should transfer to Georgiana, and I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes,” Douthitt said. “I respect Mayor Middleton and every mayor in this county. I was concerned that we were pursuing a matter that would drive a wedge between our school system and Georgiana.”

The BOE holds the deed to the old Georgiana High School and R.L. Austin Elementary School campuses.

Douthitt asked the board to authorize him to enter into a conversation with Middleton about the property.

“I have heard some information, and I initiated the conversation with the mayor and I suggested to him that I would be coming to his office to talk about several matters,” Douthitt said. “Recently, I got a letter from the mayor in regards to the upkeep of that property, which put this back on the front burner for me. I just want to do the right thing for Georgiana.”

According to Allin Whittle, assistant superintendent of operations, someone will be coming to appraise the property in the next few days.

Douthitt hopes that the conversation between him and Middleton will bring an understanding of the property and he will then bring it back to the board.

“I’ll bring that discussion back to the board members where then we can try to figure out how we can work together on this matter in a way that serves us all,” Douthitt explained.

Along with deciding what the next move is for the Georgiana property, the board elected Joe Lisenby president of the board and Mickey Jones was elected to vice president.

“I would like to thank the members of the board for allowing me this honor and privilege,” Lisenby said. “I would also like to thank Mrs. Hamilton for her year of labor and service. I’m quite certain it hasn’t been a fun year in a lot of ways. We haven’t had a fun year for a while in this school system because of proration and all that that brings. The problem I’m not sure it’s going to be a fun year this year because of the same reason, but we are elected to take responsibly for the management and the direction of schools in Butler County.”

Jones also thanked the board and hopes to learn a few things by being vice president.

“Just so the audience would know, I was asked to be the president this year, but I declined so I could learn the ropes a little more,” Jones said. Mrs. Hamilton I appreciate you and everybody for teaching me the ropes and ins and outs of what I’ve been looking forward. I’ve learned a lot in the past year and I try to spread that to some of the others. There’s a lot to the school system that I had no idea how and why it operated the way it does.”

In other business:

* The board received clarification from the building commission that the permission has been granted for the lighting and soon we should get a notice that we can go ahead and start working in McKenzie on lighting the football field.

*Update on the board meeting area and the central office. That is to have an inspection on Nov. 28.

*The board featured Focus on Excellence for People of the Month at Greenville Middle School. Debbie Poff – Teacher of the Month, Edna Kelly – Pat on the Back, Deandre Jones – 5-6th grade student of the month and Shantana McQueen – 7-8th grade student of the month.

*Approval of the minutes and payroll of the October work session and regular meeting

*Acknowledgment of receiving the report of fund raising drives/request for use of school buses.

*Approval o the financial report of the September financial statement and reconciled bank statement

*Approval to file for e-rate discounts. E-rate discounts is a federal program that is applied for certain eligible services. The discount rate is based on the free/reduced lunch numbers. Based on calculations, there will be an 89 percent discount so for the services that are eligible will only be responsible for 11 percent of the services.

*Approval to advertise for bids for Web Hosting Services and VOIP Telephone Service

*Approval of the personnel report. New employees hired and those that had been promoted with the Butler County school system at the meeting included Tiffany Coen, a teacher at W.O. Parmer Elementary, Louis Maye, CNP worker at W.O. Parmer Elementary and Annie McClain who has been promoted to cafeteria manager at W.O. Parmer Elementary.