Cannon County Board of Education meeting (May 23) got off to a rough start Friday with the resignation of Chris Blackburn.
Blackburn, who represented the Auburntown area on the school board, was up for re-election in August. His name is expected to remain on the ballot. Meanwhile, Frank Walkup has declared a write-in candidacy for that 2nd District post.
Blackburn, who walked out of the previous school board meeting, was not present for Friday night’s session. Board Chairman Randy Gannon read a brief statement from Blackburn which said “this position is the most thankless ever.”
Gannon said the opening goes to Mark Barker, chairman of the Cannon County Commission. The commission “will decide to fill or not to fill” the school board position.
Walkup was in attendance at the school board meeting to support a motion to rescind the approval of the $8,000 for a restroom project at Cannon County High School’s football field and to push for full funding of the project.
“We want a new motion made, seconded and approved for fully funding this project as Mr. Jones (Principal Mike Jones) proposed it. We only have one high school and we won’t stand for anything less than what our citizens and students deserve,” Walkup said in a statement on his Facebook page.
Neither Walkup or anyone else was allowed to speak at the Board of Education meeting, which was an adjourned continuation of the previous session. The only thing listed on the agenda were three modifications to the board’s budget.
Board member Bruce Daniel did unsuccessfully attempt to rekindle discussion on two issues from the previous board meeting. The first issue was the lighting plan for the football stadium. The second was the addition of a handicap compliant restroom at the football field.
“I am only asking you to reconsider this,” Daniel said.
Daniel asked the board to add 50 candlepower lights and a service contract as alternatives to the plans previously approved by the board.
Director of Schools Barbara Parker said the board would have to resend its previous action in order to consider Daniel’s motion.
“Your motion is to add this as a side item?” asked Chairman Gannon.
“An alternative … we’ve done this before,” Daniel said.
“I want to make a motion to add the 50 candlepower lights and the service agreement as an alternative,” Daniel said.
Gannon seconded Daniel’s motion.
“That’s out of order,” Parker said.
Then both Daniel and Parker pulled our copies of Robert’s Rules of Order.
“You have to rescind the original motion first,” Parker said.
Daniel then asked were school board attorney Chuck Cagle was and if they could consult with him.
Parker said Cagle was out of town on vacation and impossible to contact.
“I will then move to withdraw the original motion,” Daniel said.
Gannon then withdrew his second.
“I’m sticking with helping these kids,” Daniel said. “Get Mr. Cagle here for the next meeting. That’s what we need to do.”
Daniel then attempted to get the board to reconsider action on the bathrooms for the field house. He failed to get a second despite the 20 or so citizens assembled outside the school board meeting with signs in support of the restroom project.
The meeting closed with the board refusing to recognize representatives wishing to ask questions about the restrooms.