Board OKs extra funds for football project

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By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor

Cannon County Board of Education members unanimously voted to approve additional funding to complete the restroom project at the CCHS football field during its regular monthly at Woodbury Grammar School Thursday (July 10).

The only snag is CCHS Principal Mike Jones will have to wait until after the 2014-15 budget is approved by the Cannon County Commission to get the additional $4,568. Board members had originally approved $8,000 for the project in June.

During new business, Chairman Randy Gannon asked CCHS Principal Mike Jones for an update on the project that has generated much discussion in recent weeks. Jones informed Board members there has been progress but said he would be about $4,568 short of what was needed for completion.

“So if someone were to make a motion to approve $4,568 more that should be it?” Gannon asked.

“I would be ecstatic,” Jones said.

“But that would be it?” Board member Nathan Sanders followed.

“I will not ask you for another penny (for this project),” Jones said.

Board member Bruce Daniel made the motion to approve and Gannon seconded. Gannon said it was unfair to ask elderly and handicapped people attending football games to walk from the field area to the CCHS gym to use a handicap accessible restroom.

Prior to the vote there was discussion as to when the funds would become available. Discussion stemmed from the fact this is a new item that was not budgeted so it would have to come out of next year’s fiscal budget even if the funding was available in the current budget.

Director of Schools Barbara Parker informed Board members that Douglas Jennings had been in touch with the auditor.

“These funds are contingent upon the County Commission approving the budget,” Jennings said.

Parker explained the current budget closed June 30.

“Until the County Commission approves our new budget we are operating in a continuing budget and this is not a regular maintenance item,” Parker said. “You can’t spend the money until the County Commission approves the 2014-15 budget. You can not commit new money until the budget approved.”

The additional funding would become available after July 29 if the final budget is approved.

After more discussion Daniel changed his motion to include the funding would come from next year’s budget. Gannon again seconded. Roy Parker and Sanders voted in favor.

The project will add permanent handicap accessible restrooms to the concession area. Port-a-johns had been used the previous two years after the existing restrooms had sustained damage.

Andy Duggin approached the Board regarding the mishandling of monies from a school fundraiser.

Duggin said money had been stolen from the football fieldhouse more than one week after the fundraiser took place. He questioned how much money was stolen and why it was left in the fieldhouse for such a lengthy period without being deposited into the school’s general fund.

“On (May 3) the young men in our football program competed in a weightlifting event and money was raised through private contributions,” Duggin said. “No report was made on the amount of money collected and no deposit was made into the general fund. On May 14, a police report was filed stating money had been stolen from a desk in the fieldhouse. No amount was on the report because the money included cash and checks that had not been counted.”
Jones said he has been working with SRO Travis Turney and the case is ongoing. He reported “somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,000,” had been stolen from a desk in Head Coach T.J. Daniel’s office.

“We have receipts for all of the money,” Jones said. “We know how much money was in there. What we didn’t know was how much was checks and how much was cash. (Daniel) had receipts for all of the money.”

Jones said Daniel had gone to make the deposit May 11 but bookkeeper Joyce Taylor had already left for the day.

Director Parker explained that policy had been followed.

“As far as the time limit (money) should have been turned in immediately and then the bookkeeper is the one who has the timeframe to get it to the bank and deposited,” Parker said. “There are a lot of fundraisers, such as senior magazine sales, where students sell magazines for weeks and they hold those checks for weeks but turn them in at one time. Once it is turned in to the school then the bookkeeper is the one with the time frame of getting to the bank.”

Jones explained that the alleged robbers entered the fieldhouse through a back door and came through the ceiling. Jones said it was “obvious” they knew the layout of the facility. The building was secured, he said. The money was in a desk drawer locked inside Daniel’s office but the desk itself did not lock.

Duggin said he wasn’t inquiring about the robbery.

“Everything you are talking about is after the fact,” Duggin said. “I am not asking how the fieldhouse got broken into. I am not asking how the money got stolen. We all know that. What I am asking is why so many days passed for before any of that money was turned in. This money was left sitting around for 10 days in a desk drawer. I am not saying (Coach Daniel) took the money. I would trust him with my own money, but I feel like putting it in a desk drawer is a very irresponsible way of handling the money.”

Because the case remains open Duggin was told the agenda item could be revisited once the police report was available and more details become available.

The Board unanimously approved Kasey McGee’s request for a zone transfer from Woodland to Woodbury Grammar for her son, who will be attending kindergarten. McGee is a guidance counselor at CCHS and her husband works second shift.

“I have nothing against Woodland or anyone out there,” McGee told Board members. It is just a logistics issue. If we have a faculty meeting or something comes up I have to be at the high school. My husband works second shift. There is no other family to help so that’s the reason for the request.”

The Board voted 4-0 to approve the request since the transfer would not create an overcrowding issue at Woodbury Grammar.

The Board also approved Auburn Principal Melinda Crook’s request for a new copier purchase at the school.

Board members will conduct a policy workshop at Central Office, July 22. The next regular Board Meeting Workshop will be at Central Office Aug. 12 at 6:30 p.m., and the next regular Board Meeting will be at Woodbury Grammar School, Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

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