The next meeting of the Warren County Board of Education will not be held at Irving College Elementary School despite a request from two county commissioners to change the venue.
“I’m disappointed,” said County Commissioner Randy England. “I think the meeting should be held at the school and members of the board should explain to Irving College residents why the land won’t be purchased and why Irving College seems to be taking a backseat when it comes to projects.”
England made two requests of the School Board: 1) The April meeting to be held at Irving College School, and 2) Allow England and Commissioner Scott Rubley to address School Board members during the meeting.
“We wanted to address the board about the building project and show the plans for the new construction of the school,” said England. “We also wanted to talk to the board about reconsidering the purchase of the 10 acres for the school.”
England received a denial letter from Warren County School Board chairperson Linda Blair citing two reasons why the venue will not be changed: 1) Several board members have independently visited Irving College to review the site and get information from principal Mike Mansfield, and 2) Director of Schools Bobby Cox will be attending the next PTO meeting at the school this month.
“Due to these factors I see no need to move the meeting to Irving College this month,” said Blair. “We will be scheduling meetings at the sites of construction as they progress and will be on site throughout the process. Mr. Cox will make arrangements to meet with you at any time to discuss your concerns on site at Irving College. He can bring any information needed back to the board for discussion.”
The second request to allow England and Rubley to speak before board members was not entirely approved. Blair is going to allow them to speak “briefly” at the committee meeting prior to the board meeting.
“I am willing to provide you with a brief amount of time at our April committee meeting to present any information you would like to share with the board,” said Blair. “Please let Joye Fuston know if you will be able to attend the committee meeting at 5 p.m. on April 23 at the central office and we will schedule you on the agenda.”
England says he has every intension of speaking.
“I followed the proper procedure in making the request and I’m only being given a brief chance to speak before the committee,” he said. “I don’t feel that’s right, but I will speak on behalf of the residents in my district. I hope the board is aware that we expect a large number of Irving College residents to be in attendance. I believe they have to accommodate those individuals since they have refused to change the board’s meeting location to the school.”
Warren County Board of Education committee meetings begin at 5 p.m., while the board meets immediately following the committee meetings at approximately 6 p.m. The next meeting is Thursday, April 23.