During the public participation portion of meetings both this month and last, the segment was filled with residents coming forward to question board actions and individual board members’ conduct during recent months.
The parade of those coming forward to speak out continued at an Oct. 15 business meeting where residents questioned the board’s actions regarding a board retreat in Rome, the appointment of board member Anna Sullivan, the board’s decisions to grant usage of school system property to Excel Christian Academy and the Rome Volleyball Club and possible conflicts of interest.
“I’ve watched over the last few meetings as the issues pertaining to the actions of certain school board members have escalated, and as I have stated at prior meetings during the public forum, I feel the [Southern Association of Colleges and Schools] complaint was warranted,” said resident Alison Guyton.
Guyton said the Bartow County School Board has discretion to address possible violations but their failure to act may cost the school system financially.
“Bartow County school board and superintendent, this is not going to go away, Guyton said. “Your constituents are demanding action as the SACS response said you have the authority to do. Sitting by and taking a neutral position and hoping that it’s going to go away is not going to happen.”
Kim Wagnon, who had appeared before the board in the past and was unsatisfied with a letter she received from the board concerning her issues.
“This is going on way too long, Wagnon said.” “I’m looking for answers. The people want a response.”
Marshall Aiken, a Euharlee resident, suggested the board form an ethics review board to handle residents’ concerns.
Aiken suggested that the three to five-person panel of registered voters review ethics complaints on the local level and make recommendations to the Board for action.
“I think this might be something [the school board] might want to look into to handle things on a local level without things getting so blown up that it goes to the state level or SACS,” Aiken said.