Board Orders Guardrail Removal, Passes Budget

[Writer's Note: The Union County School Board meets the second Thursday of each month at UCHS. The Board uses a workshop prior to the meeting to discuss agenda items. After the workshop, the Board approves, rejects, or takes no action on individual items during the meeting.]

The Board discussed these agenda items during the workshop.

John Fugate requested approval for fifteen UCHS students to attend FFA Chapter Development Training from July 26-28 at Big Ridge State Park.

Finance Director Ann Dyer offered Budget Amendments to add the Safety Grant, move money to proper line items, and generally cleanup the budget for the yearend report. In SB 177 (Capital Outlay) Ms. Dyer noted that the cost of two new buses be added to meet the required 120 days needed to have the buses before the start of the school year in August 2019. Andrew Reed (6th District) asked how many buses had already been bought. Transportation Supervisor Lenny Holt explained that with this purchase, the system would now own five buses that are two years old or less.

Ms. Dyer reported that all parts of the school budget were functioning as planned. She further stated that Food Services Supervisor, Ms. Mary Effler, through careful money management had brought that budget from a negative balance when Ms. Effler assumed the job to the currently mandated three months of operating expenses in the fund balance.

Ms. Dyer recommended that the Food Service Contract with HDS be extended for one year and that the Grace Rehabilitation Contract be renewed.

Dr. Ronnie Mincey announced that the required TSBA Workshop for Planning would be June 7-8 at the Hyatt Regency. Dr. Jimmy Carter noted that the Central Office Administrators would be giving their views on the Strategic Plan on Friday. Dr. Mincey said that no definite start time was available at the moment but Saturday would be a half day.

Dr. Mincey advised the board that he was not ready to report the results of the Director's Evaluation since he needed time to calculate the ones submitted just before the meeting.

Dr. Mincey stated that there were virtually no changes from the First Reading to the Second Reading on the TSBA recommended Board Policy Changes to 4.701-Test Security, 1.803 - Tobacco Free Schools, 4.209 - Alternate Credit Opportunities, and 4.603 - Promotion and Retention.
Ms. Roxanne Patterson, Attendance Supervisor, requested that Board Policy 6.204-Attendance be amended by deleting the required notice and allow nonresident and out of zone students to make applications during the school year.

Dr. Mincey explained the Consolidated Application for Federal Funds. Title I at $1,112,534 decreased by over $29,000 and caused the cutting of one paraprofessional position. But due to a cost sharing arrangement between the Federal and the General Fund, no employee will be cut. Title II at $139,236 decreased nearly $17,000. This fund is used mostly for professional development training and supplies for teachers and a portion funds only one salary, the Professional Development Coordinator. Title III is used to supplement teaching supplies and instruction for English Language Learners. The funds decreased by nearly half to $807.07 because so many tested out of the ELDA, a test for students whose primary language is not English. Dr. Mincey stated that this decrease was “really a good thing”. Title IV saw an increase by nearly $3000 to $82,467. Title IV funds portions of salaries for a music teacher, a social worker, and the purchase of STEM materials and supplies. Title V will have $75,482.08 to support Title I and II and provide a paraprofessional position at SCES and a county wide Family Interventionist. Dr. Mincey also remarked that from FY 2016 to FY 2020 the overall Title Funds had decreased by $182,876.81 meaning “there would most likely be an overall decrease in funding each year”.

Dr. Mincey continued to explain that Federal funding also includes IDEA Part B at $1,103,455 and IDEA Preschool at $24,010. IDEA Part B increased by $127,182 while IDEA Preschool realized a $240 increase. The total amount of Federal funding for FY 2020 is $2,538,051.15.

Dr. Carter and Ms. Dyer noted that the Board would need to bid the security project funded by the Governor's Safety Grant, since the amount exceeds the purchase limit of $25,000 and the vendor that was originally contacted is not under an approved state wide contract. Dr. Carter further applauded Sheriff Breeding and the 911 Office including Ms. Marty Smith for “spotting an intruder in one of the schools about 4:00 A.M.”

Ms. Dyer and Dr. Carter offered a balanced school budget to the Board. Some $80,000 in Chrome Books as well as $50,000 in transportation were cut from the SB141 in order to achieve this result. Ms. Dyer stated that this budget is based on the current BEP Proposal sent in April. Both believe that BEP Funds will increase by June when the final BEP funding projection arrives. In any event, Ms. Dyer said that there was an alternate plan to fund the chrome books if the increase does not occur. She stated that funds could be moved from SB177 if necessary. Dr. Carter expressed gratitude to Ms. Dyer and her staff for doing all of the budgets, not just the School Board. Dr. Carter also individually thanked Missy Brown for her efforts to oversee the day to day school finances and commended her on her knowledge of the budget operations. Gerald Smith (7th District) said that he thought Ms. Dyer and this kind of handling of finances was the “best thing that we have ever done”. Ms. Dyer and Dr. Carter also explained that the actual amount of projects for SB177 was $791,000 but some two million was budgeted due to some FY 19 projects not being completed until FY2020.

Brad Griffey (2nd District) recommended that the UCHS Softball Field be named in honor of Lance Lay. Mr. Griffey cited Mr. Lay's record of excellence not just in win/loss but also in district, regional, and state tournaments. He stated that Mr. Lay works concessions alongside players and parents at UT Football Games to raise money for the team. He also noted that Mr. Lay attends social functions, even baptisms, to show support for his girls on the team.

Marty Gibbs (1st district) was unable to attend the meeting, so Dr. Carter related his concern regarding the transporting of athletic teams by school bus. Dr. Carter said that he hoped the Board could begin a conversation and discussion regarding how to fund bus transportation to away games as well as how to determine which sports to transport and from which schools. As an example, the transportation cost for football is $8,000 to $12,000 per year. Title IX requires that sports be treated equitably without discrimination. Dr. Carter noted that the boy’s basketball team cannot be transported and not provide a bus for the girls basketball team. Mr. Holt also mentioned that bus drivers were needed. Dr. Carter said that coaches need to look at getting CDL's (Commercial Driver's License) and wished more teachers would also. “I would love to have every teacher have a CDL. Then I would never have to want for a bus driver again”, he exclaimed.

The Ground Lease with the Union County Historical Society was discussed. Andrew Reed (6th), who missed the April Board Meeting called Dr. Carter and inquired if the Board had taken action or changed its position on a guard rail at the Union County Museum. When Dr. Carter told him the guardrail was not on the agenda nor discussed, Mr. Reed informed Dr. Carter that a guardrail had been erected. Dr. Carter related that he traveled to the museum and took pictures of the guardrail and sent them to Ms. Mary Ann Stackhouse, the Board's attorney. According to Andrew Reed, the Board met a year ago and agreed not to put up a guardrail. “We agreed to do nothing, said Mr. Reed. There were two conflicting surveys and they were supposed to work together until this was settled.” According to Mr. Reed, the Historical Society was to make no modification without the Board's approval and he stated that he felt the Board had been disrespected by going around and there should be some legalities, too.

Dr. Carter explained that the Board had not seen two different surveys. Mr. Dyer, the business owner, said that he had a survey that was different from the survey which the Union County Historical Society purchased and paid for with its own funds.

Mr. Reed continued by asserting that the guardrail was blocking access to the residences by emergency vehicles and the residents themselves. Ms. Stackhouse stated that according to the ground lease, the Historical Society had no right to put up a guardrail saying, “I don't know if it was a unilateral executive decision or one made by the Board.”

Danny Wayne Collins (5th District) inquired if Ms. Stackhouse could send a letter. Ms. Stackhouse responded that she could. But she also stated that she told Dr. Carter that the lease was made until 2066 at which time both Dr. Carter and she would be deceased. Ms. Stackhouse further explained that she was also concerned that the Board may not be a named insured which would allow the Board to declare the lease in material default. Then the Board could renegotiate a four (4) year lease as is the current law for contracts. She then requested to send two letters: one on the guardrail and the other on the insurance and suggested 10 days to remove the guardrail or the Board would remove it and send the Society a bill. Some Board members commented that it did not take long to put it up, so could it not be removed sooner. Mr. Reed and Mr. Collins asked who would fix the holes and Ms. Stackhouse answered that since the Historical Society had damaged the property, they would have to fix it back. Mr. Collins said that he had talked to Greg Dyer and Mr. Dyer has no ill feeling toward the Board, that Mr. Dyer just thought “we had an agreement”, and that the Society had come over and asked him to sign so they could use his property to park cars during an event cause they don't have enough parking.

In response to Mr. Collins and an agreement, Ms. Stackhouse stated that the minutes indicated, “Frankly, the Board would do nothing”. Discussion then ensued on the width of the drive between the building and the guardrail as well as the wording of the letter.

Dr. Carter turned to another matter about vacation days and when they could be used. A new policy is causing confusion in that some employees accrue one vacation day a month but the policy states that they must accrue 6 days before any can be taken. Dr. Carter suggested that the wording be deleted and employees take days as they are accrued until a statement regarding a probationary period can be inserted.

The Workshop was completed and the Board meeting began.

The agenda was approved. No one from UCEA addressed the Board. No special recognition and the TSBA Planning Workshop was the only announcement. The consent agenda was approved. Budget amendments passed on a roll call vote. Contracts with HDS and Grace Rehab were approved. Permission to bid out the camera project was approved.

The UCHS Softball Field was named in honor of Lance Lay on a voice vote of a motion and seconded by Mr. Griffey and Mr. Moore. The second reading of Board Policies passed. The first reading of the Attendance Policy 6.204 changes passed. The 2020 Consolidated Application for Federal Funding was approved on a motion and seconded by Mr. Collins and Mr. Reed.

Ms. Stackhouse requested clarification that two letters would be sent to the Union County Historical Society. The letter on the guardrail would state that the guardrail should be removed forthwith, the property fixed, and if this is not done then the Board would remove the guardrail and invoice the Society. The other letter would be for the insurance. Dr. Carter asked if both letters could be done in one motion. Ms. Stackhouse agreed. Andrew Reed moved and Danny Wayne Collins seconded the motion to send both letters. Approval was by voice vote.

Two items were in the Addendum. Vacation Days will be taken as accrued. The 2020 Budget passed on a motion and second by Mr. Collins and Mr. Griffey with a roll call vote.

The next School Board Meeting will be Thursday, June 13, at UCHS.

Board of Education sends workers to remove guardrail.

Union County Public School maintenance worker repairs holes left by recently removed guardrail.

Union County Public School maintenance worker repairs holes as guardrail is removed by order of the Board of Education.

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Obituary

Marie C. Wallace

Marie Wallace-age 83 of Louisville, Tennessee, formerly of Luttrell passed away Friday, January 21, 2022 at Select Specialty Hospital. She was a Christian and of the Baptist faith. Preceded in death by parents, John and Mamilee Canada; brothers, Clarence Canada, Dave Canada; sisters, Juanita Chamberlain, Johnny Mae Baker, Minnie Idol.

Stelmo E. Dalton Branson

Stelmo Estell (Dalton) Branson-age 85 of Washburn passed away Saturday morning, January 22, 2022 at the home of her daughter in Tazewell, Tennessee. She was born September 11, 1936 the daughter of the late Walter B. and Sarah Jane (Atkins) Dalton. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 46 years, Paul E. Branson; daughters, Donna M. Throesch and Doris E. Curran; brothers, Hubert Stanley Dalton, Aaron “Boot” Buford Dalton, Bedford Conley Dalton and Elvin Burnace Dalton, Fernly Clifford Dalton; sisters, Thelma Dalton Collins, Reva Mae Dalton Wilmouth.

Alfred Gene Shope, Sr.

Alfred Gene Shope, Sr. – age 66 of Maynardville, passed away Thursday, January 20, 2022.

He is preceded in death by parents, John A. and Mable Marie Shope. Alfred is survived by wife, Linda G. Shope; son, Alfred Gene Shope, Jr.; daughters, Jenny Marie, Taylor Leanne and Abigail Rose Shope; grandsons, Ezekiel Chase Klimek; along with a host of family and friends.

George E. Brown, Jr.

George Edward Brown, Jr. “Butch”-age 63 of Maynardville, formerly of Petal, Mississippi passed away Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at Parkwest Medical Center. Preceded in death by parents, George E., Sr. and Patsy Brown.

Survivors: wife of 28 years, Diana “Kandy” Brown; five children, Joey Brown, Nicole Taylor, Jessica Elliott, Robby Carroll, Joey Carroll; 14 grandchildren. Brother, Kenneth Brown; sisters, Cindy Berry and Patricia Daughdrill. Several nieces and nephews along with a host of other family members and friends.

Ina R. (Ogle) Lane

Ina R. (Ogle) Lane-age 82 of Luttrell, born June 21, 1939 in Sevier County passed away Thursday, January 13, 2022 at her home. Ina entered into her eternal celebration that she had the assurance of from her teenage years. She was a member of Union Chapel Baptist Church, Maynardville and was a loving grandmother, mother, sister and friend who always put the needs of others before her own.

Geraldine (Richards) Bailey

Geraldine (Richards) Bailey-age 79 of Maynardville passed away Wednesday morning, January 12, 2022 at North Knoxville Medical Center. She was a member of Macedonia Baptist Church. Preceded in death by mother, Nora Bell Richards; brothers, Benny Richards and Steve Richards; son, Roger Lynn Treece; daughter, Patricia Ann Treece.

Joyce Turner

Joyce Vandergriff Turner - age 67 of Maynardville, passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 10, 2022. She is preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Martha Vandergriff and Della Mae Oaks. Joyce is survived by son, Charles Gentry and daughter-in-law Natasha; daughter, LeeAnn Turner Large and son-in-law Eric; grandson, Dakota Gentry; granddaughters, Evelyn Gentry, Destiny and Emma Large; and siblings, Michael Vandergriff, Kyle Vandergriff, Tony Vandergriff and Patsy Mallicoat. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.

Anna Kitts

Anna Leora “Lee” Graves Pollard Kitts went home to her Heavenly Father January 10, 2022 at the age of 89. She had a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ her Lord. Anna adored her children and all of her siblings. She enjoyed showing kindness to others by sending bouquets of flowers to her shut-in friends. She loved her plants, music and a good road trip. Anna was also an excellent seamstress, working for many years at Hall Brown and John H. Daniels.

Clyde L. Monroe

Clyde L. Monroe-age 93 of Maynardville passed away Saturday, January 8, 2022 at Willow Ridge Center. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Maynardville; a graduate of Horace Maynard High School, class of 1945 and a U. S. Army Veteran 1950-1951. Preceded in death by parents, Raymond and Bonnie (Palmer) Monroe; siblings, Gareth P. Monroe, Mary Jo Meyer, Willa Sue Cox, Eugene D. Monroe.

Johnie Marie McCurry

Johnie Marie McCurry - age 80 of Corryton, went to her heavenly home January 8, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. peacefully surrounded by her loved ones. Johnie Marie was born February 7, 1941 in Luttrell. Her love and humor were adored by everyone who knew her. Johnie was a mother, sister, mamaw, friend and devoted care giver to many. She was one of the founding members of Fellowship Christian Church where she spent her Sundays serving her savior.

Dusty Sexton

Joshua Dustin (Dusty) Sexton, age 34, of Maynardville passed away Saturday, January 8, 2022. He was born on October 14, 1987. Dusty is preceded in death by his mother, Janice Sexton and grandparents. Dusty is survived by his father, Jerry Sexton and step-mom, Brenda Sexton; his children, Aubree and Konnor Sexton; his siblings, Toni (Tim) Brown, Chris (Kayla) Sexton, Gina (John) Hale, Jennifer (Jeremy) Brake and his nieces and nephews.

Rev. Glen E. Beeler

Rev. Glen E. Beeler went home to be with his heavenly Father on Friday December 31st . More than anything Glen loved Christ fiercely and reflected his love for Christ through the way he adored his family, served his community through pastoring, and encouraged others to get to know his risen Savior.

Barbara Sue (Wyrick) Rutherford

Barbara Sue (Wyrick) Rutherford-age 71 of Maynardville, born October 25, 1950 passed away Thursday morning, December 30, 2021 at North Knoxville Medical Center. She was a member of New Friendship Baptist Church. Preceded in death by son, Russell Luke Tolliver; daughter, Rebecca Pierce; parents, Calday and Francis Wyrick; brothers, Fred Wyrick, O. G. Wyrick, Theodore Wyrick; sisters, Carolyn Kitts, Othella (Sally) Corum, Pearl Atkins, Hester Atkins.