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Danville School Board (7/7/16)

SouthsideCentral didn’t cover Thursday’s Danville School Board meeting LIVE! but we were there. And if you follow our other social media platforms, you’d have known that a big shakeup was going to happen at the meeting. SouthsideCentral was the only media source to project a change in the chair & vice-chair of the school board… and we were right.

Let’s recap what happened at the meeting.

The first July meeting of every year is the organizational meeting, where a chairman and vice chairman is elected. The Danville School Board also elects a clerk and a deputy clerk, but that’s always Finance Director Lori Cassada and Allison Petty. Two years ago, Ed Polhamus was elected chairman and Terri Hall was elected vice chairman.

Things are about to change.

Let’s get started!

At the organizational meeting, the superintendent is in control at the start of the meeting and as you can see, Stan Jones is ready to go. Ed Polhamus leads the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, and we move to the election of officers.

Tonight’s vote almost caught me by surprise. I had a feeling that a change was coming by the afternoon but I didn’t get to the confidence level to publish that information until around 5:40 PM. Once I was confident that I was correct, I pushed it out of the SouthsideCentral Facebook page, my personal Facebook page and on Twitter. Be sure to follow those pages for our latest updates.

Stan Jones opens the floor for chairman nominations and Steven Gould nominates Sharon Dones. I looked around the table and saw no looks of surprise from anybody, so that told me that everybody was aware of the plan. Dones was the only nominee so she won the chairmanship on a 7-0 vote. Dones takes over the meeting and opens the floor for vice chair nomination. Philip Campbell nominates Steven Gould and again, there’s no look of surprise at the table. Let’s be real. This was a well-organized plan and it was kept quiet almost until the end when SouthsideCentral figured it out. But that’s politics, folks.

After each of those elections, the board members move to their “correct” seats.

We do the Sharon Dones Shuffle!

Then we do the Steven Gould Shuffle!

After the game of Musical Chairs is over, the clerk & deputy clerk election goes as predicted above. So That Happened.

Philip Campbell asks for an oddly specific six minute recess and the motion passes. Timeout!

And six minutes later, we resume the business part of the meeting. It’s a very light agenda. You can tell that Sharon Dones is very nervous about chairing the meeting as it’s hard to hear her voice even with the microphones. The minutes are approved, and the board then approves the list of graduates for 2016 and the tuition application. Because it’s so important to formally approve the list of students who have already graduated five weeks ago and will never be back in the Danville Public Schools system again, that’s why! Yeah, I don’t get it either.

Public comment section time, and we have Special Guest Star Mayor John Gilstrap!

Well, look who’s speaking!

Gilstrap welcomes the board to their new term and congratulates Sharon Dones & Steven Gould. He makes a good joke that he’ll approve $300 for new air conditioning in the room. Heh. Gilstrap also explains that his “No” vote on the school board budget was based on his belief that the city council shouldn’t tell the school board how to spend their money. Not only John Gilstrap dance a mean shag, he can tap dance too. Double heh. After Gilstrap sits down, it’s SHOWTIME, BABY!

The one, the only, THE Alonzo Jones!

The advance man of Averett, the chairman of cool… the super smooth player who’s the new vice mayor. You despise him, he’ll recognize them! The one, the only… THE Alonzo Jones!

Oh yeah! Jones points out the other city councilmen attending tonight’s meeting (Wow, didn’t see that one coming. Heh.) and then does a nice congrats and welcome back speech. We heart Alonzo Jones.

Gary Miller, Lee Vogler & James Buckner were also in tonight’s audience.

Everybody is reminded of the dates for the next year’s worth of school board meetings. Next, it’s time for the personnel recommendations and here she is… Juliet Jennings!

We heart Juliet Jennings. But you already knew that.

Jennings goes over the sixteen personnel job changes, then updates the board on the hiring process for the next school year.

It’s Robin Owens!

Robin Owens is up next and she presents the updated code of student conduct. After that, it’s the code of conduct for school board members and other administrative things. Next, there’s something about a trust that School Board attorney Alan Spencer is supposed to present, and his presentation consists of something like “You have already read it, and you can do it or not do it.” The people in the audience or watching on TV that didn’t know what the grant thing was about should have all stood up and yelled “OH THANK YOU FOR THAT!” in disgust. Luckily, Ed Polhamus knows it all and it’s “Daddy P To The Rescue!” to explain what this confusing item was all about. The board approves whatever they approved and we move on. Clear as mud.

The last item is a Planning Commission case where some bingo-type business wants to move in the old West Main St. Kroger location. Everyone looks around and it’s “Daddy P To The Rescue!” time for him to explain it all. Steven Gould asks Polhamus what his potential objections would be, and Polhamus says it could be an attractive nuisance to kids walking to school. Steven Gould remarks that he doubts a bingo place would be open at 7:45 AM and earns a Bazinga! for that. The board asks Sharon Dones to be at Monday’s 3PM Planning Commission meeting to represent the system’s interests.

That’s it and we move to the around the horn section. Alan Spencer has nothing to say. Again. Stan Jones notes that the new student code of conduct says that no student has the right to disrupt the education process. The rest of the board members praise Ed Polhamus & Terri Hall for their run as chair & vice chair and that’s the end. The closed session is next, and the board takes a recess. We’re done!

Thanks for reading the most comprehensive (and entertaining) recap of Thursday’s Danville School Board meeting. It’s only here at SouthsideCentral!

And of course, we’re obliged to leave you with the photo that will be the Friday morning talk at the school board office! Heh.


1 comment to Danville School Board (7/7/16)

  • Sheila

    Congratulations to: Sharon Dones & Steven Gould; Thank you Ed Polhamous & Terri Hall for serving as chair/vice-chair and thank you Mayor Gilstrap and Vice-Mayor Jones for showing commitment and desire to work together. Special recognition to Councilmen ( notice “men” ) Miller, Vogler & Buckner for attending, hope you attend more of their meetings, not to dictate, but to be “in the know”. A special thank you to “our” friend Bruce Hedrick for great coverage!! Oh, I must add that it would be nice to know what exactly the new chairman is to say to the planning commission regarding bingo facility? I hope the new Chairman and the board will make such votes clear as to what the vote is for. That is what open meetings are for isn’t it?

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