BOE implements new meeting procedure

Published 12:54 pm Wednesday, May 11, 2022

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Due to some technical difficulties, the Sumter County Board of Education (BOE) was unable to stream their agenda setting meeting live on Facebook as has been the case since COVID-19 demanded such changes. Additionally, there were some sound issues, making it difficult to hear the conversation at the board table. However, the in person option is in effect per open meetings law, and all meetings are open to the public at 100 Learning Lane in Americus.

At their agenda setting meeting on Monday, May 9, 2022, the BOE has decided to further utilize the consent agenda option. A consent agenda is utilized for more efficient meetings. Typically, items are discussed at the agenda setting meetings, and as items of usual business arise, such as changing the status of a school bus from active fleet to surplus equipment, they are considered for the consent agenda. To place an item on the consent agenda, typically the chair asks the board if there is any opposition to placing the item on the consent agenda. If one member opposes the placement, the item may not go on the consent agenda. By agreeing to designate the item as a consent item, the assumption is it is unanimously agreed upon. On the regular voting meeting of a board, a motion, a second and vote will address all the items on the consent agenda at one time. The other option is to once again put every recommendation on the table for an individual vote.  As is indicated by the name, the vote to pass the items on the consent agenda usually unanimously passes, as if there is an opposing member, they would have voiced their opposition to placing the item on the consent agenda at the agenda setting meeting. In this way, the board can address many items at once, rather than once again addressing the item individually. Designating consent agenda items is a regular and common practice among voting bodies.

Topics of discussion at the 5.9.22 meeting included not taking up the air filtration system at this month’s meeting. The filtration systems have long been discussed and the board has raised questions as to its effectiveness as well as its compacity to work in tandem with our weather conditions and existing air conditioning equipment.

Head Start programming has requested use of the old Ninth Grade Academy building on North Lee Street. The Board of Elections and Voter Registration, under the guidance of Randy Howard, has requested the use of the old Americus-Sumter County High School on Harrold Avenue to serve the residents as a polling place. This location would replace the Griffin Bell Conference Center location, as it is due to be remodeled. This affects all residents of Sumter County, as Griffin Bell Conference Center has in the recent past become the location for early voting.

In regard to bond utilization to pay for development of athletic facilities at the Sumter County High School, there was brief discussion which indicated the Sumter County Schools System would be able to afford the development without needing additional fiscal help.

The committee chairs reported out on their recommendations. Some of these items were placed on the new consent agenda. The voting meeting of the BOE will be held on Thursday, 5.12.2022 at 7pm. The meeting is open to the public and can be attended at 100 Learning Lane. The Americus Times-Recorder is not aware of SCS intentions as to utilize Facebook Live. We have not determined if the technical difficulties have been resolved.