Feb 27 2008
07:43 am

Earl Nall has several posts up that let us in on what is happening at the School Board meetings and the "retreat".

Wouldn't it be nice if every elected official in Roane County were this honest and open?

I agree, WC.

I read those posts a few days ago. Thoroughly explains the retreat issue to me. And I must agree with Earl about the RCN's practice of law... I think they (the BOE) were fully justified in taking the advice of their lawyer, given his experience (as Earl noted) with exactly these matters. While I agree that there need to be Sunshine Laws, I also understand how a backlash-driven, over zealous interpretation of them can hinder work. Earl was careful to point out the difference between philosophical issues and legal issues as to venue. Again, I have no problem with their choice.

And don't take me for a BOE cheerleader, either. I don't agree with everything they do, have never thought they (or their Director) were perfect. But I have no problems with how they handled this. If this is the worst they screw up for the next several years, we're damned lucky!



Earl's well written posts on his blog leave little for me to expand on regarding our recent school board retreat except to say my preference would be to stay local and discuss these issues in front of our neighbors. In this case, I did not make my intentions to be locally-based known in advance and I will do so the next time. However, if other dynamics come into play like other boards meeting at the same time to collectively address similar issues then we have to find common ground and that typically is a nearby area like Gatlinburg.

While the BOE was apparently in complete compliance in how we posted notification regarding the retreat, let me add that this is not typical of how we conduct business. In this case, it was simply an oversight. It boils down to one person doing the job of many and forgetting to confirm with the newspaper the date we selected from three dates discussed in the previous, January, board meeting. Actually, once the newspaper brought it to our attention, the director did discover notice had not been given and the DOS quickly faxed notice. Should it have been sent in sooner? Absolutely yes. But, it was not anything more than a simple mistake on our part and even though legally we were in compliance, we apologize for any inconveniences we caused by our oversight.

I can state that each BOE member is fully dedicated to seeing our children and community prosper and we want to be a leader in positive outcomes and regret this perceived misstep happened. Our first goal is ensuring our students have a quality education and if you examine what we do that is easily identified. While we, board members, do not always agree on each issue, we do have a team approach to bettering our schools.

We also appreciate hearing from everyone. This includes students, parents, teachers, staff and all community stakeholders. Several of us spoke to the issue at the February board meeting when we encouraged anyone with concerns to contact us. I’m at 376-9879 or Thanks -- Tyler

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