Tension ran high at the first school board meeting of the year, as the three new members used their majority to remove John Trammell as board chair and change the school board meeting time.
These actions drew harsh criticisms from the former chair and board member Ervin Easterwood, who accused incoming members Dan Fincher, Byron Long and Wendy Lowe of holding secret meetings and undermining the board code of ethics all members are sworn to follow.
“Just so we dispel any rumors or negative thoughts,” Trammell said during the board comments section at the end of the meeting, ”we voted on a code of ethics that’s been in place for some time and the first thing on that code of ethics says that all matters of the board come before all members of the board.
“Since some things were already decided on before we got here I didn’t feel it was appropriate to vote for them or against them because I wasn’t included in the deliberation. Private meetings without all of us being involved I will not support and I will not vote,” the former chairman continued.
According to both Trammell and Easterwood, the board unanimously decided at a recent board member retreat that Trammell would continue to serve as chair and Long would be selected to serve as vice chair.
But at the start of the meeting Fincher nominated Lowe as chair, which was seconded by Long and carried by a 3-0 vote in which both Trammell and Easterwood abstained.
Read complete story in our print edition on sale today. Also look for information on new school board meeting times and the plans for makeup days.