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News from the Board

June 27, 2018 Special Board of Education Meeting

In its June 27 special meeting, the Onslow County Schools Board of Education appointed Kenneth Reddic, a retired Onslow County Schools educator, to fill the vacant seat on the Board and serve the remaining two years of that seat's term. Mr. Reddic was chosen in a voting process in which the six current Board members each chose one of the eight candidates they would most like to see sit on the Board. Mr. Reddic won with four votes, while candidates Climetine Clayburn and Wendell Boykins each received one vote. Prior to the vote, each candidate was given the opportunity to tell the Board why they want to serve. The candidates that were not able to attend were given the opportunity to submit a statement to be read to the Board by School Board Attorney Alex Erwin.

After a motion and a second, the Board unanimously accepted Mr. Reddic to fill the vacant seat. He will be officially sworn in next month.

In other business, the Board heard presentations on the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and Architectural Selection from Chief of Operations Steve Myers. The CIP addresses long-term needs of the school system and projects what funding will be needed to fulfill maintenance and construction needs over a five-year period. Following Mr. Myers' presentation, Board discussion focused on the increased number of facilities requiring routine maintenance and renovations which exceed the $3 million funding in the annual capital outlay. Board Chair Pam Thomas requested information for the maintenance items specific for the current school year be presented to the Board at a later date.

Three possible architects for the upcoming construction of schools in the Stump Sound and Catherine Lake areas were presented to the Board. Staff recommended Pinnacle Architectural as its first-choice selection, followed by Smith Sinnette Architects and LS3P. The Board unanimously approved the staff to proceed with negotiations with Pinnacle Architecture.

In its next order of business, the Board and audience listened to the reading of a letter addressed to the North Carolina General Assembly asking for legislation to be passed that would allow Onslow County to levy an addition quarter-cent sales and use tax. The letter said that because of military bases and other government-owned properties, 42 percent of the county's land mass is not taxable, making the property tax already in place insufficient to fund the needs of the county and school system. The Board unanimously approved submitting this request.

The Board then went into closed session to discuss land acquisition for future construction projects. The motion to approve staff to proceed looking into the discussed properties was unanimously approved.

The meeting closed with announcements from Board members. Mr. Earl Taylor shared with the room a bill-tracking service he learned about at an NCSBA conference that allows for easier access to legal documents.

Before adjourning, Board Chair Pam Thomas asked the Board to consider developing a "citizens academy" in order to bring in community members and teach them how the school system's budget is made, explain how the curriculum matters and answer questions the public may have about school board procedures.