Columbia County Board of Education members discussed several topics during a retreat Saturday, including the duties of an at-large elected board chairman.
Roxanne Whitaker doesn't want to change the powers given to the chairman.
Although no official action was taken at the retreat, held at the county's chamber of commerce in Evans, board members said they want to leave the powers of the chairman alone.
"I would look for us to leave it as is," trustee Roxanne Whitaker said.
State legislation that would create a countywide elected school board chairman recently passed the Senate and is now in the House awaiting final approval.
Unless legislators change the state constitution, the chairman's duties will continue to include setting meeting agendas with the superintendent, establishing committees and presiding over board meetings. Otherwise, a chairman has no more power than any other board member.
Most of the board opposed the creation of an at-large chairman, but state lawmakers moved ahead with creation of the position after county voters overwhelmingly supported the idea on a referendum in November's general election.
Because of the disagreement, board members said they feel their relationship with the legislative delegation is now strained.
"If that hurt our relationship, that's just asinine," board member Wayne Bridges said.
He suggested the board set up an informal meeting with the delegation to discuss education issues and repair any hurt feelings.
Wayne Bridges wants to a have a fence-mending session with lawmakers.
Also discussed at the retreat:
- Stricter enforcement of the county's dress code.
- Creation of an e-mail alert system for parents.
- Hiring outside auditors to examine the school system's technology services.
- Asking local religious leaders to provide an invocation at each board meeting.
- Coming up with new ways of making Crossroads Academy, the system's alternative school, more of a deterrent to students displaying bad behavior.
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