Board faces changes

Published 8:32 am Wednesday, June 10, 2009

FRANKLIN—The city school board will have at least one new member in July.

Mary Eure, who has represented Ward 1 on the school board for the past year, asked that she not be reappointed, Ward 1 City Councilman Barry Cheatham said Tuesday. Attempts to reach Eure for comment were unsuccessful.

She will be replaced on the school board by businesswoman Audrey Lee or Franklin Business Incubator Director Nancy Parrish, both of whom were nominated for the post during a public hearing Monday night at City Hall.

The City Council fielded nominations for five school board seats after huddling behind closed doors and deciding that it could not immediately correct an error that resulted in an unusually high number of seats coming up for reappointment in the same year. Traditionally, school board terms have expired on a 2-2-3 rotation, but due to errors with two 2006 appointments, five seats expire this summer.

In other nominations Monday:

David Benton, whose appointment in February sharply divided the council, was nominated for reappointment to the school board’s at-large seat. Phyllis Crum, who was nominated in February but withdrew from consideration, was nominated again by her husband, Ellis. Dr. Peggy Scott, a minister and former city schools administrator, also was nominated for the at-large seat.

Current Ward 2 representative Robert Meredith was nominated for reappointment but will face opposition from Franklin High School secretary Tawanna Bernard and forestry consultant Terry Godwin. Bernard’s employment with the school division ends June 30, making her eligible for service on the school board.

Current School Board Chairman Bill Scarboro and Vice Chairman Mona Murphy were nominated without opposition for reappointment in Ward 6 and Ward 4, respectively.

The new appointees will be seated by July 1 and serve until June 30, 2012.

As of late Tuesday, the council had not set a date for interviewing the nominees.

In other business Monday, the council:

Unanimously approved the city’s fiscal 2010 budget. The $21.95 million operating budget is about $500,000 more than this year’s budget. The increase is entirely the result of increased tipping fees by the Southeastern Public Service Authority. The increased cost of garbage disposal will be passed along to residents on their monthly garbage bills. Property taxes will not change.

Added a bicycle and pedestrian master plan to the city’s Comprehensive Plan. The plan outlines ways to make the city more cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly over the next 20 years but does not call for immediate spending.

Appointed Ward 2 City Councilman Benny Burgess to the Franklin Redevelopment and Housing Authority board in place of retired businessman Holt Livesay, who resigned. Burgess previously served on the Housing Authority board for about 10 years before resigning last summer.

Appointed City Councilwoman Rosa Lawrence and City Manager June Fleming to the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.