Laurens County Board Meeting of September 2, 2014

This is the audio from the called meeting at Laurens County Board of Education which has been the center of much controversy in the last week.  The beginning of the audio is a presentation given by Mr. DeLoach (DeLoach Architecture) which basically outlines “necessary” renovations to the current West Laurens Middle School. These requirements from the State came after the school board hired GEC, geological survey firm, to do a report on the safety concerns of the current location of West Laurens Middle School. At the conclusion of the survey the board was told that the wording was not “strong enough” to deem the school unsafe.

The board then asked GEC to “use stronger language” in the report so that it could be deemed unsafe. Renovations Mr. DeLoach stated were necessary included basically turning the gym into a toxic waste/bomb shelter”. After listening to more outrageous recommendations Board Member Sam Beall says that “this is a bunch of trumped up bull***! He also goes on to tell Mr. DeLoach that there is a railroad much closer to the school on Hwy. 80 and gas station and drain off pond as well. This is at about the 19 minute mark.

At about the 21 minute mark Mr. Parker asked Mr. DeLoach questions about renovations to the building. At the 25 minute mark Mr. Beall asks if we could get some forgiveness from the State regarding the report where we deemed the school unsafe.

At the 27 minute mark Board Chairman Marcus Clements reminds the board that we have to give the State an answer to what we intend to do.

At the 28 minute mark the discussion begins getting heated with Mr. Parker stating he thinks we should go back to the original facilities plan. Mr. Beall states he doesn’t think that the board should do anything like that without consulting the public. Board Member BIll Rowe quickly seconds Mr. Parkers motion.

At the 30 minute mark Board Member Kenny Payne says he cannot support this in any way and questions Mr. DeLoach even giving this presentation because he believes he is being motivated by this board.

At the 31 minute mark Board Member Elect Brenda Hilton speaks out from the audience stating that she doesn’t think the board can do this and is attacked by Mr. Parker and told to be quiet because he’s talking and that she and others who are employed by this school that have lied to us. And he says she’s trying to do this for her own political reasons. Then Mr. Clements tells her that according to “parliamentary procedure” she can’t discuss it from the floor.

Mr. Beall asks the Superintendent if this can even be done and he states he sought legal counsel and that it is legal.

Mr. Clements then feels the need to go into a long spill about he didn’t cave to political pressure and that as long as he’s still in office until December 31st he’s going to support building 2 new middle schools.

The discussion continues to get heated.  At the 38 minute mark Mrs. Hilton addresses the board again and says she doesn’t care if she’s out of order that she is a citizen and this should not be happening without informing citizens. All to no avail.


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