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Citizens Urged to Attend Planning Meeting
Monday, 21 October 2013

October 22--  The Montgomery County school system is inviting citizens of the county to get involved in long range planning for the schools.

County School Superintendent Randy Rodgers says the Georgia School Boards Association will facilitate the meeting Monday night at six in the old cafeteria of the Montgomery County Middle School on Martin Luther King Drive.

"The reality is that the schools are for the people of the community and the children of the community.  It's not the staff's schools.  We want to know what the community wants their schools to look like.   We know what it looks like now and what its been in the past, but in order to make plans and work a plan, we have to have input from the community," Rodgers said at Monday night's meeting of the county school board.

For those who can't attend the meeting, a survey seeking input will be posted on the school district's website at www.mboe.net .

Superintendent Rodgers also told the board he has legal opinions supporting the board's practice of providing a blanket statement when the board goes into executive session.

A lawyer for the Georgia Press Association wrote in the organization's monthly newsletter that Georgia's sunshine law requires that a "speciific reason" be given for a closed session.  Attorney David Hudson claims the Montgomery County practice is "clearly in violation" of state law.

Reporter Kathy Bradford of The Advance in Vidalia reported the school board's practice to the press association and asked for an opinion.

In the same issue of the GPA newsletter, a lawyer from the State Attorney General's office advised that anyone who suspects possible violation of open meeting laws should contact that AG's office.  Senior Assistant Attorney General Stefan Ritter said, "If we think you are right, we will call them."

Before Monday night's executive session, Board Chairman Jim Paul Poole read the blanket statement, but added that all three legal reasons for such a meeting would be considered in closed session, i.e, personnel, litigation and real estate.

No vote was taken on any issue when the board reconvened in open session.

The school board approved the purchase of three lots across from the high school on Dobbins Street for what the superintendent called "future development."  It agreed to pay David Crowson of Mount Vernon $60,000 for the property.

It also okayed the expenditure of nearly $40,000 to buy two new trucks for the school system maintenance department.

 
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