School board starts over on SES site

By Jeff Whitten


The McNairy County School Board experienced  sticker shock when it heard  the bids for dirt work at the site for the proposed new Selmer Elementary School.

Project Manager Pat English told them at their meeting Thursday that the low bid was $886,590.

This total figure was obtained by adding the low bids of $771,00 for site clearing and grading by Delta Contracting and a $115,590 bid for site drainage, water and sewer by R. Jones Underground. 

The bids will stay open until June 24.

After hearing this figure the board voted to schedule a planning committee meeting in order to revisit all of the properties that were previously considered.

“I don’t think we can say that we can’t find a better spot somewhere else. We’re back to what are we going to build, where are we going to build and how much it will cost,” board and planning committee member Tony Chapman said.

However, other planning committee  members cautioned  the rest of the board that this course of action was no cure-all.

“I can honestly say that the planning committee has been all over Selmer. The problem is there is not any level land. It’s time to make a decision,” Frank Lacey said.

“The perfect spot does not exist. At some point this board is going to have to vote,” school board chairman Larry Smith said.

“I don’t know that the two plans for schools we have can’t be cut,” Chapman suggested.

On another issue, the board passed a policy on first reading making it harder to fire the Director of Schools.

Under the new policy, a two-thirds vote of the board would be required to fire the director in the future.

Smith objected the Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA) was opposed to the policy.

“If we are going to pay the Tennessee School Board Association, we should take their advice,” Smith said.

“Mr. Chairman, I’m not the one who got us into this and I’m going to correct this. When we dismiss the Director of Schools when one member was not here, it is blatantly wrong and you shouldn’t have done it,” Chapman said, referring to the board’s dismissal of Director of Schools Charlie Miskelly last October.

Board attorney Ross Mitchell explained  that the state statute governing this matter only requires a majority vote, but if a school board wanted to require more, this would not be a problem.

Lacey said he talked to someone from TSBA who was not opposed to the policy.

The policy passed 4-3 with Chapman, Jean Jones, Lynn Baker and Lacey voting yes and Kevin Isbell, Smith and Jarrell Stanfield voting no.

Patricia Henning and Jason Smith appeared before the board on the subject of a stabbing at Adamsville Junior/Senior High, which was previously reported in the Independent Appeal. Henning is his grandmother and Smith is his stepfather.

Henning asked the board why the incident was not reported by school authorities and why was the timing wrong. 

Miskelly replied that he had done the investigation as requested and would be taking actions to prevent a similar incident in the future.

Chapman expressed the concern that the board could not comment on the incident due to potential legal issues.

In other actions, the board:

• Voted to have Mitchell send Chuck Hamm a letter requesting that he repair the soccer field. Hamm submitted a bid to repair the field after Miskelly requested he fix the field.

• Declared some computer equipment, furniture and buses and a van surplus property.

• Accepted a waste disposal bid by ASCO of Walnut, Miss. For $2,785.

• Accepted a liquified petroleum  bid from Pickwick Propane and  Gas Co. for $1.689 per gallon.

• Accepted a diesel bid from Paul Fisher Oil Co. for $3.418 a gallon.

• Recognized Adamsville Junior/Senoir High School students Abby Dickey and Kevin Holmes, and McNairy Central High School students Danielle Fuller, Anna Crabb, Andrew Christenson and  Courtney Brown  for scoring above 30 on their American College Testing (ACT) tests.