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Parliamentary confusion results from push for early SPLOST vote

COVINGTON -- A push by Board of Education Chairman Eddie Johnson to expedite a vote on a 2013 SPLOST resolution led to confusion over parliamentary procedure at the board's work session Tuesday night. The board first voted in a split decision to call for the referendum and then reversed position, voting to withdraw the earlier vote.

A resolution calling for a special purpose local option sales tax referendum was on the board's agenda under new business but was not scheduled for a vote Tuesday night. However, board Chairman Eddie Johnson told board members he would like to go ahead and vote on the measure and asked for board members' input.

Although board members Shakila Henderson-Baker and Jeff Meadors said they would prefer more time to review the resolution, Johnson called for a motion.

Board member Almond Turner made the motion to call for the $75 million referendum; the motion was seconded by Johnson and supported by board member Abigail Coggins. Baker and Meadors voted in opposition.

In discussion of the issue, Meadors pointed out that the resolution was listed under new business and was not scheduled for board action Tuesday. "(There are) two of us telling you we need more time to process it, which is what the agenda has said we would do," he said.

Coggins then said she had misunderstood the motion, and thought that Turner's motion was only to make it possible for the board to take action on the resolution, not an actual vote on the resolution.

"Don't we still have to have a motion to approve it?" she asked.

Meadors reiterated the need for more time to review the resolution, but he was cut short by Johnson.

"We voted on this tonight, so now any other questions on this, I think you are out of order," he said.

The board moved on to other agenda items, but returned to the SPLOST resolution at the end of the meeting during time set aside for board member comments.

Baker requested clarification of the action taken on the SPLOST resolution based on the fact that the board had approved the agenda, which included the resolution as a non-action item.

"I need to clarify the rule, because we voted on the agenda and we approved the agenda," said Baker. "Therefore, we would have to go by the agenda we already voted on, and Item A was not an action item."

"I guess technically we should have amended the agenda," said Coggins, repeating that she had not realized they were going to vote on the actual resolution Tuesday night.

Superintendent Gary Matthews told board members that the public would have expected the board to vote on the resolution in a voting session, not a work session.

"My opinion is, for us to have the best opportunity to get this very important SPLOST passed, we want all five board members on board," Mathews said.

"I would hope the board would revote tonight, redo this, and then agree to vote on Nov. 27 as a group," Mathews added.

Johnson defended his decision to call for a vote and said he believed his intent was clear.

"I wanted to do the best thing, I thought I was doing it, and I was speaking English, to vote on that tonight to expedite it. I don't think there was any ambiguity in what I was saying," said Johnson.

Turner indicated he was willing to withdraw his motion and vote again in two weeks.

"We want to strive for the fact that we are unified, No. 1," he said, "and No. 2, it's not a situation where it will, in my opinion, cause any great harm if we waited."

Turner made a motion to withdraw his earlier motion to approve the resolution, seconded by Coggins. The motion failed because Johnson was opposed and Baker and Meadors didn't vote based on their belief that they could not vote to withdraw a motion they hadn't supported in the first place.

After some discussion, it was determined that Baker and Meadors could vote to withdraw Turner's earlier motion.

Turner made another motion to withdraw his earlier motion to approve the SPLOST resolution. It passed 4 to 1, with Johnson opposed.

The resolution is expected to be on the BOE's Nov. 27 meeting agenda.

Comments

amp72 1 year, 5 months ago

Nice job Newton County. We had a chance to vote Johnson out but failed. And this is what you get. Strong arm tactics and more of the same. This board is NOT unified and probably never will be. And kids suffer.

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Lucy30016 1 year, 5 months ago

Public schools. Good grief and they want 75 MILLION!

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TheUpside 1 year, 5 months ago

I am ready to vote early. NO!

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dennistay53 1 year, 5 months ago

I can't believe this. How can we do the business of the people when some on the board doesn't know or understand the procedures. Why does the board keep making this county look bad with mistakes such as this. Please go back to school and learn proper voting procedures. Thank you Mr Meadors and Mrs Baker for caring enough about the citizens of your districts to do this right.

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tomgahunter 1 year, 5 months ago

Thanks to Crazy Eddie... Newton County the NEW Clayton County.............

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Newtownqq 1 year, 5 months ago

When will we stop with this nonsense Eddie!! Its not your kingdom after all!!! Lets see More SPLOST funding, but our schools fall further and further behind? But lets not try to offended anyone, after all we may be sued!! On the referendum can we vote out both Carters? If so I am all for it!

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tomgahunter 1 year, 5 months ago

Do you mean vote out the Carpenters?? If so I know you can count on the votes of the partent & teachers at Alcovy.

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John 1 year, 5 months ago

IF someone made it "clear" in their judgement, but a significant number (2) or percentage (40%) DID NOT understand what one believes was made "perfectly clear", just maybe the sender's communication is not as effective as what the communicator thinks. Two of five people are probably not wrong. What say you?

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John 1 year, 5 months ago

Did I type too fast, Billy? I only used two fingers.

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dennistay53 1 year, 5 months ago

I say you right John. Why the hurry to vote. Get it right.

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Satan69 1 year, 5 months ago

If Johnson was smart he would have listened to Meadors and Henderson -Baker he maybe. Could have understood more time was needed.

Had our chance for Corley and well the weakest link once again.

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Freshvoice2012 1 year, 5 months ago

I do not get why Van Ness in Rockdale & Meadors in Newton subject themselves to this. And no one strong gets elected to help them. Crazy

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Frustrated 1 year, 5 months ago

I dont either but Im sure glad they are. At least THEY watch out for us

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Freshvoice2012 1 year, 5 months ago

I really doubt that the 2 that said that said more time was needed were wrong besides they seem like the 2 that have the most sense.

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henrystamm 1 year, 5 months ago

Here they go again scheduling a tax increase on a date that the residents cannot vote or are not interested. This would have never passed at the last election. These jokers are incapable to educate our children properly but waste our hard earned money generously. The lazy bunch must be removed and the education department abolished plus all tax votes must be held on the federal election days every two years.

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Frustrated 1 year, 5 months ago

Why was Johnson and Turner so set on getting this voted through when some of the board members requested more time to look at it? Either they are both teaming up or Turner just didnt know what he was making a motion on. Either way this is disgraceful. SOunds like Johnson has taken lessons from Obama..its my way or no way.

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gsm7476 1 year, 5 months ago

You know if they had keep with what they voted one we could have tied the vote up i court for years. I vote NO

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Tairuna 1 year, 1 month ago

I agree NO ON SPLOST NO NO NO NO NO

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PaperChase 1 year, 5 months ago

if the newton charter vote is an indication of the march 19th SPLOST vote it will FAIL. Plus look at this circus. WHo in their right mind would give another penny to a school system where administrators walk around glued to IPADS and ignoring fights while teachers jump in to handle it and the missing money at Alcovy allegations? I never heard the truth on that what is missing exactly until I get that story i will vote NO. If they want a possible yes from me they have to fess up with the allegatoins of money problems at LaQuanda Carpenter's school at Alcovy.

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Freshvoice2012 1 year, 5 months ago

Smells like Eddie and Junior aka Turner colluded before the meeting with CaRpenter. Then the worthless Covington News that I use for cat litter writes there was fuming. I was witness. No fumes just a sorry reporter from the covington news rag.

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Frustrated 1 year, 5 months ago

Covington News had to make it sound sensational as usual. They have proven they dont like Mr Meadors. Guess if he wrote his column for them it would be different.

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Shart15 1 year, 5 months ago

Water cooler talk is that he apparently has a mound of detail on the ethics of one of their reporters that could probably bury them so it is odd they take that approach. Now that is a column I would like to see him write.

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gsm7476 1 year, 5 months ago

Just ordered 500 Vote No Signs and 1000 Bummper stickers.

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Shart15 1 year, 5 months ago

I am told that he has sufficient evidence to do a column on covington news ethics that would bury them.

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Tairuna 1 year, 1 month ago

Clowns. . Send in the clowns. There ought to be clowns. Don't bother there is a room full here. Look back at the confusiong and chaos of the 2013 SPLOST in NCSS and the poor handling of this from day one.

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MamaTurd 1 year, 1 month ago

Eddie are u gonna get us rezoned? If not NO on this.

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TheUpside 1 year, 1 month ago

We were promised rezoning. Why not? Vote no.

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