King must wait to join board of education

-A A +A

School board must accept vacancy before seat can be filled

By Damon Lawrence

Roane County Commission’s attempt to appoint former Kingston football coach Vic King to the vacant District 5/6 Board of Education seat didn’t go as planned.
“There’s really not a vacancy legally at this time,” Commission Chairman James Brummett said.
Marjorie Earick was elected to a four-year term in District 5/6 last August. She resigned last month for personal reasons.
The commission was gearing up to vote King in at Monday’s meeting, but County Attorney Tom McFarland asked Brummett to take a short break.
The legality of the appointment was discussed during the recess.
When the meeting resumed, Brummett announced the nomination of King could not be accepted. 
“The vacancy has to be accepted by the school board, which has not happened yet,” Brummett said. “We, as a commission, cannot accept a nomination for a position that’s still filled.”
School Board Chairman Rob Jago announced Earick’s resignation at the board’s Jan. 24 meeting.
“I asked Chairman Jago, and he said they took a voice vote,” Commissioner Bobby Collier said.
“No,” Jago responded. “We talked about it. We did not take an actual vote.” 
Apparently, that was a problem.
“So now your attorney is saying you have to have a roll-call vote?” Collier asked.
“No,” Jago responded. “Our county attorney.”
Jago said he was going on the advice of McFarland, not school board attorney Chuck Cagle.
McFarland said it was his understanding the board will accept Earick’s resignation at its regular meeting on Feb. 21.
Kim Nelson resigned from the school board on Aug. 31, 2010, to become circuit court clerk. The commission appointed Earick in October of that year to fill the seat. There is nothing in the board’s September 2010 or October 2010 minutes about a vote being taken to accept Nelson’s resignation. 
There also was confusion Monday about how long King’s term might last. The agenda said Aug. 31, 2016, but Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway disagreed.
“The law says you appoint a vacancy until the next general election, which is August 2014,” Holiway said.
“So if he wants to run, then he can?” Collier asked. 
“Certainly,” Holiway responded.
The commission is now planning to fill the vacant school board seat at its March 11 meeting. A public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. for anyone interested in filling the seat.