RH board gives Evans five more years#039;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 19, 2003

PEDRO - Rock Hill School Superintendent Lloyd Evans has one year left on his present contract, and last night, three members of the board voted to extend his tenure another five years.

Board members Jackie Harris, Troy Hardy and Rich Donohoe voted in favor of the motion to extend Evans' contract while

Wanda Jenkins and Carl Large voted against it.

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The matter produced some debate before the vote was taken. One woman who attended the meeting yelled out "Do you think this is a fair thing to do to the new board coming in?"

None of the board members who voted in favor of the matter answered her. Donohoe and Large will leave the board in January. Large chose not to run for reelection while Donohoe was defeated in the Nov. 4 election. Two new board members, Lavetta Sites and Paul R. Johnson, will take their places.

Donohoe said he had heard comments over the last several days from people who

think the contract would be a violation of the law and others who said it would not be. He said he asked for advice from the board's attorney, Mack Anderson, but Anderson told him that in order to give a legal opinion, Anderson would need a directive from the entire board.

Donohoe said he also consulted the Ohio School Boards Association and people there directed him to Columbus attorney Greg Smith. Smith said giving Evans a new contract would not violate a new law that took effect in late September because Evans had retired and been rehired by the board

in April 2002.

That law requires governmental entities to have a 60-day comment period before filling it with a person who has retired from that position and then seeks to be rehired.

"I want to make the right decision and I spent two days trying to find an answer whether or not it was lawful," Donohoe said. He acknowledged that his vote would probably make some people angry but said " I try to make decisions based on what I feel is right."

Donohoe had asked that the matter be discussed in executive session, but his motion to do so failed for lack of a second.

"Don't you think that ought to be discussed out here?" Large asked Donohoe.

Evans retired in April 2002 as superintendent and was immediately rehired on a 3-2 vote by the board during the same meeting in which he handed in his retirement letter. At that time, the board again was split with Harris, Hardy and Donohoe voting in favor of keeping Evans and Jenkins and Large voting against it.

Jenkins said she did not know what, if anything, the new board can or will do about the matter when the new members take office in January.

Evans said he is pleased with the new five-year extension as he has several projects he wants to complete or undertake, such as negotiating an agreement with Calpine, establishing a scholarship trust fund for Rock Hill students and the completion of construction projects.

Evans said he is most pleased with the financial solvency of the district during his tenure.

"Since I've been here, no one has ever missed a paycheck, " Evans said.