Rock Hill meeting on hold for now

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2005

Leaders within the Rock Hill School District are excited about the future - but first have to resolve a few remaining issues from the past.

The school board was set to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday but that meeting has been canceled pending a legal opinion regarding how the body can proceed with only two members. Board members Lavetta Sites, Wanda Jenkins and Paul R. Johnson were removed by a jury Oct. 14 after a lawsuit alleging misconduct was upheld.

&#8220We are going to request an opinion from the prosecuting attorney as to how to fill the vacancies,” said embattled Superintendent Lloyd Evans. &#8220We really have to have that as our first order of business so we have more than a two-member board.”

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It was the the three school board member's efforts to remove Evans that lead to their ultimate removal. The group Citizens Against Poor Spending (CAPS) filed the suit against the three members. Board members Troy Hardy and Jackie Harris remain serving the district.

How the district can proceed from this point will largely depend on the legal opinion because state law is not clear, though it has been ruled that one member cannot appoint.

Regardless, no vacancies could have been filled Tuesday because 10 days have not passed since Judge Fred Crow's signed his ruling regarding the removal of the board. At this time, it is unclear if the ousted board members will appeal the jury's decision.

In the meantime, Evans has gotten back to work after his own legal battles following his termination by the school board that was overturned in court. Earlier this month, the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by the school board and sent the case back to the local court because some issues in the matter were not ruled on locally.

&#8220Everything is going well, with no problems. It is a lot of work. Things are backed up a little,” Evans said, though he said he was impressed with the minimal impact to the students. &#8220Everyone connected with the schools did an excellent job of keeping everything running. The only real problem has been between myself and the board.”

As one of two remaining members, Hardy said he couldn't agree more when it comes to appreciating what has been accomplished despite the turmoil.

&#8220I think it is vital to look toward the future and get back in the business of doing the business for the Rock Hill kids,” Hardy said. &#8220We have had almost two years of spitting, arguing and not being able to get along as a board. I am looking forward to putting that behind us.”