Rock Hill School Board vacancies filled

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 11, 2005

ELIZABETH TOWNSHIP- Amidst a somewhat contentious crowd, the two remaining members of the Rock Hill Board of Education Thursday evening appointed replacements to fill vacancies caused by the recent removal of three board members by a county jury.

Board members Troy Hardy and Jackie Harris first appointed Kendall Kitchen to fill the nearly two months left on the unexpired term of Wanda Jenkins. Once Kitchen joined the board, Kitchen voted with Harris and Hardy to appoint first Ora Cox and then Rich Donohue to fill the unexpired terms of Lavetta Sites and Paul R. Johnson.

As Cox strode to the front of the room he said he would &#8220be proud” to be sworn in.

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After the meeting, Kitchen said he had no comment on his appointment since he was new to the board and Donohue said he was doing &#8220what I feel is right.”

The appointments were not without some heckling, jeering and punctuations of loud applause, all of which are not uncommon at Rock Hill meetings. It was the first board meeting since a Lawrence County jury removed Sites, Johnson and Jenkins from office for misconduct in office. Jenkins was re-elected to her position on the board in Tuesday's election, but will not take office until January.

Some members of the audience wanted to debate whether the meeting was legal since the two remaining board members do not constitute a quorum.

&#8220This is an illegal meeting with only two members present,” Linda Johnson stated from the audience.

Harris and Hardy read a legal opinion from the Lawrence County Prosecutor's Office that stated the meeting was legal and that the two remaining board members were, in fact, enough of a quorum to appoint new board members, despite different opinions from some in the crowd.

At times the crowd became rowdy enough that Lawrence County Sheriff's deputy Ray Jones had to quiet audience members with threats of removal.

The board will meet in executive session 7 p.m. Saturday at the high school to discuss legal issues with their attorney.

Meanwhile Sites, Jenkins and Johnson await word on whether the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals will agree to hear their appeal of the jury's decision that removed them from the board. Their leave to file appeal was submitted to the Lawrence County Clerk of Courts earlier this week.