Fairchild Named School Board Chairman; Sets Workshop On Scales Contract

Ricks Charges "Some Under-Handed Things Done" On Chairman Election

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Everett Fairchild is the new board chairman
Everett Fairchild is the new board chairman
- photo by Wes Schultz

The County School Board voted 5-3 on Thursday night to name Everett Fairchild as chairman. He immediately said a workshop would be set to go over the recent evaluations of Supt. Jim Scales and to "discuss his contract."

Dr. Scales has a contract that extends almost another two years, but some board members are considering a buy-out, sources said.

The school board in June 2008 voted 5-4 to extend the Scales contract from June 2010 to June 2012.

Dr. Scales, who came to Hamilton County from Texas after a national search in which a consultant was involved, is paid $202,274.72 per year.

Mr. Fairchild was supported by Rhonda Thurman and new board members Mike Evatt, Joe Galloway and David Testerman.

Linda Mosley got votes from George Ricks and Jeffery Wilson.

Chip Baker was absent.

Mr. Fairchild said, "Some of the recent decisions of the board have damaged our credibility."

He said he hoped the board tonight would reverse one of those decisions - not to approve a contract worked out with the Hamilton County Education Association. The board did approve the contract.

Mr. Fairchild, a former county school principal, also said he wants steps taken toward drawing up a new county school facilities plan. He asked each board member to discuss the issue with their County Commission member and with Gary Waters, who oversees county school buildings. He said there would then be discussions with County Mayor Claude Ramsey and the County Commission.

Mr. Evatt said there had been some "ill-advised decisions that have outraged the public and once again tarnished our image." He apparently referred to the recent decision to give retirement pay to school board members. That action was supported by Ms. Mosley, Mr. Ricks, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Baker and former board member Janice Boydston.

Mr. Evatt said an emphasis was needed on transparency.

He said integrity, experience and knowledge are needed at the school system.

Mr. Ricks said there had been "some under-handed things done" leading up to the chairman election.

When his name was called, he said the name of Linda Mosley in a loud voice.

Ms. Mosley said she became acting chairman after Kenny Smith went off the board. She said a move to put items on the agenda should have come through her, but did not.

She also asked board attorney Scott Bennett if there had been any violation of the Sunshine Law in asking for certain items be placed on the agenda. He said he was not aware of one.

Mr. Wilson was named vice chairman and Ms. Mosley secretary.

There was more sparring later in the session when Dr. Scales said board members were supposed to give 24-hour notice when they were going to pull an item off the "consent agenda." The consent-agenda items are considered to be routine and non-controversial, but are sometimes pulled by board members who want them discussed and voted on separately.

Ms. Thurman said when questions are answered before board meetings "the public never knows what's going on. Nobody ever hears the answer.

"I'm sorry if you have a problem answering a question. I'm not asking for myself. I'm here for the taxpayers."

Mr. Wilson said it was agreed at a work session at Nashville that the 24-hour notice would be board procedure.

Ms. Thurman said, "You would be hard-pressed to get this board to go along with that. I think this is a different day than the (Joe) Conner days."

A number of black leaders, including former County Commissioner Paul McDaniel and former City Judge Walter Williams, in an apparent show of support for Dr. Scales.

Rhonda Thurman is often the one on an 8-1 school board vote, but she was on the winning side on the chairman balloting
Rhonda Thurman is often the one on an 8-1 school board vote, but she was on the winning side on the chairman balloting
- Photo2 by Wes Schultz

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, CHRISTOPHER STEPHEN 6912 GLEN EARL WAY CHATTANOOGA, 37412 34 Collegedale Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) ALLEN, BRANDON TERELL 3010 PEGGY LANE CHATTANOOGA, 37404 30 Chattanooga Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) AYALA, JOSE 3938 ARKWRIGHT ST CHATTANOOGA, ... (click for more)

Corker Statement On President Obama Signing Ukraine Freedom Support Act Into Law

Senator Bob Corker on Thursday issued the following statement after President Obama signed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act into law: “I am pleased the president signed our bill into law, and I hope he will do the hard work to convince the Europeans to adopt similar measures and stand with Ukraine against the ongoing threat of Russian aggression. This legislation passed with ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: God Bless Cathy & Co.

The secret to the whole thing is not getting caught but somebody at the Toys R Us store in Framingham, Mass., had a camera when Cathy O’Grady was very quietly paying off all the layaway balances at the popular location last week. The picture snaked its way onto social media sites and her friends quickly recognized the area’s most famous “layaway angel.” Then somebody in nearby ... (click for more)

Lewis Leads Silverdale Girls Past Boyd-Buchanan

Thursday   was a day of celebration for the Silverdale Lady Seahawks and junior sharp-shooter Megan Lewis. It took an overtime period, but the home-standing Lady Seahawks pulled out a heart-stopping 45-44 victory over the Lady Bucs in a battle for first place in District 5-A.  Lewis scored the game winner with two seconds to play after scoring her 1,000th point on ... (click for more)

Cleveland Wrestlers Whip Tullahoma, Alcoa

The Cleveland Blue Raiders won a pair of dual meets at Walker Valley Thursday night with a 66-12 romp over Alcoa and a more-competitive 34-28 win over Tullahoma. Walker Valley split with the same two teams, the Mustangs beating Alcoa 42-33 before losing to Tullahoma, 54-18. CLEVELAND 34, TULLAHOMA 28 106 -- Jayce Mullin (C) major dec over Will Moran, 8-0; 113 -- Cody ... (click for more)