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

Evening Lane Closures On I-24 Tuesday-Thursday For Median Wall Repairs

Beginning Tuesday evening and again on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, between the hours of 8 p.m.-6 a.m., the TDOT bridge repair crew will be making permanent repairs to a damaged median barrier wall on I-24 East at mile marker 178.   The wall was severely damaged in a crash involving a jack knifed tractor trailer on July 28.   The crew will demolish the wall Tuesday ... (click for more)

Presidential Contender Dr. Ben Carson Will Sign Books In Chattanooga On Oct. 11; Rubio Here Thursday

Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson will be visiting Chattanooga on Oct. 11. He will sign copies of his new book A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties at 3 p.m. at the Hamilton Place Barnes and Noble. Dr. Carson, who is on a 40-city tour, calls the book an opportunity to “encourage every citizen to read and think about ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Is Right On The Muslim Threat

Sheriff Hammond is exactly correct on the Muslims in Tennessee.  He sees with clear eyes the problem with the Muslims in our state and country.  They do want to take over Tennessee.  Our politicians are selling us down the river and allowing the trouble makers to dig in like tics and suck out the life's blood of our Constitution and take us over.  They ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My September Garden

As we begin the annual pilgrimage into fall, I walk through my garden and, in the spirit of Orchids and Onions, I see colorful mums starting to flower at the same time dried-up weeds are begging to be pulled. So as we turn the calendar to September, here are some things that catch my eye: A COLORFUL MUM to Chattanooga State for unveiling the Michael Hennen Hospitality Center in ... (click for more)

Jumper, Ex-Baylor Star, To Start For Vols Against Bowling Green

When 25 th -ranked Tennessee plays Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, former Baylor School standout Colton Jumper will be the Vols’ starting middle linebacker. The 6-foot-2-inch, 227-pound Jumper played at Baylor for coach Phil Massey and recorded 251 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 22 sacks, two interceptions, caused five fumbles, recovered two ... (click for more)

County Schools Waiting On Report On Condition Of East Ridge High Stands

County school officials are awaiting a report from city of East Ridge inspectors on the condition of the concrete football stands at East Ridge High School. Lee McDade, assistant supt., said maintenance of the stands is up to the county schools. The concrete stands are currently roped off. The concrete complex includes a lower area with coaches' offices and player dressing ... (click for more)