Editor’s Note. Four Board of Trustees members terms ended June 30, 2017.
1. The vacancy created by former Board Chairman Ellis Monroe’s resignation in disgust a few months ago was filled by the County Commissioners with Commissioner Jason Falls. The Commissioners also appointed Falls for a full term back in June.
2. The Commissioners appointed Michael Cheng to replace Greg Melton
3. Governor Roy Cooper appointed Betty (Mrs. Charlie) Carrigan to replace Allen Langley.
4. The School Board has not appointed anybody yet to the seat held by June Yarboro. Our information is that Mrs. Yarboro has smartly informed the CCS Board that she does not want to be re-appointed to the CCC Board. It is expected that the School Board will make their appointment at the CCS Board meeting July 24, 2017. That appointment may be contentious as we have been informed that former board member Allen Langley, who was originally appointed by the Governor and whose term expired, now wants to be re-appointed to the CCC Board by the CCS Board. Some hanky-panky appears to be going on here. Especially since another highly qualified person has expressed an interested in being appointed to the CCC Board by the CCS Board. Also note that CCC Board of Trustee member June Yarboro, whose term expired June 30, 2017 attended the July 11, 2017 CCC Board of Trustee meeting and voted in that meeting. Perhaps her vote was illegal and may have otherwise caused a continuation of gridlock in several 6-6 tie votes in this July 11, 2017 meeting as there were only eleven legitimate Board members present. Thus negating any possibility of a tie votes that are coming up shortly in this highly controversial meeting and possibly making, along with other situations, the vote to pay Thornburg $150,000 null and void. Someone on the Board of Trustees needs to ask their many attorneys about that.
Now some fireworks in this meeting that was to end up lasting nine hours. The next item on the agenda was a report from the nominating committee and the election of new officers for the new 2017-2018 term. For this Item, the presiding officer of the meeting was turned over to Board Secretary Dr. Thornburg.
The Nominating Committee Chairman, Lamont Littlejohn, with much explaining reported that the Nominating Committee (which were not named) had recommended Wes Westmoreland as Chairman and Jason Falls as Vice Chairman. Then in what appeared to be a clear departure from normal parliamentary procedure (Robert’s Rules of Order) Rev. Dr. Littlejohn made the nomination in the form of a motion. Then Wayne King immediately makes a “substitute” motion to nominate Jason Falls as the Board of Trustees Chairman citing Westmoreland’s conflict of interest that was previously discussed but not resolved to King’s (and possibly others including myself) satisfaction.
The Board meeting entered into a period of confusion, bordering on chaos. Thornburg was “confused” and asked multiple times for legal opinions on parliamentary procedural rules. (I thought Thornburg knew better than this but throwing the Board into a total state of confusion might have been his plan all along, especially for later on in the closed session to come,) A vote on the substitute motion was a 6-6 tie (remember Yarboro’s possible illegal vote) therefore it did not pass. Then the vote on the first motion also tied, so it did not pass either. Then Jason Falls and Wes Westmoreland were each asked to give a little speech on why each of them wanted to be chairman.
Then they decided to vote on the same motions again although neither of them passed the first time around. The substitute motion was voted on first and another 6-6 tie. Then the first motion was voted on and the results were 6-5 to pass. Board member Gordon Hamrick had abstained from voting that time. Then the question arose about how could Hamrick have voted all the previous votes and then abstained. And more discussion.
The wind up of all this was that Wes Westmoreland was declared Chairman and Jason Falls was declared the Vice Chairman. Westmoreland, at this point, took over as the presiding officer for this July 11, 2017 CCC Board of Trustees meeting.