The second Monday in December in odd numbered years came on December 14th this year. This is when newly elected CCS school board members are sworn in. In 2013 two new school board members, Danny Blanton and Rev. Donnie Thurman, Jr. were sworn in. This year two more new school board members were to be sworn in, Jo Boggs and Jeff Jones as well as re-elected Board members Shearra Miller, Richard Hooker, and Roger Harris.. I wouldn’t have missed the December 14, 2015 school board meeting for the world.
For everybody’s information, School Board meetings are regularly scheduled the second and fourth Monday of the month at 7:00 PM at the CCS Central Offices. Any changes to the time, date and location of the regularly scheduled meetings or emergency meetings, according to NC State Law, must be accompanied by notices to the public that are very specific. In other words, the CCS School Board cannot just decide to up and change their meeting schedules at the drop of a hat and it be OK. Nope, State Law says the public must have sufficient notice of any such change to the meeting time, date and location. That notice is specified in great detail in the law and it is a legal infraction if such notice is not properly given. For instance, if the Time, date or location of the December 14, 2015 meeting is changed without proper legal notice, the actions taken by the school board might be legally null and void.
Anyway, I intended to go to the December 14, 2015 CCS school board meeting at 7:00 PM at the CCS Central Offices come Hell or high water. Instead, I ended up at the Shelby Police Department. Here is what happened.
Since the previous two school board meetings were held at other places instead of at the regularly scheduled meeting place at the CCS Central Offices at 400 West Marion Street, I checked the email notice I had received the afternoon of December 14, 2015. Yep, the meeting was at the Central Offices. So, I go to the CCS Central Offices and arrive at about 6:45 PM. There was plenty of close parking but I was early. So, I gave it no thought. I parked on Marion Street directly in front of the front door of the Central Services Offices.
I walked up to the front door or the Central Offices. The door is a heavy duty double door with an expensive keypad entrance system where you enter your pass code for entrance. I don’t have a pass code nor does any other citizen that is not a CCS employee with authorization to enter. But for public meetings the keypad entry system is disabled. I grab the door handle and the door swings wide open and I walk through the front door.
I was immediately greeted with the bells and sirens of an alarm system going off. Well, I thought. The Police will be over shortly. I walked into the front reception area looking for any indication of where the board meeting was going to be held as nobody was here. It was early so maybe I could get there in time. No notice about anything. The auditorium door was closed but unlocked. The lights were off. So, I go back to the front door looking for the notice that is required by NC Law of a change of location for the meeting. Nothing. I go back inside and go all the way down to the East end ground level doors. They are also unlocked, but no notice. I walk down the hall all the way to the other end of the building to check those doors. All unlocked but no notice. In fact every door that I came to was unlocked. Everything in this $9 million newly renovated building chocked full of high dollar computers and other electronic equipment was unlocked and exposed to theft by anyone who just happened to walk through the front door. Or any door.