Board delays legal decision
June 18, 2013
Discussion of the Legal Services position ended with no decision Thursday night during the Churchill County School trustees’ regularly scheduled meeting.
Three candidates — Martin Crowley of Fallon and Jeff Blanck of Reno, Scott Jamieson and Charles Woodman of Reno, and Sharla Hales of Minden — were interviewed for two hours before trustees opted to delay a selection until their next meeting on June 27. Hales has served as the district’s Legal Counsel since 2007. The school board, however, voted to consider Request for Proposal earlier this year.
“All of the candidates, in my opinion, are very highly qualified,” said Ron Evans, school board president. “I was greatly impressed by all three and I would find it hard to make a decision at this time.”
Trustee Rich Gent made a motion to table the, seconded by Trustee Clay Hendrix. The vote was 6-1 with Trustee Nona McFarlane opposing.
Craig Mingay, civil deputy district attorney for Churchill County who served as a special advisor to the school board during the interviews, informed trustees they could delay their decision and take time to consider references and background checks of the candidates or move forward and make a decision at that point.
Trustee Greg Koenig expressed his interest to go ahead with the reference and background checks.
“I’m fine; these people are attorneys and I’m sure if they’re not telling the truth they know the consequences,” McFarlane said. “This has been going on a long time; we’ve postponed it many times and I’d like to get a decision. These people have traveled here, they’re on their own time, and I would like to get a decision going.”
Gent added his preference for the background and reference checks, and Trustee Carmen Schank indicated she was prepared to move forward immediately.
“I think, to be fair to everyone, I would like background checks,” Trustee Steve Nunn said in breaking the tie “We have an incumbent that I am comfortable with but I don’t know the other candidates that well.”
Hendrix cast the deciding fourth vote in favor of tabling the item.
Each trustee asked two prepared questions of the candidates during the interview process.
The selection comes at a crucial time when the school district faces numerous legal issues, including a lawsuit involving former superintendent Carolyn Ross, who resigned from her post in late June 2012. A Dec. 11 hearing in the Tenth Judicial District Court has been set for pretrial motions and the trial has been scheduled for Jan. 8-10, 2014.
Trustees also discussed or took action on the following items:
• Accepted a renewal proposal from Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool (POOL) in the amounts of $380,278 for liability and $4,394 for student accident, and approved payment from Fiscal Year 2013-14 funds.
• Accepted Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage from the National Council on Compensation Insurance as the lowest bidder in the amount of $319,029 for Fiscal Year 2013-14. The vote was 5-1, with Trustee Clay Hendrix opposing (Trustee Greg Koenig was absent).
• Heard a Churchill Community Coalition presentation on Search Attitudes and Behaviors survey.
• Approved renewal of an Internet contract with CC Communications in the amount of $130,816 for three years. By opting for a three-year contract, the district’s band width was doubled at a discounted price. Discussion of a telephone contract was tabled until the board’s next meeting.
• Approved the purchase of new wooden cubby-style lockers with bond funds for E.C. Best Elementary School round building classrooms in the amount of $21,978.37.
• Agreed to raise the lunch price for the 2013-14 school year by 25 cents per meal and approved the sponsor application for the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program for 2013-14.
• Tabled discussion of the West End facility floor plan for bond project remodel scheduled to begin this fall.
• Tabled discussion of the old district offices at 545 E. Richards St. to the city of Fallon pursuant to the reverter clause in original deed.