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Howard, Cain are school board's new leaders

Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 11:53 AM
Last updated 4:57 PM
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The Richmond County Board of Education elected new leaders at its reorganization meeting today.
District 3 board member Alex Howard was unanimously elected president of the board, and District 9 member Venus Cain was elected vice president, eventually also by a unanimous vote.
Howard was vice president, and District 1 board member Marion Barnes ended his two-year term as president, with the Saturday meeting being the last one he led.
After the meeting, Howard and Cain spoke of the challenges they and the school district will face in the next two years, with money being the top issue.
"Our main focus is going to be our budget, considering the fact that we've been significantly cut in the last three years and it's going to continue to be that way," Howard said. "That's our primary concern. Second concern we're going to kind of look at is our transportation issues we've had. We've got a shortage of workers. We've got some, obviously, some disgruntled workers there as well, and parents are upset because their children are arriving hours late. So I think that's something we need to fix, definitely."
A third area of focus, he said, is the upcoming Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, which could be ready for a board vote this spring and for a public vote later in the year. District staff and Columbia architectural firm Hanscomb/GMK are developing the list of projects a 1-cent sales tax could fund.
The board actually took two votes for its vice president. Barnes nominated Cain, and District 5 member Patsy Scott nominated District 4 member Barbara Pulliam.
In the first vote, Cain received seven votes, and Pulliam received two - herself and Scott. District 7 member Frank Dolan was absent.
Then District 8 member Jimmy Atkins called for a revote so Cain could receive unanimous support. The board obliged. Cain said afterward that she appreciated the confidence her fellow board members placed in her.
"What I plan to do is work in conjunction with the president to make sure we still have smooth board meetings and that the will of the board is carried out," she said.
Before the end of the roughly 10-minute meeting, Barnes thanked district administrators and his fellow board members for their support during his two years as president and endorsed the board's new leaders.
"I appreciate being able to serve you in the last two years," Barnes said. "I think we accomplished a lot of things. You are the most cooperative board I believe we have had. ... We have had less friction. We didn't always agree, but we disagreed agreeably. I hope you will support these two people as well as you did me. You've got two tremendous leaders here in Ms. Cain and Mr. Howard."
Atkins, who served as board president from 2006 to 2008, passed along a wish for Howard."Four years ago, Mr. Barnes, when we were sitting here and you gave the gavel over to me, you said what I want to say to Mr. Howard," Atkins said. "Good look. You're gonna need it."

IN OTHER BUSINESS
The school board chose to keep the dates and times of the meeting the same as they have been in the past two years:

  • Committee meetings, second Tuesday, 4 p.m.
  • Regular board meetings, third Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Next, the board will hold committee meetings starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the board room at district headquarters, 864 Broad St.

Comments (7) Add comment
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bettyboop
7
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bettyboop 01/08/11 - 07:33 pm
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What a joke!

What a joke!

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 01/08/11 - 11:55 pm
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Congrats to Mr. Howard and

Congrats to Mr. Howard and Ms. Cain. Two examples of great leadership who are willing to use common sense to drag and push the school system forward.

factfinder
6
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factfinder 01/09/11 - 12:46 am
0
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Insider you must be joking.

Insider you must be joking. If school governing boards had to make AYP standards RCBOE members would surely fail. Lets not bury our heads in the sand and pretend while this school board keeps making very poor decisions. Excellent school districts have excellent governing bodys.

showboat
330
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showboat 01/09/11 - 12:42 am
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CONGRATS, I KNOW THAT YOU
Unpublished

CONGRATS, I KNOW THAT YOU GUYS WILL DO A GREAT JOB!!!

Catwoman2011
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Catwoman2011 01/09/11 - 01:11 am
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Sadly, the joke is on our

Sadly, the joke is on our students of Richmond County. Venus Cain, a leader, I think NOT!!! I have attended several board meetings and never have I witnessed Venus Cain being a leader. In fact, anyone who walks from their seat to another board member’s seat and threatens to injure him is not a person I want to refer to as a leader. A MENACE TO SOCIETY...YES! A LEADER NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 01/09/11 - 01:27 am
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factfinder, enlighten me.

factfinder, enlighten me. What would you do differently than this board has done?

catwoman, if you observed the school board meetings prior to the one you are referring to, you are well aware of what prompted this. How would you have handled these earlier outbursts?

Westside Liberal
12
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Westside Liberal 01/09/11 - 02:42 am
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MONEY is the top issue for

MONEY is the top issue for these new "leaders" of the BOE. No where was there a mention of improvement to the quality of education and ensurance that achievement goals will be met. Let's remember the children.

Catwoman2011
0
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Catwoman2011 01/09/11 - 07:36 pm
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Insider, are you approving of

Insider, are you approving of the way Ms. Cain handled the situation? Is there a double standard going on within our school system? How can you be a leader and make decisions for our students when a pupil will be suspended, if not expelled, for making a threat towards another student? It is important to set examples, if you have a bad temper then maybe being a school board member was a very poor choice.

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