The Cobb County Board of Education approved a reapportionment map presented by Chairwoman Alison Bartlett on a 5-1 vote at Wednesday morning’s work session.
David Banks of Northeast and East Cobb’s Post 5, who presented two different maps to board members the past two weeks, cast the dissenting vote. Lynnda Crowder-Eagle of West Cobb’s Post 1 didn't attend the meeting.
Banks said he emailed board members his two reapportionment designs and worked with Crowder-Eagle on his first map. He also said Wednesday that because he did not hear from any board members about his maps, he assumed they had no questions.
“I’m greatly concerned that Mr. Banks has made no effort in working with the board as a whole,” Kathleen Angelucci of North Cobb’s Post 4 said. ”The reapportionment map we discussed at the July 28 meeting (presented by Bartlett) was something we all contributed to except those board members who choose not to, and I recommend we move forward with that map.”
Banks tried to respond to Angelucci, but Board Attorney Clem Doyle halted him, saying: “Let’s let all the board members weigh in. We don’t want to start to have back-and-forth conversations.”
Board member Tim Stultz of Smyrna’s Post 2 later asked Banks how he had been “working” with state Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth), the chairman of the Cobb legislative delegation, on his reapportionment maps.
Banks said it depended on the definition of “working.”
He said he met with Setzler after he drew his first map, then later went over his map and talked about Bartlett's map with Setzler. Banks redrew his first map after fielding concerns from board members and Setzler.
“He has reviewed the maps,” Banks said. “He knows about the maps, and some of the other delegates also I have talked to about the maps.”
Bartlett earlier said Setzler approached her and asked that the board have its vote on the reapportionment map this month, especially if the majority of the board supported it, because four board members are up for re-election in 2012. The General Assembly has to approve the school district’s election map.
Banks later said he also was concerned that the public had no input on the map.
Also during the meeting:
- Banks said Don Hill, one of his two Facilities & Technology Committee appointees, has resigned to run for the late state Rep. Bobby Franklin’s seat Sept. 20. Banks said he hasn’t thought about a replacement for Hill.
- Banks’ attempts to give substitute teachers a $6-per-day raise to $75, with a maximum of $95, and to give district employees a 1 percent raise went nowhere. Bartlett reminded Banks that the board approved the 2011-12 budget in June, and she polled the other four members and found no support for either proposal. Superintendent Michael Hinojosa told Banks the two items wouldn’t be “fiscally responsible.” Bartlett said she would consider Banks’ suggestions during next year’s budget process.
- The Cobb County School District had construction projects at 50 of its 114 schools this summer, and all classrooms will be ready for the start of school Monday, said Doug Shepard, the district's SPLOST chief administrative officer. Shepard said the county's taxpayers are getting $200 million to $240 million worth of work done for $110 million in SPLOST money, largely because of the acceleration of projects. “It truly is putting Cobb County back to work, and we’re happy to do that.”
- The board tabled a proposal from Human Resources Director Donald Dunnigan to no longer allow employees to bring non-attorneys to disciplinary conferences. Dunnigan said the change would save two or three days in responding to staff discipline issues. "I think in the spirit of efficiency that making this type of an adjustment is in the best interest of our district as a whole,” board member David Morgan of South Cobb's Post 3 said.
- The work session was the quickest of the year, ending at 11:43 a.m. after starting at 8:30. Board member Scott Sweeney of East Cobb’s Post 6 said the speed of the meeting, which included a 10-minute break and a 36-minute executive session, wasn’t an accident. “The board recognizes that everyone’s time is valuable, and we are diligently working with administration and staff to make board meetings as efficient as is practical.”
- The district has hired approximately 470 new teachers for the 2011-12 school year.