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WCSB: SUPPORT FOR HISTORICAL COMMUNITY CAUSES DISSENT

Feb 25th, 2009 | 0

By ASHLEY AMASON

At the Feb. 17 regular meeting of the Walton County School Board (WCSB), board members debated whether or not to comply with a request from the vice president of the Point Washington Historical Association, James Foley, for support of the preservation of Point Washington’s historical character through height and density requirements for new development.
Board member Darrell Barnhill voiced a suggestion to prepare a resolution, commenting, “I support the concept of a historical community,” but claimed he was not comfortable discussing “finite issues of planning.”
Member Sharon Roberts adamantly disagreed, telling Foley she contacted several board members of the Point Washington Historical Association who claimed to be unaware Foley was requesting support from the Walton County Board of County Commissioners and the WCSB. Roberts stated she felt ill at ease “when a group can’t decide within themselves what they actually want…I think as a public board, we need to stay out of the private sector of decision.”
Member Mildred Wilkerson agreed with Roberts, saying, “I support their district, but I think we as school board members have nothing to do with personal property. Let them deal with it, not us.”
Foley replied to the board saying, the Point Washington Historical Association is “looking for the quickest way we could preserve the historic character. The intent of what we’re trying to do should be loud and clear.”
Barnhill suggested Superintendent Anderson prepare a resolution supporting the concept in general. The resolution passed with three ayes, Wilkerson and Roberts opposing.
The motion unanimously carried to amend the student progression plan concerning the definition of a grading period. The board voted to define a grading period as one semester. This amendment came as a result of confusion over state laws which require students involved in extracurricular activities to not have more than two failing grades in one grading period.
Board members excitedly discussed using the current Walton High School Media Center furnishings in the new high school, which will save over $212,000. In a time of drastic budget cuts, the board was relieved to hear Wayne Miller report that the manufacturer said the furnishings were in “excellent condition.”
Closing the meeting, the board unanimously recommended Mildred Wilkerson to replace WCSB Chairman Bill Laird on the board of the Walton Education Foundation. Laird stated he felt as Chairman of the WCSB, he could not devote his full attention to the position with the Walton Education Foundation and said Wilkerson would have “a lot of fun.”

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