By ASHLEY AMASON
The Walton County School Board (WCSB) voted to lower the purchase order limit from $25,000 to $10,000 at the May 5 meeting.
The amendment, which was first suggested by board member Darrell Barnhill at the March 3 meeting, drew fire upon its initial proposal. District employees, including Coordinator of Exceptional Student Education Rosemary Ragle and Coordinator of Technology and Information Dewayne Geoghagan, opposed the amendment because it would delay purchasing immediately-needed equipment. Chairman of the board, Bill Laird, along with member Mildred Wilkerson, also opposed the amendment, saying lowering the limit was micromanagement. Superintendent Carlene Anderson too opposed lowering the limit.
Anderson stated, “The only reason I can imagine you would consider it from this point is not as a budget reduction or oversight stand-point, but rather putting more controls on management. In previous discussion, this all seems to stem from one problem, from one contract for one individual. I would contend that this is unnecessary and potentially a costly venture.”
In a May 5 meeting, Anderson recommended the board not approve the amendment to lower the limit. Anderson explained the state allows the board to have a purchase order limit up to $50,000. Barnhill motioned to reject the superintendent’s recommendation. The motion passed, 3-2, Laird and Wilkerson opposing.
In other news, a collective bargaining team was formed by the board, including Attorney Ben Holley, Chief Financial Officer Jim McCall, Director of Human Resources Sonny Nolin, Supervisor of Instruction and Curriculum Marsha Pugh, Paxton School Principal Sonya Alford, Jerry Copeland and Toni Norman. These staff members will negotiate the salary contracts with teachers for the coming year.