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Board meeting lacks quorum to be official

At a regularly-scheduled meeting Monday evening, two members of the Warren County Board of Education said they were too few in number to officially conduct business.

Chairwoman Gwendolyn Tucker and Vice-Chairman Randy Morris sat around the board meeting table alongside Warren County School Superintendent Carole Jean Carey in the high school's media center. No one else sat around the table, neither were there any other chairs there. Approximately 75 residents filled seats in the audience.

It was the first school board meeting since Governor Sonny Perdue issued an executive order to remove the three school board members -- Clara Roberts, Cecil Brown and Charles Culver. The order was sent down in a press release last Friday, a few minutes after 3:30 p.m.

Because of a lack of quorum, Mrs. Tucker said the gathering was not an official meeting, and therefore, no business could be conducted.

"As each of you know," Mrs. Tucker said to the audience, "Governor Perdue has declared the three seats on the board vacant, effective Friday, Aug. 6. With that being said, we don't have a majority of a board."

Mrs. Tucker said she and Mr. Morris would notify the former board members that their vacancies would be filled, according to law. She said the notification would be a written notice, in addition to a printed notice in the legal organ newspaper of the county, The Warrenton Clipper . In 10 days, Mrs. Tucker said she and Mr. Morris would appoint three replacements for the vacant seats until the general election in November. After the appointments are made, a called meeting will be held to discuss the items on the regular school board agenda and allow public input by anyone who was signed up to do so at Monday's meeting.

Mrs. Tucker cited Georgia Code numbers 20-2-57, 45-5-1 and 20-2-54 as the reasons no business could be conducted until replacement members were appointed.

Mr. Brown, Dr. Culver and Mrs. Roberts arrived late and approached the table, where Mrs. Tucker told them they needed to take a seat in the audience. After the meeting ended, Mrs. Roberts and Dr. Culver told Mrs. Tucker they had received no official notice from the governor or an attorney, therefore they thought they were allowed to take their usual seats as board members.

"We were late because we were consulting our attorneys," Mrs. Roberts told The McDuffie Mirror. "It has not been registered and made official. ... This was sent to our attorney electronically."

Web posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010

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