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Sandy Yelton fills Warren County BOE District 1 vacancy

WARRENTON, Ga. -- Now that a new member has been appointed to the Warren County Board of Education, the board is on track to resume normal business.

In a called meeting Tuesday afternoon, BOE Chairwoman Gwendolyn Tucker announced that Sandy Yelton would fill the vacancy for District 1. Ms. Tucker said Ms. Yelton would be sworn in Wednesday morning by Probate Judge Janice Thigpen, then the three school board members will meet Thursday as a quorum to appoint replacements for the other two district vacancies.

Two weeks ago, Gov. Sonny Perdue ousted three of the five members of the Warren County Board of Education. Gov. Perdue acted on a recommendation from Administrative Law Judge John B. Gatto that Clara B. Roberts, Cecil Brown and Charles Culver be removed from their elected positions as a result of Mrs. Roberts and Mr. Brown making discriminatory comments and all three of them refusing to sign the school board's ethics policy.

At the time of the governor's decision, the trio's attorney, E. Brian Watkins, said the case would be appealed.

Because there were not enough members to make a quorum after the governor's action, the board of education was unable to conduct business at its August meeting. Ms. Tucker said that meeting will be resumed Monday after all the vacancies are filled and the newly-appointed members are sworn in. She said because there is no local legislation on how to fill such vacancies, Georgia law requires the remaining board members appoint a replacement until new ones are selected by voters in the General Election.

Mr. Morris said the vacancies were advertised and Ms. Yelton was the only person who responded. She had qualified in July as a candidate for the position in the November general election.

Ms. Yelton is a full-time secretary at Hoover Wood Products and a paramedic and volunteer firefighter in Warren County. She has served as Deputy Coroner of Warren County for the past seven years, but had to resign the position to take her current BOE seat.

"I liked being deputy coroner, but this is more pressing," Ms. Yelton said. "This affects the kids, the taxes, the school system and the future of our community. ... Things had to change. My main goal is to make sure the kids have what they are supposed to have and the taxpayers of Warren County get what they pay for. Plus, I'm tired of hearing Warren County in the bad news. It's time to have Warren County in the news in a good way."

Staff Writer Billy W. Hobbs contributed to this story.

Web posted on Thursday, August 26, 2010

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