Supervisors will revisit Thompson vote

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 5, 2000

Adams County supervisors will reopen the Thompson School debate Monday due to public outcry over a decision to give the building away.

Virginia Salmon, Board of Supervisors president, said board members put the item on their Monday agenda &uot;because of the disturbance that was created&uot; over the decision to give the property to the AJFC&160;Community Action Agency.

The board voted 3-1 last month to deed the North Union Street School to the federal-funded agency that provides Head Start programs at the school and in surrounding counties. The vote reversed an earlier board decision to grant the AFJC&160;a 50-year lease on the property.

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And, the move outraged Supervisor Darryl Grennell who was unable to attend the meeting. He has called the decision to deed &uot;a slap in the black community’s face.&uot;

Thompson School was a black school prior to integration and alumni hold reunions at the campus. It’s gym and auditorium are also used for recreational purposes, primarily by members of the black community.

&uot;You’ve closed the door on all the alumni of that school&uot; and the community, Grennell said, referring to the decision to give away the property. &uot;When you deed away property, I would think we’re rendered powerless in terms of access to that property.&uot;

The supervisors’ vote to give the school to AJFC came just a few weeks after they voted 3-2 to give AJFC a 50-year-lease of the building.

AJFC officials had told the board either a long-term lease or a deed to the school would be sufficient to get them the needed feeding. Lamar Braxton, AJFC CEO, had asked board members to vote for which option they preferred.

Salmon said she AJFC would have a better chance of securing funds for repairs and renovations if it has the deed, as opposed to the lease.

&uot;The bottom line here, is our dedication to help foster the Head Start program under the auspices of AJFC,&uot;&160;she said.

However, Grennell said he has a problem with &uot;taking Adams-County’s property and literally giving it away to different counties.&uot;

Both he and Supervisor Thomas &uot;Boo&uot; Campbell, who voted against the decision to deed over the property, have said they prefer the county grant the 50-year lease.

Salmon, Sammy Cauthen and Lynwood Easterling voted in favor of the deed because of cost and liability reasons. But Grennell said he does not think the liability concern is valid.

&uot;The reality on liability is when you run for public office, you have opened your front door to liability,&uot; he said. Because the board voted 3-1 to deed the property, Grennell said he knows that even if members revote the outcome may not change.

&uot;I’m hoping that my justification will maybe change some of the members’ position,&uot; Grennell said.