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Concordia school board tables raise decision

VIDALIA — The question of whether or not Concordia Parish School Board members would get a pay raise is still unanswered after Thursday night’s meeting.

While the item was on the agenda, board member Raymond T. Riley made a motion to remove it.

Superintendent Loretta Blankenstein said the decision to table the item for another meeting was done due to the absence of board member Martha Rabb, who was unable to attend the meeting due to recent open-heart surgery.

“The board wants everyone to be here for the vote,” she said.

The board members voted to raise their pay $275 from $350 a month to $625 a month at February’s meeting. The board has the right to pay themselves up to $800 a month according to state law.

The 5-3 vote fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority legally needed to pass the raise.

Board President Gary Parnham said the board had made a mistake when the vote was first passed, because they thought it required a majority vote.

“When you make a mistake you have to fix it,” he said.

Parnham said he has to meet with Blankenstein before the decision of whether or not the item will be voted on at April’s meeting is made.

Parnham also said the board will be labeling whether or not a vote requires a two-thirds majority on the agenda to avoid confusion in the future.

Riley originally brought the raise up to the board for the vote in February.

Board members Daryle Price, Charles Minor, Mary Campbell, Rabb and Riley voted for the raise then.

Parnham and members Darlene Baker and Cheryl Probst voted against the raise.

Board member Fred T. Butcher passed on his vote during the Feb. 10 meeting, and with eight votes and nine members, his vote could decide whether or not the raise will pass.

In other news:

4 In a 4-3 vote, the board voted to approve the hiring on Daniel Hogan as child nutrition supervisor for the Concordia Parish School Board.

Hogan currently serves as the Natchez-Adams County School District Child Nutrition program supervisor, and will begin working in Concordia Parish starting April 1.

Campbell made a motion to vote on Hogan’s appointment to the position, with Butcher seconding it and also asking for a roll call vote count.

Parnham, Price, Probst and Baker all voted in approval of hiring Hogan, while Campbell, Butcher and Riley voted against hiring him.

Minor abstained from the vote.

4 The board voted to approve the financial statements for the month of February for the amount of $3,461,976.

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