The Macon County Board of Education held a special called meeting on Friday, November 19, 2010, with two things listed on the agenda. The first was to release Dan Hampton from his duties as the Director of Schools for Macon County and secondly, the employment of an interim person to take his place immediately.“I make a motion to remove Mr. Dan Hampton as Director of Schools in Macon County, with the assurance that he will be paid the remainder of his contract, plus his sick days, and his vacation days,” School Board Member John Wheeley said.
“The motion has been made,” Board Chairman Jimmy Cook replied. “Is there a second to it?”, he asked. “Is there a second to the motion,” he asked again. “I’ll second it,” Board Member Steve Walton answered.
“The motion has been made and seconded, that Mr. Hampton be released from his responsibilities,” Cook said. “Can we have a roll call,” he asked. “Mr. Billy (Wilmore)… yes. Mr. Steve (Walton)… yes. Mr. (John) Wheeley… yes. Mr. (Ronald) Birdwell… stood and said, “I would like to say something on this,” Birdwell answered. “I would just like to know why we as a Board can not work together. I didn’t know anything about this until Wednesday night. No one in the Board informed me of it, just like I am not part of the Board. And I have heard everything and every excuse, and I would like to know why are we releasing the man. Why can’t I tell him that his contract will not be renewed, and let him finish out the year. Then find us a new director and save about $50,000. Why don’t we talk about saving $50,000, why don’t we save it and let him continue until the end of the year? I just don’t believe in buying out anybody’s contract. If we made a mistake, then we made a mistake. I cannot see it. And I vote no on this, because of that. Not because we might have made mistakes, but I would like to know from the board, why are we buying out and wasting between $50 and $60,000. I have had about four phone calls today from tax payers, saying surely you’re not going to waste that money… so I vote no,” he ended, and sat down.
“I vote yes,” Cook said. “Motion is carried,” he added.
“The second item on the agenda is to elect an interim,” Cook said.
“Mr. Chairman,” John Wheeley spoke up, and said, “I make a motion that Macon County Board of Education retain Mrs. Margaret Oldham as interim Director to finish out this term.”
“The motion has been made,” Cook said, adding, “Is there a second to it?”
“I second it,” Billy Wilmore replied.
Taking a roll call for the votes, everyone approved the motion with the exception of Birdwell. “For the same reason, I don’t believe in the money going out, not for that…no,” he explained as he denied his vote again.
Cook voted yes and then motioned to adjourn the meeting.
“Before you adjourn the meeting,” Board of Education Attorney Chuck Cagle briefly interrupted. “Let me announce what we’re about to do here,” he said.
“Based on information I have received on the Director of Schools, I have prepared a document that the Chairman will sign and it will be notarized, that reflects the action of the Board tonight, in buying out the contract and the terms of the buy-out.”Cook said he would sign the document immediately and the meeting was adjourned