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News County appoints Shields to fill vacancy on SCC board

Gary ShieldsAt its last meeting, the Macon County Board of Commissioners appointed school board member Gary Shields to fill a vacancy on the Southwestern Community College’s Board of Trustees.

Pending his acceptance of the appointment and approval by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, Shields, former principal of Franklin High School, will complete the term of Charles Leatherman, who resigned from the SCC board effective June 1. The term expires on June 30, 2012.

Franklin resident Jerry Sutton was recently reappointed to the board by Gov. Bev Purdue. Sutton, who has served on SCC’s Board of Trustees for 28 years, including seven terms as chairman, is a former director of the Governor’s western office, a retired dairy farmer, former Macon County Commissioner and a part-time real estate broker.

In 2009 in recognition of his many years of service to the college and to the community, the SCC public safety center was dedicated to Sutton and renamed the Jerry Sutton Public Safety Training Center.

The Macon County Board of Commissioners also reappointed Terry Bell to the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees. The appointment is for a four-year term and is contingent upon approval by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.

Jerry SuttonA member of SCC’s Board since 1995, Bell currently serves as vice chairman. He and his wife, Annette, reside in Otto.

A native of Macon County, Bell’s career has been dedicated to education. He received a bachelor’s degree in middle grade education and a masters in school administration from Western Carolina University.

Shields was selected in a split vote by the commissioners after two names were submitted for consideration. Commissioner Ronnie Beale recommended former teacher Kathy Tinsley for the appointment, but before a vote was taken on the motion, Commissioner Kevin Corbin submitted Shields’ name for consideration.

Tinsley is a retired educator from Macon County. According to Beale, some SCC Board members had been made aware that Tinsley’s name would be forwarded for consideration.

“She is very aware of the education needs in the area,” Beale said of Tinsley, adding that she had already indicated her willingness to serve.

Echoing Beale’s endorsement of Tinsley, Commissioner Bob Kuppers commented, “She’s got a great feel for students; she’s got a great feel for education; she’s got a great feel for what that community college can do and what it should do.”

Corbin told the commissioners that other members of the SCC Board had spoken to him and presented Shields as a possible candidate for the position. Corbin remarked that while Tinsley was an excellent choice for the appointment, he had already promised to submit Shields’ name for consideration.

Terry BellAfter a motion by Beale to appoint Tinsley to the board failed in a 2-to-3 vote, the subsequent motion by Corbin to appoint Shields passed along the same split, with Commissioner Corbin, Commissioner Ron Haven and Chairman Brian McClellan in favor and Beale and Kuppers opposed.

Corbin reiterated that his vote did not reflect on his confidence in Tinsley’s ability to serve on the board.

McClellan commented that if Shields should choose not to accept the appointment, Tinsley’s name will be resubmitted for consideration.

County reimburses Iotla Valley School design firm

At Tuesday’s recessed meeting, the Board of Commissioners also approved reimbursement for additional services rendered by the design firm that has overseen the planning for the new Iotla Valley K-4 School currently under construction. The architectural firm of Mike Watson Architects will receive an additional $30,000 for additional work rendered on the project following changes to code in 2009 and other design alterations to the plans that have been necessary in the course of the project which the firm was contracted to in 2007. According to county manager Jack Horton, the firm claimed the total value of the additional services ran over $76,000. Chairman McClellan noted that the compromise allocation had been previously agreed upon and the board's approval was merely a formality.

The next meeting of the Macon County Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12 at 6 p.m. in the courthouse boardroom.


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