June 7, 2011 by wcobserver
Quick change in lawn care raises questions
GREENLAND– Congratulations and unfinished business were major themes of the monthly school board meeting May 19 at the middle school library.
The school board officially recognized the favorable performance of the high school’s baseball, track and FBLA teams.
The baseball team was recognized for its exceptional 17-4 record, one that brought the team the district championship.
Also recognized were nine members of the track and field team who qualified for the state meet by either posting a qualifying time or by winning first or second place at the conference meet. Of the nine recognized, present were team members Macey Reed, Drew Lee, Tanner Weeks, Brandon Bohot, Kellin Lee, Nathan Campos and John Carter Diaz. Runners Jordan Trimm and Bret Johnson were also recognized, though they were not present at the meeting.
About a half-dozen students from the school’s FBLA team were recognized for top-10 placing at the state competition. The team was also ranked sixth in the state in terms of chapter growth, having gained 10 members this year.
But recognition of successes was not the only business on the board’s agenda. Clay Wagnon spoke to the board for roughly five minutes in regard to a contract he and Brad Smith held for mowing the school’s Winslow campus.
The board decided at its April 21 meeting to approve a bid by J & A Lawn Care to mow the Winslow campus after board members Terry Reed and John Collins expressed discontent with the quality of mowing done by Wagnon and Smith.
Collins claimed that a large limb was mowed around, bringing up the issue of work ethic. Wagnon described the “limb” as a tree that had fallen during the 2008 ice storm that had been ignored by all who had mowed the campus since that time.
“My main concern is the fact that basically we were never notified of any type of problems; we were never contacted about any type of problems,” Wagnon said. “I’m kind of curious as to why we weren’t allowed the opportunity at that time to speak our side of the story.”
Although Wagnon and Smith had only mowed the Winslow campus once, they had received no complaints about their work done at the Winslow campus — nor have they received any complaints about their work mowing the Greenland campus — until Cudney called to tell them of the board’s decision after it had been made.
J & A Lawn Care submitted the third lowest bid, but the lowest bidder turned down the job. The board voted 6-1 to bypass Wagnon and Smith of Greenland as the second lowest bidder and to give the contract to J & A Lawn Care.
Board members did not respond to Wagnon’s comments at the meeting. Neither Wagnon nor Smith wanted the Winslow contract back; they merely were looking for an explanation as to why the contract was taken away.
The board also briefly discussed construction projects. After receiving initial estimates for re-tiling the high school, Cudney told the board that the budget may need to be increased in order to re-tile the whole high school, not just part of it. Replacing all of the tile would cost about $5,000 more than planned, but Cudney estimated that the district had the reasons and the resources to spend the additional money.
Cudney also announced at the meeting the findings of the Arkansas Department of Education’s yearly accreditation report. For the second year in a row, no complaints were made about the district’s elementary, middle school or high school.
The favorable report will look good for the school when the department visits the district in the fall to assess how the school has progressed from its earlier financial woes, Cudney said.