The Lincoln County Board of Education voted to replace Fred Jarrett as chairman of the board at a special called meeting Saturday morning.
â€œI think the board chairman needs to be a leader among leaders, and that hasnâ€™t happened in the past months,â€ said Tommy Houser, a board member and former chairman.
Jarrett had missed seven meetings after EMS workers found him at his home on Feb. 28, lethargic from medications. Police had seized two guns for safekeeping.
Houser and fellow board member Joan Avery called the special board meeting.
â€œWe do have a monthly meeting Wednesday,â€ said Jean Dellinger, the new chairman of the board of education.
â€œIt would just be better to get this behind us because Mr. Jarrett was ready to come back to the board,â€ she said.
Tony Jenkins, a board member, nominated Jarrett for both chairman and vice chairman Saturday morning.
â€œWhy did we change chair? Whoâ€™s questioning the ability of Mr. Jarrett?â€ Jenkins asked during the meeting.
â€œWhat is the reason weâ€™re having a chairperson election? Thereâ€™s no answers. Again, thereâ€™s no answers.â€
Jarrett will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Education.
The board voted Rusty Beam for vice chairman.
â€œI didnâ€™t really expect to be vice chairman or anything like that because Iâ€™m still the youngest on the board,â€ said Beam. â€œIâ€™m pleased to be in the position Iâ€™m in.â€
Dellinger, the new chairman of the board, has already served a total of 12 years as chairman of the Lincoln County Board of Education and 25 years as a member.
Dellinger supported the reorganization of the board.
â€œSitting in the chair can be stressful sometimes,â€ said Dellinger. â€œI would not want the progress (Jarrett) has made to take a back step because he was serving as chair.â€
After being sworn in as chairman, Dellinger asked that the board continue to work together as a group and that all board members support her in her new position.
â€œI regret very deeply that I have been elected under these circumstances,â€ said Dellinger.
Superintendent Jim Watson took a neutral approach to the changes.â€œTheyâ€™re my superiors, so Iâ€™m certainly not going to evaluate board members,â€ Watson said. â€œItâ€™s the boardâ€™s prerogative and authority to elect their leaders, and I serve with whomever the majority of the board elects.â€by Sarah Grano