Town council delays school board appointment until Friday


The Brownstown Town Council’s school board appointment has been delayed until Friday morning.

During a meeting Monday night at the town hall, the council unanimously decided to take a little more time to discuss the candidates and reach out to people for input.

The five members met in executive session before Monday’s meeting and then talked more during the public meeting. They agreed to have one more executive session, closed to the public and press, at 9:30 a.m. Friday at the town hall, 200 W. Walnut St., Brownstown. Then a special meeting, open to the public and press, will be at 10:30 a.m.

“Ask any of your questions that you would like between now and then, reach out to more people if you would like. We’ll make our decision Friday at 10:30,” President Sally Lawson said to her fellow council members.

“Thank you all again for coming,” she said to three of the candidates who attended the meeting, Adam Nicholson, Mary Ann Spray and Brian Wheeler. The other candidates are Rhonda Fountain and Jon Robison.

“You’ve come to several meetings, and it’s a big decision on our part,” Lawson said.

The Brownstown Township resident appointed to the Brownstown Central Community School Corp. board of trustees will start his or her four-year term July 1. That person also will serve on the town’s park board.

Spray’s seat expires June 30. She has been on the school board since 2003, including serving as president since 2013.

The council has the responsibility of appointing someone to two seats on the school board, while the remaining five are appointed by township boards.

The council’s next school board appointment will be in 2020. Scott Shade currently holds that seat.

At the May 15 council meeting, Spray, Nicholson, Wheeler and Fountain spoke about their desire to serve. Robison did not speak during the public portion of the meeting.

Following that meeting, the council met with each of the five candidates separately in executive session.

During Monday’s meeting, the council members shared their thoughts about delaying the decision.

“I have to say how incredibly hard this has been, and I mean hard,” Councilwoman Sharon Koch said. “All of the time we’ve been thinking and talking and discussing this, which is a compliment to the people that applied and all of the work and passion that has gone into this position, it’s impressive.”

Councilman Gregg Goshorn agreed.

“Each candidate brings something unique to the table that we definitely want to have as an appointee of ours on the school board, so it has been a very difficult decision,” he said.

Lawson then gave the council two options: Someone could make a motion to appoint one of the candidates and see if it received a second to prompt a vote or the decision could be tabled and a special meeting could be set to make the appointment.

“I feel like we have had to do our due diligence and seek input from the community, from people part of the school corporation, people that have opinions,” Goshorn said. “I know I’ve been inundated, everyone else has been inundated. We’ve shared that. We’ve bounced that back and forth. I think it’s a very important decision, and it’s one that we’re not taking lightly.”

Councilman Gary Drake said since Councilman Mark Reynolds could not be at the executive session earlier in the month, in fairness to him and the candidates, he preferred to delay the decision.

That was unanimously approved, and then the council set the special meeting for 10:30 a.m. Friday.

“We appreciate all of your willingness to serve, and you’re all qualified candidates, so that’s why it’s a difficult decision,” Drake said. “We would like to pick you all, but obviously, we can’t do that. So in all fairness to you and Mark because he wasn’t here, I think that’s the best decision.”

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What: Brownstown Town Council special meeting

When: 10:30 a.m. Friday

Where: Brownstown Town Hall, 200 W. Walnut St., Brownstown

Who: Open to the public and press (executive session at 9:30 a.m. is closed to the public and press)

On the agenda: The council will announce its appointment to the Brownstown Central Community School Corp. board of trustees