By Adam Thorp
A member of Pike R-III’s school board has been removed from his position as the district faces a series of tough decisions related to the district’s budget.
Board Member Greg Talbert doesn’t deny that he missed four consecutive board meetings in October, November, December, and January. State law vacates a school board chair when the person occupying it misses three regular session board meetings in a row.
But he points out that for two of those meetings, he was in the same building — coaching the Clopton girls junior high basketball team, an unpaid position he took on at the board’s request. Given that the board knew what he was up to, and that he had communicated with the district’s superintendent about his absences when they occurred, Talbert believes those absences should be considered excused and his position on the board restored.
“My understanding when the board asked me to coach — it wasn’t [said] by them, it wasn’t [said] by me — [but] the schedule’s already made up, the games are on the calendar, the board meetings are on the calendar, and I felt like at that point there would be an understanding that I was going to miss those board meetings because I was going to coach those games,” Talbert said.
Board President Bob Danuser disagrees, saying the board can’t retroactively excuse the absences and questioning whether Talbert couldn’t have found a way to make more of the meetings.
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