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Pike R-III board will not reinstate ousted member

Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 12:35 pm

photo by Adam Thorp/Louisiana Press-Journal
Pike County R-III Superintendent Mark Harvey and Board President Bob Danuser look out on a crowd, including expelled school board member Greg Talbert (in yellow shirt).

By Adam Thorp
lpjed@lcs.net

At a sometimes heated meeting Monday night, the members of Pike R-III School Board went through each of the meetings missed by former board member Greg Talbert.

The question: should they should excuse his absences and restore him to the board, which governs Clopton and Pike-Lincoln Technical Center?

The answer, each time: no, by a 3-2 margin.

Board members Clay Lockard and Tommy Beauchamp spoke on Talbert’s behalf and voted to excuse the absences. Board members Kim Hunter and Curt Mitchell and Board President Bob Danuser voted not to do so.

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Talbert, along with his allies on the board, maintain that he missed those meetings in order to attend to his duties as coach of the junior high girls basketball team — a job he had taken on based on an uncontested vote by the board. Other members of the Board, including Danuser, say the Board should have been Talbert’s priority, and say he could have made the meetings.

The issue of Talbert’s expulsion from the Board, and the looming prospect of another round of budget cuts, packed Pike R-III constituents into Monday’s board meeting. Before attendees had finished filing in to the computer room where the board meeting had been scheduled to meet, the Board had to come to face the first hard truth of the night: they might not all be able to fit. The meeting was moved to the gymnasium.

After reports from R-III administrators, Talbert’s vacant seat was the first item on the agenda.

CORRECTION: A caption in the print version of this article incorrectly said that some board members sat in the bleachers during Monday nights board meeting after the board meeting moved into a larger venue. All board members brought over chairs from the computer lab and sat facing the public.

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