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franklin county times

'No vacancy' on city school board

By Staff
Kim West
Danny McDowell, attorney for Russellville City Schools, said there are no open positions on the five-member city school board during a called Russellville city council work session Monday night.
School board members include president Greg Trapp, president-elect Greg Batchelor and members Jerry Groce, Steve DeFoor and Wanda Bain. McDowell addressed a residency issue regarding Bain, who owns a residence in the Cedar Creek subdivision near but resides in the Bakerstown community near Spruce Pine.
"I'm here to represent the school board," said McDowell during the work session. "There is no vacancy to fill, and the council can't declare a vacancy because she considers Russellville her residence."
Burns "Buckshot" Saint, councilman for District 3, said a school board member should reside in the city.
"She doesn't live here, and if she's not living here then I don't think she should be on the school board," Saint said.
Craig Grissom, councilman for District 1, said the council has received numerous complaints about the residency issue.
"We get a lot of calls about (Bain)," Grissom said. "She's living in Bakerstown, and a lot of people in Russellville would like to serve on the school board."
Jeff Bowling, city attorney, said state law doesn't specify that a school board member must have residency.
"I don't think residency is the issue … there's not a residency requirement on the state level to being on the school board," Bowling said. "There is a requirement for the superintendent (to have residency) but not for the school board."