The mentioning of several new positions brought mixed emotions from the Bell County School Board during the regularly scheduled meeting on Monday. Questions about money was the main concern for board member Arlene Burnett.
The first position discussed involved a request from the Frakes Site Based Decision Making Council. The request was for a full-time classified sub for the school. According to Bell County Superintendent Yvonne Gilliam, it is difficult to get a classified sub to drive up to Frakes when one is needed.
The individual chosen would sub for any classified position that is needed for the day. The salary for the position would be $11,715.
“I doubt that there will be very many days out of the year you’re not going to have a classified person out,” said Gilliam in reference to the full-time position. Gilliam said they would use the person at least 90 percent of the time.
Gilliam said one reason she would like to do this is because there is a person that has subbed and volunteered at Frakes for several years. At one point, this person had a position in the school, but it was abolished due to cut-backs.
According to Gilliam, the principal at Frakes highly recommended the individual for the job stating she is a very hard worker. This individual is willing to do the job, according to Gilliam. By making the position a full-time position, this individual will be able to receive health benefits.
Gilliam pointed out that the board would pay just as much if a sub is used every day.
Burnett questioned the creating of another position stating it was not about the individual, but about what was not done with the past superintendent.
“The board never had money before, but now it seems like we have all kinds of money,” said Burnett. “(The board) wouldn’t approve any jobs before because we were so tight. Where did all the money come from?”
Despite the questions from Burnett, the board approved the position.
The second position mentioned was a full-time mechanic. Tom Gambrel, director of the bus garage, addressed the board because of concerns with bus maintenance.
Currently there are two full-time mechanics and one part-time mechanic. There are 49 regular route buses and some substitute buses that have to be serviced monthly.
Gambrel said when Pete Miller from Kentucky Department of Education did an audit last year on the garage, the major violation that was found was monthly bus maintenance. The state recommends spending two hours on a bus when servicing them.
Gambrel states they need another mechanic to help with keeping the buses serviced.
Gambrel is in the process of buying a computer diagnostic software program that can be used to diagnose bus problems. Right now, buses are being sent to London to be diagnosed.
The mechanic who is hired would have to be certified to operate the diagnostic software that is being purchased. The board approved the full-time mechanic position. The salary for the new position will be $27,750. Board member Dean Knuckles request a list of credentials when an individual is hired for the position.
The last positions mentioned during the meeting were two new maintenance assistant positions. The board tabled the discussion until the next board meeting because they want to try other means to assistant the HVAC and electric employees.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at email@example.com.