Speaking of Wake County school board advisory councils, don't be surprised if you see some turnover, especially in District 8.
Hank Dickson submitted his resignation letter last week as District 8 BAC co-chair and representative for Holly Springs High. In the letter to new school board member Susan Evans, Dickson alludes to Evans' involvement with protesters who disrupted school board meetings.
"My appreciation of proper conduct and decorum during open meetings makes my continued service on your BAC very difficult," Dickson, a former Holly Springs Town Councilman, writes in the letter. "I regret that I must submit my resignation for both positions."
The resignation went into effect on Tuesday.
Now under policy revisions adopted by the prior board majority, BAC members serve at the pleasure of board members. This means Evans and the other new members can remove anyone they want, similar to what Debra Goldman and Deborah Prickett did to their BACs.
In Dickson's case, he was a a member of Ron Margiotta's re-election campaign committee.
Allison Backhouse, the other District 8 BAC co-chair and Margiotta's campaign manager, says she's not planning on resigning.
Rather than resummarize them, I'll just post the e-mail exchange between Evans and Backhouse.
Here's the email Evans sent to Backhouse on Friday night telling her she was out as BAC chair.
Can you tell me the status of the BAC8 Meeting coming up on Monday? Specifically, did you have any success with arranging dinner or should I assume we are starting at 6:30pm? Have you confirmed Susan Pulliam’s attendance? I was contacted by the principal of Turner Creek ES this week to confirm the meeting, which I wasn’t really able to do since you haven’t kept me in the loop.
Someone else on the email distribution list sent me the email below, which you chose not to send to me on November 3rd, even though I had been duly elected on October 11th. I also found it interesting that I had been removed from the email list in the fall and was not notified of the October meeting. I had been on the email distribution list for the previous two years and regularly received correspondence from your predecessor, Cindy Sinkez. One has to wonder why my name was removed from the email distribution list.
I hope you will agree that you and I cannot have an effective working relationship, particularly in light of the above and the fact that you have been publicly critical of me on many occasions. I have other individuals who have expressed an interest in serving as Chair or Co-chair of the BAC and I will be asking them to serve in that capacity once I have officially added them to the BAC roster later this month. While I would prefer to find another representative on behalf of Apex Middle School for the Council, you are, of course, always welcome to attend the meetings, as is any member of the public.
Please let me know if you plan to lead Monday’s meeting or if you prefer that I do it. Thank you for your past service to the BAC.
Here's Backhouse's response Friday evening.
The BAC 8 meeting is still on as scheduled and I have everything under control. I will be sending out an email by Monday morning with the specifics.
I am disappointed that you have chosen to dismantle our BAC rather than working with the current council. We do have a few open seats that could easily be filled with interested individuals without removing any current members. I am aware that you have already advised Curt Stangler that he will be replaced. It is quite a divisive start for someone who ran on a platform of building consensus.
Perhaps you should have asked why you did not receive an email about the October meeting before making offensive accusations. I did not and would not remove anyone from the BAC distribution list. Cindy Sinkez was asked for the BAC roster when Hank Dickson and I took over as Co-Chairs and she advised me that her hard drive had crashed (as she indicated in her email to you last month). I did not receive anything from Mrs. Sinkez in regards to BAC 8. She couldn't provide me with a roster, any minutes or a copy of the annual report from last year.
I was able to get the BAC 8 roster from Melissa Allen/WCPSS which still listed some of last year's BAC members. All members, both previous and current, were notified of the meeting. As you were not a member of the BAC, you were not on the roster provided by WCPSS; therefore, you did not receive an email. Melissa Allen/WCPSS was notified of our December meeting when it was scheduled and it was appropriately added to the Board of Education schedule online. It wasn't a secret that the meeting was scheduled. If you had asked for the information after you were duly elected, I would have happily provided it to you.
I understand that you don't want me to serve as Chair any longer but please be honest. You don't have to weave a tale in an attempt to make me look incompetent and vindictive. Board Policy 1005 clearly states that, as a Board member, one of your responsibilities is to "Work effectively with others". It is very concerning that you have already decided not to adhere to this policy. I am fully capable of fulfilling my duties as the chair of BAC 8 effectively and professionally - regardless of who represents our district.
I have chosen to reply to your email at your WCPSS email address - which is now listed on the WCPSS website. As a member of the Board of Education, I am sure you are well aware that matters relating to school business should be handled in an open and public manner - not through your personal email address.
I have full intention on leading Monday night's meeting as I was voted to handle that responsibility.
BAC 8 Chair