Board has new member
After months of wrangling and extensions, the Hartselle City Council has selected the school board's newest member.
By a 4-2 vote, the council selected Ronnie Abercrombie to fill the post. Voting for the appointment were councilmen Dick Carter, Frank Jones and Allen Stoner and Mayor Clif Knight. Voting against the appointment were councilmen Tom Chappell and Don Hall.
Abercrombie will replace current board member Tom McHugh. McHugh – who sought reappointment – and the rest of the board came under fire for their response to an incident where a Hartselle High School student collapsed and later tested positive for drugs.
McHugh was one of 10 candidates for the position. Others were: Shirley Wells, Greg Cain, Mark Hendrix, Lynn Crow, Brent Craig, Gary Burgess, Catherine Halbrooks and Jeff Roberts.
Abercrombie said he was looking forward to working with the board.
"I think Hartselle has a great school system," Abercrombie said. "We need to lay to rest the rumor of Hartselle's system being fifth or sixth. We need to make ourselves number one."
In addition to making the school board appointment, the council also selected its representative to the newly formed drug testing task force. The school board is forming the task force in response to the student's positive test and questions about how the incident was handled.
Jones was named to the task force, an appointment that concerned Chappell and Hall, who voted against the appointment. Chappell had also volunteered to serve on the task force.
Hall said he felt Chappell or Stoner would be better suited to the task force.
"I would feel better if we appointed someone who had children in the school system," Hall said. Chappell and Stoner are the only two councilmen who fit that description.