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October 3--  The Montgomery County school board is keeping its public participation policy which makes it less cumbersome for citizens to speak at school board meetings.

The board voted three to two to keep the policy at its Monday night meeting despite a plea from School Superintendent Randy Rodgers that requiring three days notice from a citizen would actually make it more possible to respond to citizens' comments in a timely manner.  Board Chairwoman Deloris James and Lendle Hamilton voted for the change.

Rodgers also read a prepared response to questions posed by Pastor Adrian Bell over the last few months regarding various board actions and decisions.  Bell thanked the board for its answers.

"Thank you for answering my questions asked last month and the month before that and previously.  Hopefully, we can keep these lines of communication open," he said.

{mosimage}Bell also questioned why the school board is paying over $45,000 more in local salary supplements this year than last and thanked board member Jim Paul Poole for opposing the supplement payments.

"If we're in such dire economic straits, then why are we paying more than we paid last year.  Thank you Dr. Poole for doing what you say in this situation.  I just ask you (the board), 'Why are we paying more if we're cash strapped,'" Bell asked.

Bell brought documentation to the board which he claims shows a bigger supplement to the new high school principal than to former principal Luke Smith and also to Superintendent Rodgers than to former superintendent Dr. Lynn Batten. 

Meanwhile, another local citizen, Heather Williams, says she will soon have to decide if her child will attend Montgomery County High School.  She urged the board to work in such a manner that she won't decide to send him elsewhere.

"We do have to find a way to work together and I am all but begging that we put aside those things we cannot change and let's start working toward a system we can all be proud of," she told the board.