Board votes 3-2 against bonds to fund Thomas Nelson community campus project

From left, board members Tracy Bowling, Damon Jackey and Superintendent Wes Bradley.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023 — The Nelson County Board of Education held another special meeting Wednesday evening to authorize bonds to pay for the Thomas Nelson High School community campus construction project.

The board approved the construction bids at its meeting in January. The next step is to authorize the district’s finance corporation, to issue construction bonds for the project.

The board voted 3-2 against the resolution to allow issue of construction bonds, with board members Amanda Deaton, David Norman and chair Diane Berry voting against and Damon Jackey and Tracy Bowling voting in favor.

A motion to adjourn following the vote, but not before Bowling asked Berry why after she voted in favor of community campus on multiple votes moving forward for the past 15 months.

Berry said she voted with the board on those votes because “I didn’t want 21 times of being the only “no” vote. The object of a board is to get along.”

Deaton reminded the board there was already a motion on the floor to adjourn. After additional discussion, the board voted 3-2 to adjourn.

The results of the meeting did not please many members of the audience.

Several people began asking Deaton questions. She told them that there were still three board members present, which creates a quorum and she couldn’t talk.

“Amanda, you stay, we know where they (Bowling and Jackey) stand,” a woman yelled.

Deaton, Berry and Norman all walked out of the range of the video camera used to record the proceedings.

After the meeting, the crowd sometimes became loud with angry exchanges between members of the audience. One audience member accused Damon Jackey of being the one who called the special meeting.

He denied calling the meeting, and Bowling assured the audience that board chair Diane Berry called the meeting.

In a text message to the Gazette received after the meeting, Don Thrasher took responsibility for misinformation people that Jackey called the meeting and apologized.

“I owe a public apology to school board member Damon Jackey for falsely stating he called tonight’s meeting. That is what I was led to believe, and I sincerely apologize to him and anyone that relied on that erroneous statement.”

NEXT UP. The Nelson County Schools Board of Education next meets Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at Nelson County High School.


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