School board’s vote scrutinized for its ‘secrecy’

9:52 am | December 6, 2012

Photo by Brandon HicksThe Elizabethton Board of Education’s vote by anonymous ballot to choose a new chair and vice chair has drawn concern from the public that the method violated the state’s Sunshine Law.

Now some board members are questioning whether they should vote again, openly.

School board members used an anonymous paper ballot at their Nov. 15 meeting to elect Rita Booher to chair the school board and Phil Isaacs to be vice chair.

Board members wrote their vote on a slip of paper, which was passed to Director of Schools Ed Alexander, who read the votes aloud. The votes were not linked to individual school board members.

Called for comment, legal counsel from the Tennessee Press Association, the board of education’s attorney and a public policy expert have offered different interpretations of the law.

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