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Judge Andrea McCord Will Appoint New North Lawrence School Board Member

Last updated on Thursday, November 14, 2013

(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County Circuit Court Judge Andrea McCord will now appoint the person to fill the vacant seat on the North Lawrence school board.

School board members reached an impasse in voting on who would fill the vacant seat Wednesday night.

The school board had narrowed the initial field of candidates for the vacancy from eight to three and then interviewed the final three -- Ben Kimmel, Sam Martin and Jamie Heichelbech Nikirk -- last Thursday. The board held a special meeting at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday to vote on a new member.

Gary Holmes, board president, called for a nomination and board member Larry Arnold nominated Kimmel. Donnie Branham seconded Arnold's motion, and the two, along with Holmes, voted in favor of appointing Kimmel to the seat, which meant the nomination had not drawn the needed minimum of four votes from the six-member board.

A motion then was made by Tracy Bailey to appoint Martin to the seat and that motion was seconded by Brad Flinn, with only Scott Gillespie voting with them in favor of Martin, resulting again in a failure to secure a majority vote.

The board was at a stale mate.

Board attorney Greg Pittman explained that an impasse would result in the matter going to the circuit court judge to decide on who would fill the vacancy.

Or the board could hold both an executive and open sessions Thursday,and could discuss the appointment again and then vote during Thursday's open meeting.

But board members didn't think any of them would change their minds, so the board voted to turned the decision over to Judge McCord.

Law stipulated that the seat must be filled within 30 days. The person will fill the seat of longtime board member Wendell Nikirk who died on October 9. The new board meeting will serve the rest of Nikirk's term and will be up for re-election in November 2014.

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