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School board does not hold vote on censuring member

By Staff | Oct 21, 2009

After two weeks of waiting to hear whether he would be censured by the Lee County School Board, board member Bob Chilmonik left Tuesday’s meeting without any marks on his permanent record.
Board member Jeanne Dozier introduced a motion Oct. 6 to censure Chilmonik for being critical of the school district, for refusing to follow board procedure and for using board stationary to send a letter to President Barack Obama.
Dozier never verbally tabled the motion Tuesday, but she did not bring it for a vote. Instead, Dozier said she wants all board members to work together and to follow established procedures.
“We simply want all of us to follow procedures and rules and be respectful,” she said. “When our board meeting becomes a screaming match with disrespectfulness between the superintendent and board members, that doesn’t set a good example.”
Chilmonik said he represents the people of Lee County and not the board or superintendent.
During his tenure, Chilmonik has engaged members of the board and Superintendent James Browder in a number of heated verbal arguments, including one incident where Browder walked out of a meeting.
A motion has not been proposed to address Browder’s walk-out or other board members’ angry behavior.
Chilmonik said the decision not to pursue the censure was right.
“The public has spoken,” he said. “They want their public officials to have the ability to ask questions. I don’t believe I’ve ever been out of line with my comments.”
The board will use an upcoming workshop to discuss a policy change that deals with issues between board members and the superintendent.