Pointe Coupee defers selecting head

NEW ROADS — The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board wrangled Thursday over its own policy before deciding to defer until January a decision on who will serve as board president during 2013.

The eight-member board reached the decision after a confusing, 15-minute debate over what procedures to follow in appointing a new board president.

Some board members said policy stipulates that a new leader should be selected through a nomination process. Others argued that the board needed to first vote on whether incumbent President Brandon Bergeron would serve another one-year term.

According to the board’s policy, the president is allowed to serve one calendar year in office and is limited to two consecutive terms.

“The way I understand it is, we’re voting on whether or not I have one more year,” Bergeron said. “If the president is not voted in by a 5-vote majority, then the vice president ascends up to the role of president and we begin the nomination process for vice president.”

But board member Thomas Nelson corrected Bergeron, saying that if a majority of board members fail to reappoint him to another term, he would simply continue to serve until a successor is approved by majority vote.

Chad Aguillard made a motion to reappoint Bergeron as president, but it failed on a tie vote, with board members Nelson, James Cline, Frank Aguillard and Les Ann Grezaffi voting against the motion.

Reading from the board’s policy manual, Cline then argued that since the motion to reappoint Bergeron did not receive board approval, the board needs to nominate a new president.

Cline suggested board Vice President Frank Aguillard serve as the new president.

But Nelson countered that the tie vote meant that Bergeron gets to serve a second term.

“If you made a motion to renew the contract of the superintendent and the vote was 4-4, her contract is not renewed,” Cline retorted.

“It’s not the same,” Nelson said. “You’re comparing apples to oranges.”

The board could agree Thursday night only on inviting its attorney to its January meeting to provide clarity on the issue.