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School board vice president insulted by formation of new panel

September 19, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - Washington County Board of Education Vice President Wayne D. Ridenour on Tuesday called a decision to create a third committee dedicated to the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts "absurd."

Ridenour and Board Member Paul W. Bailey are liaisons to the two existing committees. Ridenour said the decision to create another committee was actually hurting the project and was offensive to he and Bailey.

"It's absurd," Ridenour said. "I find offense with it. I'm insulted by it."

He said it was offensive for board members to say they were not getting the information they needed from Ridenour and Bailey.

The board voted 4-2 Tuesday in favor of creating the ad hoc committee to handle some issues with the school that is scheduled to open in 2009. Ridenour and Bailey were opposed.

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Board Member Ruth Anne Callaham abstained from the vote, as she did earlier this month when board members were asked their opinions on the subject.

At that time, she said that some board members were not satisfied about the amount of information they were receiving about the project.

Board Member Donna Brightman said she hoped the committee would be an opportunity for the board to work together.

Ridenour said that it was offensive for the board to say that he and Bailey were not providing enough information to fellow board members.

He said another layer of oversight was not needed on the project.

"I don't understand how due diligence can be considered another layer," Brightman said.

She said the committee was necessary because the board has a responsibility to be efficient.

"I just do not feel this is necessary," he said. "It's a slap in the face of the people who are working on this thing day and night that there is any kind of belief that you cannot get information from them."

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