JP vote fills slot on School Board
Air Force vet gets NLR seat
A veteran with financial expertise was chosen for a vacant North Little Rock School Board slot Tuesday at the urging of two Pulaski County Quorum Court members who represent that school district zone.
The Quorum Court voted 10-5 to approve Cindy Temple for the Zone 5 seat at a special meeting. The district falls in the northern-central part of North Little Rock.
Temple is the vice president of SP Environmental, a janitorial company, and her grandson attends Indian Hills Elementary, according to her application.
She served in the Air Force from 1978 to 1982, then graduated in 1986 from the University of Central Arkansas with an accounting degree, her resume says.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Quorum Court members saw a resolution with just Temple’s name, though two others applied for the post.
One applicant, Adam Burris, co-founder of a software company for political fundraising, had taken his name off the table, Justice of the Peace Staci Medlock said. The other candidate was Sheila Campbell, a private practice attorney.
Medlock said she and fellow member Phil Stowers, whose two districts encompass School Board Zone 5, both decided on Temple.
“Of the two, one was ready, willing and able,” Medlock said. Stowers pointed to Temple’s business know-how and her military service, calling her “very qualified.”
Justice of the Peace Kathy Lewison asked why the Quorum Court didn’t vet all people who applied.
County Judge Barry Hyde said the vast majority of the school zone falls in Medlock’s district.
“As a courtesy, you would respect your fellow JP” and defer to her judgment, Hyde later added.
The same logic was applied as in any decision that affects just one or two districts of the county, Justin Blagg, director of Quorum Court services, said after the meeting.
Quorum Court member Donna Massey questioned Temple, who was in attendance, about her stance on charter schools.
“I support school choice,” Temple said, before adding she wants strong public schools so they are the obvious choice for parents.
Justices of the Peace Massey, Julie Blackwood, Lillie McMullen, Tyler Denton and Teresa Coney voted against Temple’s appointment.
Deciding a School Board appointment was unusual for the Quorum Court, noted member Curtis Keith.
Tuesday’s vote arose from a bout of confusion after a woman was chosen in mid-October to fill the vacancy, but the decision was later rescinded.
R. Hannah Chambers, a program coordinator for the Lakewood Property Owners’ Association, was unanimously chosen to become the new Zone 5 board member.
Twelve-year board member Scott Teague resigned from the post in September.
The school district elects board members by election zones, with one member per zone to fill seven slots. Though chosen to represent election Zone 5, Chambers lives in Zone 6.
North Little Rock district leaders were assured by the Arkansas School Boards Association that an out-of-zone appointee could legally serve on a temporary basis. A lawyer with the organization later apologized for providing that inaccurate information.
The School Board then sent the decision to the Quorum Court.