Memphis, TN -(abc24.com) - No one said this was going to be easy, as the new 23-member Shelby County Unified School Board met for the first time Monday, October 10, 2011.
The board meeting, which lasted almost 4 hours, flowed at times, and labored at other points, as the task of merging Memphis City and Shelby County schools continues. The 23-member board is made up of 9 former MCS board members, 7 former Shelby County School board members, and 7 new members selected by the Shelby County Commission.
One of the board's first acts was selecting a chairman. Billy Orgel, a Memphis businessman, was elected. Orgel was one of the 7 new members selected by the commission and said after the meeting he was surprised to be nominated and eventually selected chairman by his peers.
The board also voted on compensation for itself, deciding on an annual salary of $4,200. That's the same amount former Shelby County board members made, and $800 less then MCS board members made.
One of the major deliberations of the night, when this board should meet. At first, Thursday was suggested, until it was pointed out that was the same night that the 21-member transition team, tasked with creating a plan to merge the two districts, is set to meet. The board then went back and forth about if the meeting should be held in the afternoon or evening, and what day of the week, with Monday then Tuesday ultimately picked.
The board will hold its business session the last Tuesday of every month, and its work session the Tuesday before.