Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Community Action Meeting Suspended For Lack of Quorum

After conducting a good amount of the business listed on the agenda, the Southeast Arkansas Community Action Agency had it's meeting suspended due to concerns that it lost a quorum when one member had to leave.  Prior to the suspension, the board revised seven sets of board minutes dating back to April, 2014, approved the minutes of May, 17th, listened to a training session provided by DHS officials and voted by secret ballot for three new board members, who had been chosen by interested parties in Desha, Chicot and Bradley Counties.  Before the results of the vote were announced, the meeting was suspended and no action was taken by the board to seat those selected.  A representative of asked that the results of the vote be announced so that everyone present and the public would know who was selected for the board.  The chairman would not do so but stated the ballots would be left in the hands of state officials.  Action will be required at the next board meeting to confirm the appointments.  While a quorum was in effect, the board voted to approve a grant application for CSBG funding for 2016-2017.  Also Tony Baines was selected to represent the board on the Head Start Policy Council.

There continues to be questions and controversy about how the board and past executive directors have handled minutes and board vacancies.  State DHS staff have been attending meetings for several months in an effort to get the agency back on track and functioning in accordance to law and regulations.  Board members have been urged to get more involved by asking questions and making sure policies and procedures are being followed.

Board members were told it was time to have a new audit conducted and it was their responsibility to get things done and done correctly.  There appeared to be a desire by the members to get the organization operating properly, but some confusion seems to linger.  The agency administers millions of dollars to manage the Head Start program and to run other helpful programs to assist lower income families.  Warren and Bradley County benefit greatly as a result of the programs carried out.

According to state officials, the board needs to revise and update its bylaws and some procedures. The board must be properly elected and organized prior to making the needed changes.  

No comments:

Post a Comment