The Fort Smith Community School Board of Education approved an ethical disclosure resolution regarding board member Matt Blaylock and the district’s usage of his heating and air small business.
The district decided to bring the resolution before the board in order to add Blaylock Heating & Air Conditioning to the list of potential sellers after the district’s facility team recently struggled to find someone who can provide plumbing or HVAC services in a timely manner.
Despite Blaylock’s position as president of Blaylock Heating & Air Conditioning, the resolution will permit the school system to work with the company on a limited basis throughout this fiscal year. Blaylock Heating & Air Conditioning is situated in Fort Smith. According to the resolution, “in unusual and limited circumstances, a general public educational entity’s board may approve a deal, but not a work contract, between the general public educational entity and the member of the board or the member’s relatives if the board establishes that the agreement is in the greatest fascination of the general public educational entity and the member of the board.”
According to the resolution, “exceptional and restricted circumstances exist for allowing the District to continue to work with Blaylock Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. (the “Company”), in which Board Member Matt Blaylock (“Blaylock”) retains a financial interest, when there is a time-sensitive heating, air conditioning, plumbing, or other related subject requiring the Company’s knowledge and no other acceptable small business is offered within just the time allowed.” The resolution states that the total amount authorised for payment to the organisation for the fiscal year will be less than $10,000.
Six votes were required to pass the resolution. Blaylock withdrew from the discussion and the vote.
According to FSPS legal expert Marshall Ney, “This is the last stop, not the beginning one, when the district is unable to meet the demands via replacement resources.”
The administration of Fort Smith Community College and its attorney stated last week that they did not see a conflict of interest with a shorter advertisement space for Blaylock Heating & Air that utilises university workers. Both Eric Burnett, the head basketball coach at Northside High School, and head basketball mentor Ricky Smith are heard on the radio advertisement advising listeners to call Blaylock Heating and Air Conditioning at (782) 8940 for their heating and cooling needs.
Conflicts of interest are not notably addressed in the district’s board governance standards. They deal with nepotism and how a board member should actually withdraw from a vote if there is a conflict.
According to Blaylock, after discussion with the majority owner of the company and taking into account the fact that the commercials had already ran before he joined the board and their purported purpose, they decided to keep using them. Because Flip Crucial Design is a part of the district’s Peak Innovation Centre, the school board approved a motion in July to limit team conversations with it. Given the recent flood at the Peak Middle and the principle of the Peak Heart contractor’s election to the Board of Education, Faculty Board President Dee Blackwell sponsored the resolution. Turn Vital’s president and owner, Sandy Dixon, was chosen to the board in Might. Convert Key served as the building manager for the Peak Innovation Center’s initial development phase, which was finished in the spring.
- Doing “limited” business with a member of the school board is approved by the Fort Smith School Board
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