Students at Big Sandy School in Simla had the opportunity to see local government in action when the Elbert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) held its bimonthly meeting at the school as part of a civics lesson on April 22.
The BOCC set up shop in the school's gym, and students filed in and out of the two-hour meeting as class periods and testing permitted. They were exposed to governmental procedures, rules of order and voting as the BOCC completed its scheduled agenda, which included quarterly reports from various elected officials and staff.
In addition to conducting routine county business, the BOCC voted on three agenda items of new business relating to building applications and equipment replacement.
The meeting at the remote site came as a follow-up to a visit to the school by newly elected Commissioner Kelly Dore in January. Dore thanked Superintendent Steve Wilson for his enthusiasm for hosting the meeting and his flexibility with the multiple dates proposed.
Dore is hoping that the pilot meeting will be the first in a series of meetings held in high schools and middle schools throughout the county in the coming years. As the plan unfolds, the desired expectation is to schedule one BOCC meeting remotely each fall and spring.
Wilson took the opportunity during the public comment portion of the meeting to thank the commissioners for having the meeting at the school.
“We very much enjoy hosting this and getting to see all of you here,” Wilson said. “I hope you come back again sometime.”
Wilson also took the opportunity to thank County Manager Ed Ehmann along with road and bridge crews for the quality of service the area has received.
“Sometimes when we have snow days or bad weather, Elbert County takes care of the roads, especially on those days.” Wilson said.
Wilson has held the job as superintendent of the Big Sandy School District for the past 10 years and has been an educator for over 31 years. Wilson oversaw the school's move into its new facility at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. The location is home to about 300 students ranging from Pre-K to high school and approximately 30 faculty and staff.