The Lake Lure Town Council held a special joint meeting with the Lake Lure Classical Academy’s Board of Directors on Tuesday Aug 7, 2012 at the Town Hall.
Mayor Bob Keith called the meeting to order at 9:00 am.
Chris Braund, Town Manager and School Board member, prefaced the meeting with a review of the value of the new school to the community and town. The purpose of the meeting was to improve communications between the two boards and determine how to proceed forward especially with the issue of how best the town could provide the school a stable location for the school. Options before the council include a long term lease to the school or a deeded transfer of the approved property.
Councilor Moore expressed an interest in seeing the board have a mechanism for elected members from the community. He also wanted there to be a reversion clause should the school ever close so that the property would revert to the town without encumbrances. He said he knew the Charter Foundation had a great deal of experience and resources and he hoped the LLCA would continue to have access to that. He requested a copy of the agreement between LLCA and CFA.
Councilor Barrett asked the value of the property be determined.
School Board member Jim Proctor responded that it will be easy to place a monetary value on the property but the real value will be to the community by creating a cultural center that has been absent since Lake Lure School was closed in the early ‘60s. Art, sports, theater will all add to the livability year around to Lake Lure. He said he would get a copy of the agreement to the Council and also have it posted on the LLCA website. It was pointed out that the NC Legislature recently approved a bill that would allow the town to convey by gift, private sale, or lease property owned by the town. This law also allowed the town to include a revision clause in any sale or gift.
Jim Proctor acknowledged that, in hindsight, the LLCA had not communicated with the Council or the community as well as it should have but that, as chairman, he would make sure there was better communication in the future.
In discussions about appointed or elected board members, Principal Upchurch, pointed out that most charter schools were conceived and created by parents. LLCA is unique in that it was started by community leaders to address a need. The school will transition to an all volunteer board which is the standard for charter schools. Predominately those volunteers come from the ranks of the parents as they have the most at stake in the success of a school. The school has to have a robust Board Development committee to educate potential board members in the responsibilities of the job.
Mr. Proctor proposed that the Council appoint a School Liaison, even though he pointed out that all school board meetings are open to the public and that any Councilor was more than welcome to attend.
Councilor Silvey made a motion for the Town Council to donate to LLCA as authorized by the N.C. Legislature that portion of land identified as needed by LLCA for their first phase, to include a revision clause that also applies to any 3rd party leinholder, that the property will be used and available as a center of community activity, and that LLCA will communicate on a regular basis with the Town Council. After some discussion the motion was amended to direct the town manager to have documents drawn up reflecting those stipulations in time for the next regular meeting on Aug 14 or, if not ready by then, for a special meeting to be called as soon as documents are ready.
Councilor Barrett polled each School Board member present if they were in agreement with the stipulations. All were affirmative.
Motion as modified was 2nd, and passed.
Mr. Proctor asked the Council to consider asking the Community Development Board to create a zoning designation for public schools to keep the system consistent.
Council agreed, a motion to that effect was made and approved.