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Hartselle makes board pick
City Council opts for AT&T employee; selection must be
confirmed by school board

By Deangelo McDaniel 340-2469

HARTSELLE — Seeking to diversify the school board, a city council majority agreed Monday to appoint Bruyne Rollins to fill the unexpired term of Greg Cain.

After interviews last month, the council narrowed a seven-member list to Rollins, Dr. James Joy and Nicole Mashburn.

"We've received a lot of complaints about so many medical people being on the board," Council President Kenny Thompson said before the meeting. "We had a lot of good applicants, but we probably need a board that is more diversified."

Dr. Joy, a local dentist, served previously on the board. Mashburn is married to Dr. K. Eric Mashburn. Dr. Andy Dukes currently serves as board chairman. Board member Kathy White Goodwin is a certified nurse who serves as director of marketing and public relations at Hartselle Medical Center. Jennifer Sittason, whom the current administration appointed to serve the balance of Ronnie Abercrombie's term, is married to a dentist.

Rollins, who works in finance collection for AT&T, is a 1982 Hartselle High graduated.

If city leaders ratify their decision Tuesday night, Rollins will serve until June 2008.

Cain resigned in January after Morgan County voters elected him probate judge in November's general election.

"I think we ought to go with that Rollins fellow," Councilman Samie Wiley said at Monday's council work session. "We had some real good people to apply, but I go with him."

"Based on the number of phone calls I have received, I go along with that recommendation," Councilman Bill Smelser said. Smelser said callers expressed concerns about too many medical-related people on the board.

"This was a tough decision," Mayor Dwight Tankersley said. "All of the applicants were good and concerned about the welfare of the school system."

The council will make another appointment in June when Sittason's term ends.

On his application, Rollins said he wanted to help continue Hartselle's reputation as one of the best school systems in the state.

That task may be easier than helping the board pass a 12.5-mill property tax increase to construct a new Hartselle High.

For more than a year, the board has talked about the tax, which voters will consider in October. School leaders know passing the tax is tough because voters have twice, by overwhelming numbers, rejected proposed tax hikes for schools.

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