Board vote on Bolding reversed in 4-3 count

Eight days after separating the joint positions of Pine Bluff High School Athletic Director and football coach Bobby Bolding, the school board voted 4-3 Wednesday night to reverse its previous decision and allow Bolding to resume his old duties at his former salary.

The panel approved the split in regular session on April 16 with board Vice President Ken Dickson and President Piccola Washington opposing the realignment, which was favored by directors Henry Dabner Jr., Harold Jackson, Leon Jones Sr., Andrea Roaf-Little and Phyllis Wilkins.

At Wednesday special called meeting, Roaf-Little spoke as the contract reconsideration was introduced for discussion and consideration. After saying she is supportive of a salary division, she added, “But it’s not the best thing to do at this time.”

She said she had “thought long and hard” about the matter. “It has troubled me,” she said.

Roaf-Little said she has been “threatened and intimidated” over her previous vote.

Describing herself as “a woman of integrity,” she motioned “by my own volition” for rescinding the initial board vote and “not to split the position at this time.” Dickson, Jones and Washington then joined her in adopting the measure.

Bolding was not in attendance at either meeting. Reached by telephone Wednesday night, he declined to comment on the board’s action. He was also silent after last week’s decision.

However, Bolding did say he was aware of the panel’s Wednesday vote.

In other business Wednesday, the board unanimously renewed contracts for certified and classified employees and gave conditional renewal to administrators’ contracts for the 2014-15 academic year.

Superintendent Linda Watson said the administrators’ pacts were conditional because test scores and annual measurable objectives must first be figured and reviewed. Also, student numbers — which declined by 150 last year — must be determined to ensure needs for continuing some positions.

Watson said state law dictates that administrators be advised of proposed raises by May 1 and because of the late date, contracts would be figured at current levels because there might not be adequate time to notify all administrators of increases.

Contracts must be renewed by May 1 for certified employees and June 1 for classified workers.

Certified employees were granted 1.5-percent pay raises in December.

Salary schedules for classified employees are still being formulated, Watson said.