Quorum committee recommends Bradford for Watson Chapel school board

Retired Watson Chapel School District teacher and former state legislator Toni Bradford was recommended Tuesday by a committee of the Jefferson County Quorum Court to fill a vacancy on the Watson Chapel School Board.

The Education Committee of the county’s legislative body selected Bradford by a 4-1 vote, with Shade Culclager Jr., receiving the fifth vote from the committee.

Committee Chairman Dr. Conley Byrd said that because the current school board failed to make a selection within 30 days as required by law, it was up to the Quorum Court to fill the position.

“Obviously, the Watson Chapel Board didn’t want to make a decision,” Byrd said.

He said the position Bradford, Culclager and Ron Womack applied for became vacant when former board member Keith Waddle moved out of the district.

“Subsequent to that, Maxine Nelson (who was also on the board) died, but this appointment has nothing to do with that,” Byrd said. “Hopefully, the board will pick somebody for that position.”

According to her resume, Bradford taught ninth-grade civics at Watson Chapel Junior High School and U.S. history and government at Watson Chapel High School for 26 years, retiring in 2002. After retiring, she served six years in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

The recommendation will be considered by the full court when they meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Also Tuesday, a proposed $12,764,625.95 budget for 2014 was recommended for approval. That figure includes $9,230,121.95 for County General and $3,534,504 for the County Road Department.

During a meeting in November, the proposed budget was cut by $515,500 over what was requested, mainly by removing money that had been appropriated for salary and benefits for employees that was not used, or unused money that had been appropriated for maintenance and operations.

Also recommended for approval was a $140,000 appropriation that the County Road Department had received from state highway tax turn-back funds. Of that total, $75,000 will be spent on asphalt, another $30,000 for fuel and lubricants, $15,000 for gravel and $180 for uniforms and clothing.

The remaining $19,800 was designated for general supplies, which Stacy Wilkerson of the Road Department would pay for office supplies and the like.