Bertie motion fails

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 22, 2007

WINDSOR – To some, it’s just a house.

To others, it’s a symbol of the alleged corruption of the central administration of Bertie County Schools under former superintendent John F. Smith Sr.

The infamous ‘House on White Oak Road’ has officially been on the market for nearly a year, but has had no prospective buyers who were truly interested in the property.

In June of 2006, the school board voted that the building was unsuitable for school purposes and put the house up for sale.

There it has sat ever since. Perhaps because of that, Bertie School Board attorney Carolyn Waller recently advised the board that it was possible to reverse their past decision and possibly find some use for the house.

&uot;If it’s a tool you all felt would be helpful, it’s certainly something the HR (Human Resources) department could look at such as housing teachers,&uot; she stated.

Waller referenced the Hertford County Board of Education’s construction of a unit to house 25 teachers as an incentive to lure them into the school system.

Dr. Michael Priddy, Interim Superintendent of Bertie County Schools, seemed to agree with Waller.

&uot;We’re simply letting you (the board) know the option is open for discussion. The house isn’t selling, and you need teachers,&uot; he said.

Board member Emma Johnson made a motion to talk about reconsidering the options for the house on White Oak Road.

&uot;I think we should maybe take another look at it,&uot; she said.

The motion failed, though, when only board member Gloria Lee sided with Johnson. Alton Parker, Melinda Eure and Rickey Freeman all voted against reopening discussion on the topic.

&uot;We can let it run its course until October and then revisit it again,&uot; Freeman stated.

The board’s contract with Triple A Real Estate Agency to sell the property expires October 2.

The house was originally constructed by Bertie High School students using funds that were not approved by the Bertie County Board of Education.