Council takes steps to rescind MOU

Published 10:30 am Friday, March 1, 2024

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The controversial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the banning of signs, chanting, and sitting in undesignated areas at Chambers County School Board meetings was brought up at Wednesday’s meeting of the LaFayette City Council. Last night, steps to rescind the order were discussed. 

The MOU, agreed between the CCSB and the city of LaFayette has been a source of contention since it went into effect in October. The agreement was signed by Mayor Kenneth Vines and CCSD Superintendent Casey Chambley. It was notarized by city attorney Mac Tucker.

In the MOU, the city agrees to assist the Board in “maintaining proper decorum” and “avoid any disruption at its Board meetings at its Central Office,” located in LaFayette. 

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The LaFayette council members all said they had been unaware of the MOU until after it went into effect, causing some to ask for its rescindment. Vines said the agreement was to clarify the duties of law enforcement during the meetings at a council meeting in November.

The issue came to a head with the arrest of two protestors at a School Board meeting in Valley, who had signs. The MOU was only signed in LaFayette, meaning Valley had no MOU in place. Valley PD told the protestors that they needed to leave the signs outside the room when the protestors refused, they were arrested. The protestors were arrested and charged with “disorderly conduct for disrupting a lawful meeting,” according to past VTN reporting.  

At the February city council meeting, the council members voted to ask Vines to rescind the order, making it his decision to start the process of removing the MOU or not to remove the MOU. The entire council, including Vines, approved the request. 

At Wednesday’s meeting, Tucker asked Vines how he would like to proceed. 

“The council voted last time to give you the authority to whether or not that MOU is to be rescinded,” Tucker said. “It probably would be a good idea if it is your intention to resend it, that you and I get together and we write a letter to the Board of Education to that effect.”

Councilmember Tammie Williams asked Vines if it was his intention to rescind the MOU and he replied that it was. 

Williams added, “When are we gonna do it because it’s been two weeks [since the original vote]. I know it didn’t take you two weeks to sign it.”

Vines asked Tucker to draw something up to send to the Board asking them to rescind the memorandum, as they were co-signers on the agreement, by Friday. 

Chambley said he and the board would access once the recieve the letter.