City Schools of Decatur authorizes negotiations for additional propertyThe Decatur School Board meets on Jan. 12, 2016. File Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
On Tuesday the Decatur School Board voted to give its board chair and school superintendent the authority to negotiate and execute a contract for more land.
The vote was held after the board discussed the matter in a closed-door meeting called an executive session.
Board Chairperson Annie Caiola told Decaturish that the board can’t publicly identify the property or the terms of the contract. She said once the contract is executed, City Schools of Decatur will send out a press release with that information.
“There is a property that we are in negotiations for, so what we discussed was the terms that we would be willing to agree to to enter into a purchase and sale agreement,” Caiola said. “Because we’ve not gone under contract yet, we can’t disclose where the property is or what authority we gave to the superintendent and the board chair to enter into a sales agreement.”
Caiola acknowledged that the School Board’s approach to this property purchase is a little different than its previous negotiations. Over the summer, the School Board voted to go under contract for property along Talley Street. In November, the School Board also voted to go under contract for property adjacent to the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center. In both cases, the basic terms of the deal were disclosed, though the School Board has opted to withhold the sales agreement for the initial Talley Street purchase until the deal is completed.
The board chair said there is a question about whether the public vote to authorize negotiations was even required, but the board opted to err on the side of transparency. She also said it would negate the need for the School Board to call another executive session to vote to go under contract for the property, as was the case with previous purchases.
“Every negotiation is different. In the past when we were able to come out and vote affirmatively on the details, it was because … we were in agreement (with the seller). What we wanted to do was agreed upon by the seller and we were able to go right under contract and sign a purchase and sale agreement,” Caiola said. “In this case we’ve not reached an agreement yet. What we’ve done is simply say to the superintendent and board chair, these are the terms. If you’re able to get the seller to accept the terms, you have the board’s authority to do that.”