A proposed meeting for today between Phenix City Mayor Sonny Coulter and the school board has been canceled, according to a public notice issued by the Phenix City clerk's office late this afternoon.
Tuesday evening schools officials had indicated a majority of the board planned not to attend the meeting on the advice of board attorney Sydney Smith. Officials cited concerns about violating the Alabama Open Meetings Act and took issue with Coulter calling a meeting of the school board.
Coulter has sought to set up a meeting between himself and school board members in recent weeks, which has caused significant friction between city and school officials. Last week he moved to remove board president Frankie Horace from his post, citing a lack of cooperation between him and city officials.
Specifically, Coulter said he was having difficulties setting up a meeting with the school board. Coulter cited Section 3.07(f) of the city’s charter in removing Horace. The section refers to council’s powers, including the appointment and removal of members of boards or commissions.
Council voted unanimously to remove Horace from the board last week, but there has been question as to whether or not city council has the legal authority to do so.
Phenix City Council appoints school board members to four-year terms. Phenix City is one of 47 school boards in Alabama that are appointed rather than elected.