The Big Five Board of Directors held a special meeting Wednesday morning to discuss the resignations of three board members as well as options for business proceeding with the pending retirement of the current executive director.
Executive Director Carol Ammons said that she felt it was time for her to retire. She said she had always planned to retire at her age.
Ammons also retired to stay home with her 95 year old mother. Ammons’ mother came to live with her approximately two months ago.
She said she does not want her mother to be alone for too long of a time and plans to spend her retirement doing activities with her such as quilting.
Ammons has been with Big Five Community Services for 22 years and has served as executive director for five.
She announced her retirement to the board in July. “They said they were sad,” said Ammons.
Ammons said the board understood, however, her retirement was due to her age and the need to be with her mother.
The meeting began with the resignations of Ted Dosh, Dwight Staton, and Carl Tackett. In his letter of resignation, Staton said that the board has no respect for the agency.
Tackett stated in his letter of resignation that the board does not support or appreciate the services of its employees.
Ammons said the resignations and comments were likely due to a dispute that occurred amongst board member concerning her replacement.
She said when she first announced her retirement, the board sought a replacement within the agency.
Out of three applicants, two were being discussed as possible replacements. When a debate occurred over which applicant to choose, the board decided to open the position to the public.
With this, the two men resigned. Other discussion revolved around how to go about finding an interim executive director until a permanent one is found as well as business proceedings without a permanent executive director.
A decision to allow a contract with a consulting firm for an interim executive director and deputy executive director was approved contingent upon legal review and further negotiation of salary and terms.
Some board members did express concern regarding funding for contracting out the position. A review of legality and funding will be done before signing .
The board will also be consulting with Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) before signing the contract as well.
This would place members of America Forward Consulting, Francis Pelley as contracted executive director and Nathan Withers as contracted deputy executive director.
This contract would last for three months by which time the board plans to have found a permanent replacement for Ammons.
Other new openings within the agency include three board member positions and an assistant Head Start director.
Current Head Start Director Kent Watson may soon resign, depending on the health of his mother and is seeking someone to train for his impending replacement.
For information on open positions, Ammons said people can contact Brad Hamilton with the agency’s Human Resources department.