School board plans town hall meeting

Lisa Sweatt addresses the school board as School Attorney Barbara Sanders listens at left. Photo available for purchase

Lisa Sweatt addresses the school board as School Attorney Barbara Sanders listens at left.

David Adlerstein
Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 02:35 PM.

The school board is hoping a May 13 town hall meeting will help to provide them, as well as voters, with the information needed to decide whether the county ought to consider switching to an appointed, rather than an elected, superintendent.

Dr. Wayne Blanton, director of the Florida School Board Association, will address the ins and outs of going from an elected superintendent, to one appointed by the school board. He will be available answer questions from county residents at the town hall, slated for 5 p.m. at the Franklin County School cafeteria.

School board member Pam Shiver last month presented the idea to her colleagues. If a majority of the board votes to place the matter on the November ballot, either as a binding or non-binding referendum, it would then require the OK by the county commissioners to formally place the referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot.

If a majority of county voters support the measure, it would then go into effect after Superintendent Nina Marks completes her term in 2016. First elected in Nov. 2008, Marks was re-elected in 2012 without opposition.

The decision last week not to discuss the proposal dismayed some in the audience who were in attendance to speak out on the matter. “We’re going to postpone it so everybody can make an educated decision,” said Shiver.

Later in the meeting, Chairman Jimmy Gander allowed two members of the audience to address the board on the appointed superintendent proposal, but said he preferred not to have a full-blown debate.

“That discussion will take place but not tonight,” he said. “I don’t want to get into everybody’s pros and cons. I think this is an important issue. We’re going to have to go through different steps.”

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