Superintendent revamp headed to voters

Teresa Ann Martin, left, voted against placing the referendum on the ballot, while Jimmy Gander vote Photo available for purchase

Teresa Ann Martin, left, voted against placing the referendum on the ballot, while Jimmy Gander voted in favor.

David Adlerstein
Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 11:34 AM.

Franklin County voters will have a chance in November to decide whether or not to continue to elect the superintendent of schools, or switch to having the position be appointed by the school board.

By a 3-1 vote June 5, the school board approved placing on the Nov. 4 countywide ballot a binding referendum that would end the direct election of the superintendent and have the school board responsible for making the hire, beginning in Oct. 2016 at the completion of Superintendent Nina Marks’ term.

County commissioners now have the responsibility to arrange to have the measure placed on the general election ballot.

The only school board member to oppose placing the referendum before voters was Teresa Ann Martin. School board member David Hinton was absent.

School board member Pam Shiver, who first suggested the proposal to her colleagues a few months ago, made the motion, with a second from George Thompson. The only member of the audience to speak out on the matter was Carrabelle’s David Butler, who made a brief statement.

“I think the people should be able to figure the facts, the pros and cons,” he said. “It’s better than to have two elected bodies affecting our school process.”

Martin said she had spoken with voters in her district, which is the Hill area in Apalachicola on the northern and western side of U.S. 98. “For the most part they like it to be elected. There is a few that’s for appointment,” she said.

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