The recent Dougherty County School Board selection process of a new Superintendent would be considered a bad joke, but unfortunately, it’s true. After the complete meltdown with the ADICA board, you would think all local elected bodies would go out of their way to conduct all business openly and fairly.
Frankly, we spend more time interviewing an entry-level employee, making $20,000 a year, than was spent on the hiring of the most important position in our school district. To not announce finalists, allowing transparency and public input, is in violation of Georgia’s Open Records Law, and shows a level of arrogance that they, not the people will make this decision.
Only Chairman David Maschke, and E.J. McAfee tried unsuccessfully to prevent the other five board members from this rush to hire a local crony.
Joshua Murfree, now working at Albany State University, was ranked 34th out of 37 candidates, by the Georgia School Board Association and it this process cost taxpayers $8,000. He has no K-12 experience, and the board invested just one hour, asking only seven questions, before making their hiring decision. Also, there were two undisclosed relationships with board members. Anita Williams-Brown, and Velvet Riggins.
The most troubling fact is the public is not being given any access to the facts about any other applicant, except about their friend they want to get this job. This is just unacceptable behavior by any elected board. The School Board belongs to the people, not to these five individuals.
Everyone should contact these board members: Anita Williams-Brown, Michael Windom, Velvet Riggins, Milton Griffin and James Bush. Let them know your outrage, tell them to stop this process and tell them you will recall their election and if they do not comply.
Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.