On 2-0 vote, Colwell gets nod for vacant BoE post

Former interim Superintendent Dan Colwell at interview in April. Photo/Ben Nelms.

With only one item on the agenda, the Fayette County Board of Education Monday afternoon appointed former interim Superintendent Dan Colwell to the Post 2 seat vacated by school board member Mary Kay Bacallao.

The vote on the appointment was 2-0, with board members Marion Key and Bob Todd in favor of the appointment and board member Leonard Presberg abstaining. Board member Barry Marchman was not present at the meeting.

The five member board now consists of three members who have actually faced voters in an election and two who have not — Colwell and Leonard Presberg, who was appointed to an open seat in November 2011 and is now running as a Democrat for the new Post 5 seat.

Contacted at home after the meeting, Colwell said he is honored to have been selected.

“I will do my best to make what is already an outstanding school system even better,” Colwell said.

Todd at the meeting made the motion to appoint Colwell to fill Bacallao’s unexpired term which ends in December 2016. Presberg seconded the motion.

“I have nothing but the utmost respect. (Colwell) will be a fantastic board member,” Presberg said. “His experience and knowledge will be vital to us.”

Presberg in his statements also noted that he would be abstaining from the vote since Colwell in prior months had given him a campaign contribution which had been subsequently returned. Colwell made the contribution for Presberg’s reelection campaign prior to Bacallao’s resignation to run for state school superintendent.

As for Marchman’s absence at the meeting, Key said she had spoken with him a few minutes before the Monday meeting and was told he was in north Atlanta and could not be back in time to attend the meeting.

Key also said she had called Marchman several times last week in reference to the called meeting. Marchman did not return those calls, Key said.

Key thanked the 10 applicants who applied for the seat, adding that the school system is fortunate to have a number of well-educated and talented people who stepped forward to be considered for the Post 2 seat.

Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
Joined: 07/23/2012
Basham, Facebook, what happened?

I thought this lady had a good chance of winning, until I heard about her daughters ranting.

What the heck Is happening people? Are people so intent on winning they lose their moral compass for a seat on the BOE? Is this what we want?

NinaLynn's picture
Joined: 12/22/2005
Small question

Is it a good idea for a candidate to run for a position on the school board while his wife is a teacher in one of the Fayette County schools? I know John Kimball might be a great person for a position but I was wondering if it's a smart choice, pretty sure it would be a conflict of interest.

FC Dad
FC Dad's picture
Joined: 03/27/2014
Conflict of Interest

I've had the same concern. If elected he would be in a position to vote directly on issues that would impact his own household income. It should at least preclude him from voting on issues that would have an impact on his wife's salary/benefits/work conditions. This would mean that the Post 4 representative would not have a vote on most of the critical issues that the BOE decides. He is running for a position where he will constantly be working to avoid conflicts of interest.

I do think that the developer connection that the Basham campaign previously floated was a red herring. I don't believe that there is any indication that Mr. Kimbel would be influenced by relationships with developers. It is something that Fayette county voters should be on the watch for, but the past issues involved a spouse who was a developer.

I wouldn't put much stock in anything floated by the Basham supporters after what took place on the Take Action For Public Facebook page last week. The candidate's daughter was caught posting under an alias, and once caught admitted as much. Of course the candidate claimed that she knew nothing of the posts (like the true politician she is). Of course looking at the coordinated attack on Mr. Kimbell on this site leads me to conclude that the candidate was most likely involved. That incident will keep me from even considering her as a possibility for Post 4.

NeilSullivan's picture
Joined: 10/08/2008
FC Dad Conflicts and Decoys

First as a husband of a FCBOE teacher who is active in school issues, there is nothing Mr. Kimbell could do for his wife execept for termination and promotion which would be an obvious abstention situation. Teacher pay is set by years of experience and qualifications. There has been no hint at anything shady by Mr. Kimbell except by bloggers with hidden identies and murky agendas.

Like Joy Basham who did create a fake persona in Facebook and go on to the Take Action for Public Education page and first attempted to question the motivation of the moderators and dug deeper from there representing herself as a concerned parent when she has no children. Last week she was exposed when she replied from the wrong account. The ironic thing the exchange was with Larry Sussberg who himself got caught on these blogs. The Basham campaign did say it was not their idea and Diane says she regretted the incident. As far as fake Facebook profiles I will leave that to Mr. Zuckerberg.

It definitely is something to think about when going to the polls tomorrow as you reference a similar indirect attack methodology on this page. It does indicate a pattern to consider.

However, Diane taught with my wife Jennifer for ten years and I have gotten to know her in that time. I do beleive people should still consider her when voting tomorrow.

Take Care


ginga1414's picture
Joined: 09/01/2008
Dan Colwell, Execellent School Board Choice

I am happy to see that Dan Colwell has been chosen for the Post 2 position on our School Board.

Mr. Presburg should be commended for his show of transparency by saying that he would abstain because Mr. Colwell had contributed to his campaign and the contribution had been returned.

It is also very gratifying to see that there were so many well qualified applicants for the position.

Well done, Fayette County BOE.

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