Superintendent secrecy: Fertile ground for false rumors

Let’s see if I get this correct. We are negating the contract for our school superintendent for mutually accepted reasons that cannot be disclosed.

One red flag!

I have been following the school closing/redistricting hearings and the only information I could come up with is that [Superintendent Jeff] Bearden had come up with a pretty good plan. It made sense and would not impact too many “hardships,” plus it would open a brand new school that has been underutilized for years.

The only clear reason I could ascertain is that Marion Key and Bob Todd did not agree and somehow managed to coerce the rest of the board to go along with “their” plan.

Can this board not work with anyone regardless of who serves as superintendent? I think John DeCotis saw the writing on the wall and retired while his reputation was intact.

Many years ago when we were funding bonds to build all these schools, [then-state Rep.] Dan Lakly said to beware and build smart because eventually the county would build out and gray out and you would be stuck with schools that were not being filled.

He said then to build schools you can add on to rather than having to start new ones. That was not popular because everyone wanted their own neighborhood schools. That works for a while but not in the long term.

Now we have to pay a year’s salary to someone that we don’t even know why that is necessary, while our teachers are getting their salaries cut and some losing their jobs.

While the search begins, who is managing this system? Is all the speculation necessary while trying to maintain our reputation?

When details are left hidden, exaggerations and false truths start to emerge. The board was so high on Mr. Bearden when they hired him, it makes me wonder, after two years, if they did their homework before making the decision to hire Mr. Bearden.

Is this board capable of hiring another superintendent and allowing him/her to do their job without all the interference? Will they give a new superintendent the freedom to make wise choices or will the “old school” who does not like change, run another one off leaving the citizens to pick up the tab?

Or we will continue to have multiple employees taking early retirement instead of staying in a system where the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing?

I am very disappointed in this board. They make it extremely difficult for this county to get highly qualified people. And when we do, they run them off because they know better.

In these very hard times, once again our school system will suffer because we have a board that cannot and will not compromise for the better of this community.

Donna Lee Lakly

Peachtree City, Ga.

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