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School board silent on superintendent search

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – People packed Monday night's Dougherty County School Board meeting hoping for more insight into the search for a new superintendent. But they didn't get it.

The process was halted by a judge last week after a lawsuit claimed the board violated the Open Records Act by releasing only one finalist's name.

Legal items, believed to be the pending lawsuit. and personnel selection were discussed behind closed doors. But when the board appeared for its public meeting, members didn't say anything about what they discussed.

Those with hopes of addressing the superintendent matter like Bishop Dr. John Burr learned they could not. DCSS Board Chairman David Maschke told Burr, "If you're not here to speak to an agenda item, in order to speak to another item or some other topic you want to discuss, you must submit a form in accordance with our policy 5 days in advance."

Burr was unaware of the policy. And neither he, nor anyone else in attendance, could speak about it.

The board meeting adjourned with no mention of the current Superintendent selection, the hiring process, other candidates, or the lawsuit.

But we did hear from some concerned about the situation after the meeting.

Some of in favor of the current choice Dr. Joshua Murfree, like Bishop Burr, want to see more disclosure.

He said, "We are letting our children down by all of this rhetoric behind closed doors. We need to put everything on the table and move forward."

Willie Ross said, "I was kind of let down and disappointed because to me, they didn't even talk on it."

Ross says he's frustrated that many are still in the dark on the matter. One he hopes to see resolved.

"I'm real angry because like I got up there and said, I'm confused and I don't want to bash nobody out because I'm the kind of person that want to see things get straight."

It's the same confusion over the hiring process that brought Thelma Adams to tonight's meeting

"I think when people get confused about the process, the process should've been disclosed to the community, especially to the parents. It may not have been someone with K-12 experience, but all the time experience doesn't always come from your job, it can come from life experiences," she said.

For now the public must wait to have their voices heard before the Board.

Its next meeting will be held February 24th at Albany Middle School at 12:30 p.m.

WALB, WFXL, and the Albany Herald filed that lawsuit.

A judge stopped the board from hiring Dr. Joshua Murfree until she holds a hearing on the suit in a few weeks.

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