Viewpoint: What was learned from DCSS process?

The Law Suit between three local media and the Dougherty County School Board has been settled… We asked for, and finally received what the law requires.

This law suit was necessary to defend the public's right to know, your right to have transparency and openness, in local government, and from local political leaders.

From the beginning we told you, our challenge of the board's actions, had nothing to do with who their single choice was. It was the board's process, breaking the "open records law", by not releasing information on all finalists for the position.

Why was this important? It allows the public to see who was being considered, and evaluate their experience for themselves. It's not only useful to the public, it's the law.

As we know now, the board did not want you to see who the other finalists were, because it would be painfully obvious, the others had far more experience than Murfree, actually doing the job. They had been school teachers, school principals, and school superintendents, some with decades of experience..

The board secretly voted to keep the public from being given any access to the facts about any other applicant, except about their friend, they want to get this job.

As a review:

$8,000 of your tax dollars was wasted, in this fairy tale of a nationwide job search. Even more of your money was wasted with this law suit.

The Georgia School Board Association, conducting this search, ranked Murfree near the bottom, later defined as 34th out of 37 candidates.

One hour was spent and seven questions asked of Murfree, before the board was ready to award him the job. We take more seriously, and spend more time interviewing for an entry level $20,000 per year employee.

Also, there were two undisclosed relationships with Dr. Murfree and board members: Williams-Brown, and Velvet Riggins. Again, unacceptable behavior by any elected board. The School Board belongs to the people, not to these five individuals.

Moving forward, if voters do not recall the election of these board members, or vote them out of office as soon as possible, you will have lost your right to complain, or be even to be surprised at what they do next.

To the five board members: Williams-Brown, Windom, Riggins, Griffin, and Bush, we say, you have given some history lesson to our children this month…

Shameless, arrogant, behavior by so-called community minded leaders.

We hope you realize the damage you have done to the public's confidence in our school system and our elected officials in general.