Cobb School Board to elect new chair today
by Hannah Morgan
January 06, 2014 09:28 PM | 2451 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — School board members will elect a new board chair to serve for the 2014 calendar year at a meeting today, yet not one seems to know who will be chosen to fill the leadership position.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” board member David Morgan told the MDJ on Friday.

The Cobb County School Board elects a chair and vice chair at the beginning of each calendar year to serve a 12-month term.

Board members nominate each other or themselves to serve as chair, and vote on the nominated candidates at a special meeting called at the beginning of January.

“I have no idea who is going to be chair,” said board member David Banks.

Banks said he would not be nominating himself for the position.

“Why would I want to do that?” he asked.

Banks said he would not be thinking about possible nominations until Tuesday’s meeting.

“I’m staying out of it … there are too many more important things to be doing than to get bogged down in that,” he said.

Board member Brad Wheeler agreed. He didn’t know who wanted to be the next chair.

When asked if he would be nominating himself for the job, Wheeler was uncertain.

“I would consider that if that is what my colleagues wanted,” Wheeler said.

Some board members predicted Morgan might nominate himself, as he proposed changing the board’s selection policy at a November meeting to have interested chairs and vice chairs publicly campaign for the positions.

His idea was quashed by fellow board members, who said they didn’t see a problem with their current election process. As for his running for chair, Morgan refuted their speculation.

“I’ve hit a glass ceiling,” he said.

Morgan served as vice chairman two years ago but has never been elected chairman.

Board members Kathleen Angelucci and Tim Stultz did not return emails or phone calls regarding today’s vote.

Board policies, duties of chair and vice chair

Current chairman Randy Scamihorn will make a motion to begin voting for his successor, and board members will then begin nominating themselves or each other for the position, Morgan said. They will publicly vote on each person nominated, until one nominee gets the majority of votes.

The board will go through the same process to elect a vice chair immediately afterword, Morgan said.

Board chairs make an extra $4,000 in addition to the $19,000 board members earn, Scamihorn said.

According to board policy published on the district’s website, the board chair is responsible for putting together each meeting agenda and for presiding over all board meetings. The chair is also required to sign and approve official meeting minutes and documents, and to represent the board to outside parties, including the press.

The vice chair serves in the chair’s place when the chair is not present.

Board to discuss Development Authority settlement

The School Board will retreat into a closed-door session at today’s meeting to discuss accepting a settlement offered by the Development Authority of Cobb County over a 10-year tax break given to a mega-developer.

The school board filed a legal challenge to the tax abatement in Cobb Superior Court to the bonds that were issued by the Development Authority to underwrite the $103 million Riverwalk project, planned by real estate mogul John Williams, which includes an office tower and apartments near the new Atlanta Braves stadium site.

Authority Chairman Clark Hungerford told the MDJ the school board needs to accept the settlement agreement and drop its challenge to the bond validation so the $103 million development can move forward.

The board is expected to review the offer today before deciding whether to accept the settlement or follow through with its court challenge, Scamihorn said.

Cobb County BoE special meeting

* WHAT: Cobb County Board of Education special-called meeting to elect Board Chair and Vice Chair

* WHEN: Tuesday, 5 p.m.

* WHERE: 514 Glover St., Marietta

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