Cobb BoE talks chair
by Hannah Morgan
November 14, 2013 12:00 AM | 1629 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Cobb school board member David Morgan argued for changing the system by which the board chair is elected, complaining to his colleagues Wednesday the process was clandestine.

Board members did not agree, saying their current election system is fine.

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

Board chairs and vice chairs are selected each January by the board to serve one 12-month term, said Chairman Randy Scamihorn.

Chairs are not allowed to serve two consecutive years, he added.

Board member David Banks said board policy limits the term to one year.

As of now, if a board member wants to serve as chair or vice chair, he or she nominates themselves or another board member to serve in that position during the January meeting.

The board then votes on those nominations, and the new leadership is selected, Scamihorn said.

Morgan said he is tired of this “exclusive” process, and would like to make the election process more transparent.

Morgan would like the board members who are interested in serving as chair and vice chair to announce their intentions during a December meeting and explain to the board what their intentions and goals are for serving in those leadership roles.

Board members would then have the chance to campaign, and think about their votes before they vote to select the board chair and vice chair in January, he said.

“A person very well can be elected without having ts the first clue what direction they want the board to go in,” Morgan said. “I think we need a more transparent process.”

His fellow board members were not supportive of his idea, saying they did not see value in changing a process that worked fine in previous years.

“In this group, we already know each other,” Scamihorn said, and by the time the election comes around, most board members have an idea of who is interested in being nominated.

Yet Morgan said, “The board chair leads meetings. When we are not meeting, they are the voice of the board. I think it is a position worthy enough of the person stating what they want to do, I don’t think it’s a huge ask.”

By stating why they want to hold a leadership position, board members create more accountability for themselves, and for the board, Morgan said.

Board members shifted in their seats and listened to Morgan’s argument, but based on the body language and reaction of his fellow board members, Scamihorn said he didn’t think the initiative was going to change anything.

“I don’t think there is enough support there to try to reinvent the wheel,” he said.

After the discussion, Morgan agreed, admitting his idea didn’t gain “a lot of traction” with the board.

The board is expected to nominate and vote on its next chair and vice chair on January 7, Scamihorn said.

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Odd Man Out
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November 14, 2013
Does Mr. Morgan really think that the six Republicans on the BOE will elect the lone Democrat as the Chair?
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