School board president voted out by city council, Dr. DiChiara responds

Phenix City School Board president Frankie Horace
Phenix City School Board president Frankie Horace

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Members of the Phenix City Council unanimously voted to remove Phenix City School Board president Frankie Horace.

Wednesday morning Phenix City Schools Superintendent responded to Tuesday's developments in a letter to News Leader 9. [Click here to read the letter.]

Tuesday morning, Phenix City Council unanimously voted to remove the school board's president, Frankie Horace.

 "I am not going to tolerate any member of any authority or board running from me when I want to meet with them," Mayor Sonny Coulter told News Leader 9.

It is a dispute that has been going on for a few weeks now and has turned into an "us versus them" scenario between the Phenix City Council and the Phenix City School Board. The whole thing started with a meeting. [See also, Phenix City School Board loses three members in five months]

Mayor Coulter explained, "In trying to set up this meeting, we have run into more road blocks than I have ever run into trying to schedule a meeting with anybody."

"It's highly unusual. I've been here seven years and the mayor of Phenix City has never called for a meeting with school board members," said Dr. Larry DiChiara, Superintendent of Phenix City Schools.

After several attempts, Mayor Coulter says Phenix City School Board President Frankie Horace refused to have a sit down meeting, "It was one more of the events that lead up to my action this morning in asking city council to remove him from the school board."

Once Frankie Horace heard the news of the council's vote he said, "I was overwhelmed, I couldn't believe it. What's going on was the question I had."

City Council says Horace was uncooperative and that was grounds for his removal, but DiChiara says that is not a good enough reason, "I've been told it's illegal to remove a school board member unless they have violated or done something that's an impeachable offense."

Horace added his remarks to the mayor and Phenix City Council members, "I want them to understand, I'm not mad, angry or upset with anyone. I understand the process and I know in spite of what they do, God has the ending say in all this."

The Phenix City School Board has a  meeting scheduled for next week, and Horace says he is still acting president, "My next step is to continue to do what I'm doing. I've been advised by the superintendent and the board attorney that I will continue to be at the helm of our board and conduct our meeting the way I always have. Right now I am still the president of the Phenix City School Board."

As for the meeting that started all of this, Mayor Coulter still plans to hold it next Wednesday.

There's a lot more to come with this story and News Leader Nine will be there to bring you the latest.

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