New chairman elected; defends board - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

New chairman elected; defends board

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Rob Varner came out of the gate swinging Tuesday night.

In an address to the crowd and fellow board members, Varner put everything regarding the superintendent search out into perspective, giving a detailed explanation of everything that has taken place with the search since the fall.

"Some of the things that have been brought forth over the last week, relative to the superintendent search, I didn't think were quite fair and as a matter of record I just wanted to set it straight," Varner said. 

In his speech, Varner said the board was publicly charged with violating the Open Meetings Act. Varner said the board denies these allegations and says they are all centered around the January 14 meeting where the board immediately went into executive session, then came out to vote on a new contract for a new search firm for superintendent.

"What we did in executive session was absolutely appropriate and we did not violate the Open Meetings Act. I just wanted to make sure that the public was aware of that," Varner said.  

In that executive session Varner says that the board members discussed salary for the new search firm Brock & Clay. He says all of the contract discussions had happen prior to this meeting through emails which Varner says is not a violation of the Open Meetings policy. 

He says the board will focus their attention on the search and work with the new firm to select the best person for the job

"Its now in their hands to assist us in doing a thorough process  but doing in a manner that doesn't waste a lot of time," Varner said. 

Patricial Hugley Green was elected Tuesday to be the school board's vice chair. Athavia Senior (District 3) and Shannon Smallman (District 7) were also sworn in as the newest board members. 

The new board voted to end year-round school at Georgetown Elementary and Rigdon Road Elementary.  It approved a new principal at Martin Luther King Elementary as well as a new director of guidance services for the Muscogee County School District. 

The school board's next work session is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 11. Its next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 18 at 6:00 p.m. 

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