Two Questions

We Are EnterpriseWith the interviews for the new Superintendent of Enterprise City Schools upcoming I wanted to pose two questions to the candidates. From my perspective they are important questions but will likely never be asked. It really doesn’t matter as the actions taken after being hired are the only answers that will matter in the long run.

(Q1) I am sure you are aware the reason you are being interviewed is the former superintendent was allegedly forced out, in his opinion and that of many others familiar with the situation, due to micro-management and intimidation by the current President of the School Board. If you need a refresher on this A City Divided provides a pretty good summary.

Knowing the potential for this to continue with any superintendent hired, since the President of the School Board has not changed nor indicated his behavior will change, are you committed and prepared to stand up to this when it occurs and make your decisions based on what is best for the students of Enterprise City Schools and not necessarily for the political or personal benefit of any school board member or city government official?

(Q2) Enterprise City Schools have a note coming due in 2016 with payments of $550,000 per year scheduled to start and continue until 2028. This is from an agreement between the school board and city council and Mayor in 2008 after the tornado that destroyed Enterprise High School and much of Hillcrest Elementary school in March 2007.

Both the school board and city council members and mayor have said they will work with each other when the time comes if the economy is good and tax receipts are good and the school system needs help. All of these are subjective conditions that can and will be interpreted differently due to the money involved.

Mark Jipson, former School Board President, has suggested a simple solution (If you want to read what I wrote about this in August you can see it here in Overtime!) that would honor the wishes both parties have voiced but neither have shown any interest or made any action I am aware of to put this plan into writing and put this issue to rest now, sooner rather than later.

In fact, the current school board president has indicated that we should just wait until 2016 and see how the economy and the school board is doing and take care of it then. This is one of the issues which he and the former superintendent disagreed. Mr. Jipson has presented this idea directly to the Mayor and City Clerk but they have chosen to ignore it as well. The only reason I can think of that a delay would be good for anyone is if the city has plans to profit from the devastation and tragedy of the tornado that destroyed schools and caused the death of 8 students.

The plan is simple. According to Mr. Jipson, they should amend the existing agreement to state, “If the revenue streams are large enough to pay for the bond debt, the school system will be waved of $550,000 for that year and if they’re insufficient, the school system will pay up to and not exceeding the amount that was agreed upon.” This ensures the note is paid back and the city is not being forced to pay for or profiting from this tragedy.

Would you commit to advocating for getting the current agreement amended in 2014 so this issue can be resolved and not become an election issue in 2016?

That is it. Two questions that I expect will not be asked. However whether asked or not, the answers will be provided over time. I hope they are favorable for the students of Enterprise City School System which would also be favorable for the City of Enterprise.

Here is a link where you can watch the superintendent interviews

I am not sure how long this will be available.

Until next time…

Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 11/11/2013

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6 thoughts on “Two Questions”

  1. Excellent,Stan,as usual. With the political ties between the board chairman and city government being questionable at best, watch and see if superintendent candidates are not required to meet with the mayor at some point in the selection process. As I may have shared with you,when I myself was a finalist for the position in 2011, Ross,though not on the board at the time,was at each of the five interviews as were all five city councilmen. I just have a gut feeling that the mayor’s role may be heightened somehow during this go ’round.

    This being said,it’s very important to me that I let you know that the board I served under ( the one that did not appoint me as supt.) was comprised of a totally different fivesome from the one we now have and I never harbored any resentment whatsoever for their appointment of Aaron. In other words,my concerns over what’s happening now come from anything and everything but sour grapes. Hopefully you know this.

    Sometime when we have a chance to talk in private I’d like to share my story with you about what attracted me to the E’prise Schools in the first place! Sadly, things are vastly different now,though my love for and indebtedness to the system remain as always.

    Blessings,my friend…and thanks.

    1. Thanks for the nice comments Bob. I have never considered any of your comments or motives to be nothing other than what is best for the Enterprise City School System.

      It is interesting and news to me that Ross Cotter, as I guess an interested upcoming board member along with the city council was involved in the interviews. It seems like if the city council trusted those they appointed to the school board that would be some micro-management on their part. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next round of interviews for sure and if I am able to be there and watch I will be.

      Since we were gone for 26 years before we moved back 3 years ago there is a lot I do not know about what has gone on during that period. I would like to here more of your story some time. We need to make that happen.

  2. Stan these are very good and pertinent questions. Like you I seriously doubt that they will be asked. Another good questions would be what personnel changes does he see will need to be made? His answer would probably be none, as our interim superintendent seems to be already making a lot of changes and giving out a lot of raises “too boot”. You would think that the BOE would let the new superintendent bring in a few of his own people that would be loyal to him. They even do that with coaches. Maybe a few on the board still want to micro manage all personel matters

  3. Thanks for understanding and trusting me,Stan.

    Our biggest problem/concern right now is whether or not our schools will be able to function without the entanglements of a city gov’t that has infiltrated the school board and has one thing in mind….CONTROL– of hiring,firing,and finances.

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