BOE meets in closed session to discuss interim superintendent

Board next meets at 11 a.m. Thursday

By Kevin Spradlin

HAMLET — Advocates for open government can appreciate when an elected body sticks to the published agenda for a scheduled public meeting.

Kevin Spradlin |

Kevin Spradlin |

Advocates for a more transparent government can sympathize when the same elected body doesn’t say anything of substance afterward.

That’s exactly what happened at the Richmond County Board of Education on Tuesday as board members, outgoing Superintendent Dr. George Norris, incoming board members Don Greene and Bobbie Sue Ormsby, as well as board attorney George Crump III met in executive session for 30 of the 33 minutes that passed from the beginning and ending banging of the gavel. Dr. Cindy Goodman, assistant superintendent, also sat in on the closed meeting.

Presumably, the topic of discussion was who would be appointed interim superintendent after Norris oversees his last meeting, scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Richmond County Schools administrative office at 118 Vance St., Hamlet. It’s believed to be a short list of candidates and an offer was reportedly made to one candidate. As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, it’s not clear if that candidate agreed to take the position until a permanent replacement could be found.

If the interim superintendent is a current Richmond County Schools staff member, it’s presumed that the temporary increase in responsibilities would be coupled with a temporary pay increase.

Norris is retiring after seven years with Richmond County Schools and 43 years in public education. His effective date of retirement is June 30. Applications for Norris’ permanent replacement have all been forwarded to Crump. It’s not known how many applications Crump has received. It’s also not known if board members discussed potential candidates for Norris’ permanent replacement.

The issue has been a hot topic lately. No less than three Richmond County Schools sources, including two board members, indicated that the had board discussed the appointment of an interim superintendent during executive sessions at the board’s May and June meetings.

The reason for the closed session fell under North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11 (a)(1)(3).

The reason for the closed session fell under North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11.

Wiley Mabe, board chairman, called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m. and had member Cathy Wilson offer the invocation. After a group pledge of allegiance, with board member Tom McInnis attending by conference call, Mabe adjourned the opening meeting at 6:07 p.m. to go directly into executive, or closed, session. State law permits personnel matters to be discussed privately.

Mabe reconvened the meeting into public session at 6:37 p.m. and adjourned the meeting, without any discussion, less than 60 seconds later.

It’s expected that board members will appoint an interim replacement at its next meeting, scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday. New board members Ormsby and Greene are to be sworn in at that same meeting.

Filed in: Education, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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