Meet the New Boss

The revolving door that leads into – and, just as rapidly, out of – the superintendent’s office at the Fairfield County School District has spun once more, this time welcoming in Mr. J.R. Green, currently an assistant superintendent for Chesterfield County Schools. While a unanimous vote to hire Mr. Green would have been a nice show of unity among members of the School Board, the 6-1 decision was closer than they have been on an issue of this magnitude in recent memory.

Any negotiation process has its sticking points, and clearly this was no different. What matters most is how those points are resolved and that the best candidate was selected. Although she voted in the affirmative, the Board member representing District 6 indicated some displeasure in the knowledge that Mr. Green’s contract had been negotiated not by the Board, but by the District’s attorneys. The Board, meanwhile, had been poring over a potential contract with a second candidate almost line by line, she said.

The Trustee from District 4, on the other hand, was apparently so opposed to the selection of Mr. Green that she even abstained from a vote to come out of executive session last week so the Board could vote to execute Mr. Green’s contract. She was appalled, she said, to learn that the Board had been negotiating with two different candidates at the same time.

But isn’t that what negotiating is? Hammering out details and keeping one’s options open?

Given the track record this District has with their treatment and hasty disposal of superintendents, they should consider themselves lucky that anyone other than ex-convicts and escapees from mental institutions would even be foolhardy enough to apply. During this selection process (and let’s face it, there have been so many over the last decade that they blur together like segments of a bad dream), the District found itself in the enviable position of having more than one highly qualified and experienced candidate actually interested in risking their career to come to Fairfield County Schools.

The District has also been incredibly fortunate during this interim in leadership to have had at its disposal the services of one Dr. David Eubanks who, during his few months in Fairfield County, has brought a sense of stability, reason and rationality to the office that this District hasn’t seen, perhaps, since its inception. Dr. Eubanks helped guide the District through a very tight budgeting process, one that provided significant salary increases for some of the District’s lowest-paid employees, and did so without the necessity of a tax increase. As the Board prepares to welcome in his successor, it is hoped they possess the foresight to keep Dr. Eubanks in place long enough to ensure a smooth transition and, perhaps, share with Mr. Green a portion of his knowledge and experience.

Now that the choice has been made, we hope also the Board will now gracefully step aside and allow the new superintendent to execute the responsibilities of his office without interference. . . .

Now where have we heard that one before?