News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Hartselle school board members should resign

I witnessed the "mother of all fiascoes" at the Feb. 17 Hartselle school board meeting. The majority of the meeting was to honor Dr. Lee Hartsell for his years of service. The last segment was obviously an attempt to attack the board chairman, Ronnie Abercrombie.

These allegations that were levied, regarding the contents of the contract with Dr. William Michael Reed, are unsubstantiated. Many people were present on the day the non-binding contract was signed. Only the reporter knows exactly who leaked the information.

The following is an excerpt from an opinion from the attorney general for the state of Alabama: "All meetings of a school board, including meetings of the board with its attorney, must be open to the public except where the character of an individual is discussed." 208 Al. Op. Atty. Gen. 21 (Aug. 6, 1987).

There is no doubt that this was an all-out attack on Mr. Abercrombie. Why this took place is a mystery to me and many others. Mr. Abercrombie puts the entire school system's best interests first. I might add that he is the only person sitting on this board to ever return my calls.

It's strange that three years ago, Hartselle schools were ranked 47th in Alabama, now they're seventh. This is undoubtedly a result that reflects on his character.

Greg Cain, Kathy Goodwin White, Jeff Gray and Andy Dukes should resign, immediately.

Mike Dowdy


School board members behave worse than children

As a fourth-generation, tax-paying, property-owning citizen of Hartselle, I call for the resignations of every school board member except Ronnie Abercrombie. He seems to be the only one on the board with a clue about what he is doing.

Frankly, I am tired of the embarrassment that this board causes my hometown at every turn. I travel extensively with my job, and I do not see in other areas the constant in-fighting, back-biting, power struggles and ignorance of the law that I see consistently from the Hartselle school board.

You people have deemed yourselves fit to serve in the best interests of the students of Hartselle, yet you behave worse than children. In times past, our City Council was a constant source of humiliation with its antics. That seemed to end when the citizens cleaned house at the last election. Perhaps a similar house-cleaning is in order now for our school board. Let's christen the era of a new superintendent with a new school board. Let's restore dignity to every faction of Hartselle and get ourselves off of the front page of the newspaper, unless we can make positive news. My children deserve better than this.

Barry J. Ramey


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