Mayor calls for an end to divisive rhetoric

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The vote was final but the board members stood divided over the superintendent finalists. "I'm saddened we can't get past the color of someone's skin," said City Council President Charles Jinright.

Jinright says he still stands by those comments even if it did cause controversy. He said, "I feel the same way today."

Council Member Tracy Larkin after hearing Jinright comments said, "I have spoken to the city council president and plan to talk to him about him about the nature of the comments."

With the heated debate ongoing, Mayor Todd Strange is calling for an end to the divisive rhetoric. He said, "I sure hope we are beyond and above that."

Strange met and interviewed the four finalists.  He feels the board should have given greater consideration to the community's input, but ultimately, Strange says, it's the board's decision.  "The board of education did ask the community to participate. I am sorry there was not more attention paid to what the community said," added Strange.

Now Strange hopes everyone can move forward and work together to chose a superintendent that will best serve the Montgomery public school system. "I know that the board will conduct a full and complete investigation and will determine the actions that they take," said Mayor Strange.

The two finalists are Dr. Samantha Ingram of South Carolina and Dr. Barbara Thompson of Wisconsin.