School board meeting tries to show harmony

Officials meet to discuss their feelings on the superintendent search.
Officials meet to discuss their feelings on the superintendent search.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It was a united front between the black and white elected officials over the selection of Montgomery County's next superintendent of education, or at least that's how it seemed.

Elected officials talked about how they agree that they all want the same goal and that's the best education for the children. However, how they get there still remains an issue for dispute.

The speakers all said they want to get along, but when City Council President Charles Jinright said he was not informed when he said his candidate for superintendent didn't make it to the final two because he's white. Black board members said Interim Superintendent Clay Slagel didn't by law meet the qualifications for the job. They say Slagel has no K-12 educational experience.

Officials openly discussed their feelings on the matter.

"There is a provision under Alabama law that when there are credential issues you can go to the state superintendent of education and get a waiver," explained Mayor Todd Strange.

"You can take information and make it say whatever you want to make it say Mayor Todd," responded school board member Mary Briers adding, "...but if you're going to give section 16-9-2 give it all."

"It's ok to disagree and we're going to come out a healthy community and we're going to come out united,"said Beverly Ross, school board president.

While the news conference was called to show harmony between the elected officials there still seems to be dissension between the whites and blacks.

They also say their dispute is a non- issue because Clay Slagel is not one of the two finalists competing for the job.