Board, attorney don’t protect taxpayers

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I am writing to you because I am really confused as to why our school board members and their attorney, who is also the Commonwealth Attorney, did not protect our interest in signing the contract with Lisa James to be our superintendent.

The contract was investigated by our state auditor and he found issues with it. He recommends more transparency and to include a section assuring that if we pay for trips to Finland and furthering her education, that she be required to use said education here for a certain set of years. He said it is important to lockdown our superintendent so that she not just go look for a job in a bigger district after getting her doctorate. This is not only fair, but generally practiced at any place of employment that offers those types of opportunities.

Jim Crawford was appalled at being investigated and slammed the auditor’s office in the News-Democrat article dated July 17, 2013, stating that the findings were misleading and that he did no believe it necessary to lock her into staying in Carrollton.

James is quoted in the same article when asked that “she’s not planning on going anywhere, I’m happy and love what I do.”

The auditor stated that having James further her education to help her district and schools was a great thing, but believes it was important to add language to her contract that she would use said education here in the county and paid for it for a certain amount of set years to protect our districts best interest.

In closing, the fear the auditor had was obviously legitimate as Lisa James just announced her retirement effective June 30, 2014, in the middle of her contract dated to end June 30, 2016.

So not only is Mrs. James not using her new education here but also she’s leaving early and our school board approved this. I feel like they just let her steal from the taxpayers.

I say let her retire, but we want our money back, and she can afford it.

Mr. Crawford can use all the fancy language he wants to excuse and explain this away, but the facts remain the same. We paid for her doctoral degree just for her to retire and possibly go to a larger district and use that education for a better paying job closer to where she lives.

Mrs. James, with the help of Mr. Crawford and the school board members, got herself a free degree at the expense of the taxpayer, at the very least she could have been made to finish her contract.

We will never see that money, but citizens of Carrollton pay attention. The board members we have now and Commonwealth Attorney are the ones who allowed this to happen and should be replaced next election.

Jennifer Munsie