Hiring freeze still in place

Published 12:46 am Sunday, October 28, 2007

VIDALIA — School board slots that have been vacated due to the board’s hiring freeze are essentially sitting open.

The responsibilities normally done by those in the now-empty roles are being shared by administrator staff from other departments, Superintendent Kerry Laster said.

“People have been very helpful about stepping in and making sure nothing has gone undone,” she said.

Email newsletter signup

The freeze was passed in July, and has essentially stopped the hiring of any long-term positions.

At least two administrative positions — Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance and the Director of Federal Programs — are affected by the freeze.

Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance Howard Jackson died in late September, and Director of Federal Programs Julius Huhn’s contract expired Oct. 19.

School board member Fred Butcher said Tuesday his intention was that once the freeze was in place the persons whose contract expired during the freeze would continue to work in that position on a day-to-day timesheet if they so desired.

The board’s legal counsel at the meeting, Bob Hammonds, said that by state statute the board is not allowed to authorize the hire of any person — even on a day-to-day basis — without the recommendation of the superintendent.

Laster’s contract is set to expire Dec. 31, and the board voted not to renew it in September.

In a move to try to fill the empty positions, the board eventually passed a motion by Butcher that would authorize the day-to-day hiring of individuals at Laster’s recommendation.

The wording of Butcher’s motion allowed for those who were already in the position to work on a day-to-day basis once their contract expired.

Butcher said Tuesday it was his intention when he proposed the original freezing hire to keep those persons who were already in the positions affected there even if their contracts expired.

The school board will decide what to do with the positions when Laster makes a recommendation, President Gary Parnham said.

Parnham is not aware of any pending recommendations, he said.