Supervisors to appoint new school board member

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 3, 2009

NATCHEZ — The start of April marked the end of a five-year term for Natchez-Adams School Board member Kenneth Taylor.

And on Monday the Adams County Board of Supervisors will take the first steps in making a new appointment for Taylor’s seat on the board.

The supervisors appoint two members to the school board and the Natchez Board of Aldermen appoint the remaining three.

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Supervisor Darryl Grennell said a portion of Monday’s meeting will likely be spent discussing possible nominations for the school board.

Grennell said the supervisors, in the past, have normally nominated individuals then set up a second meeting to interview the nominees.

However, some individuals interested in the position have contacted the supervisors to let them know they want to be considered to fill the slot. Supervisor Thomas “Boo” Campbell said he has been contacted by a few individuals seeking consideration for the job.

Other supervisors have not seen as much interest.

“Right now I’m only aware of one résumé we’ve gotten,” Grennell said.

While the board has not been inundated with requests from people for a spot on the school board, it’s still an extremely important job, Supervisor Mike Lazarus said.

“It’s a big job,” Lazarus said. “It’s a powerful position.”

Board members have the power to make decisions that impact the district’s students, have control over budget of more than $40 million and have the power to levy taxes on the county’s residents.

And it’s that power to increase taxes that has supervisors calling for changes in the way school board members get on the school board.

With the exception of Supervisor Henry Watts, who did not return calls to The Democrat, the remainder of the supervisors said they support a school board that’s elected by a vote by county residents.

“If they have the power to tax,” Grennell said. “They should be accountable to the people, that’s the way it should be. Anybody with that power should be elected.”

But the power to change the appointment process does not rest with the supervisors.

Grennell said changes at the legislative level need to be made to change the appointment process to an election process.

Lazarus said he did not know why the change hasn’t already been made.

“It’s something that needs to be done,” he said.

Until Taylor’s replacement is named, or he’s re-appointed, he will remain on the board.

Natchez-Adams School District Superintendent Anthony Morris said board members remain on the board until the supervisors take an official action.

Taylor could not be reached for comment.