School board members see elected role as too political in nature

Published 12:13 am Sunday, June 22, 2014

NATCHEZ — At least three of the five current members of the Natchez-Adams School Board said they would not run for election to remain on the board if the board’s makeup was changed from having appointed members to being elected.

NASD Board President Tim Blalock is the only current school board member that said he would run if the board became elected.

“I probably would run,” he said. “But it’s not like when you run for a judgeship and you don’t really campaign that much. With the school board, you have to throw your name out there and throw a lot of money behind it, and I’ve got five kids, and this job only pays $100 a month. I would literally be losing money to run.

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“But I would probably do it because I have a vested interest in the school district be cause of my kids.”

Board members Thelma Newsome, David Troutman and Ruth Nichols said they would not run if the board became elected. Benny Wright could not be reached for comment.

“I am not a politician,” Newsome said. “That’s not something I want to be a part of. Having been through a lot of turmoil and changing superintendents and changes in the board, I know change doesn’t always come easy, and people are going to be against it.

“Regardless of what happens, my thing is we have to do what is in the best interest of the children in the district. When I feel I am no longer capable of doing that, I will no longer serve.”

Troutman said he is not interested in a political office.

“After four years of (school board) meetings, I have realized that whether you’re appointed or elected, we all have the same problems,” he said, “That doesn’t change.”

Nichols said she would find a different way to serve the school district if the board became elected.

“I took the position as a means of giving back and assisting in a situation where people needed to work as a community and as a team,” Nichols said. “It is more of a service position than a need to go through a political process.”