Open meetings apparently mean nothing to three HCSD board members

In Thursday’s first attempt to hold a meeting, two members of the Hazlehurst City School District’s board of trustees attempted to skirt the open meetings laws by not specifically giving a reason to enter into an executive session, which supposedly was preferred in order to discuss the hiring of a new superintendent.  Thankfully, board president David Huntington recognized the attempt, and when he called for a vote to approve the agenda for the called meeting, after a motion and proper second, he and Dr. Bettie McDaniel voted nay, and the motion failed.

With no other business on the agenda, and things getting out of hand in the meeting room, Huntington properly declared the meeting adjourned, and he, McDaniel and our reporter left the district office.

A few minutes later, newly elected board member Marvin Minor arrived, and a second meeting was called – a meeting without proper notice to the public, which should have been at least one hour–and one that still has no minutes transcribed, yet.  Because no other board members or members of the media were present, we imagine that the agenda sailed through because, according to an upper level administrator in the business office, Karl Twyner was hired as the new superintendent of the district by a vote of 3-0.   

Why have the umpteenth vote on the issue in such a harried and thrown together and, possibly, illegal fashion?  Are the two reverends afraid to reveal their real reasons behind their decisions to hire Twyner, who is a reverend himself?  

We may never know why Washington and Lewis have shoved the hiring of Twyner down everyone’s throats, in spite of near unanimous disapproval of the candidate throughout the district, but we will soon find out what results the action will bring, and more than likely it will be on a highly official level.

So, it goes to show that the two members of the board who have vehemently supported the hiring of Twyner–the reverends Washington and Lewis–would have done just about anything to get their way.  And, now, Minor has been roped into their fold, for reasons unknown but shocking nonetheless, and additionally his name is on record as supporting Twyner.

Joe Buck Coates

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