Two years ago this month, a bloc of Muscogee County School Board members blocked the retiring superintendent’s nine recommended personnel moves — without explanation.
The chairwoman of the nine-member board called the revolt “shameful.” Another board member called it “embarrassing.” An administrator called the five rebelling board members “cowards.”
Voters were outraged. Two months later, two of the three bloc members up for re-election were ousted.
Now, another election cycle has arrived, and two more bloc members are running. And that two-year-old vote still is a campaign issue.
Susan Andrews, the snubbed superintendent, had decided to retire a month earlier. Five days after she departed the district, the board unanimously approved the same recommended promotions, this time presented by interim Superintendent John Phillips. Critics complained no board members clearly explained why they changed their minds.
Since then, school board members, candidates and voters have debated the uproar’s significance. But this much is clear: The result of that May 21, 2012, school board rejection continues to be a hot topic — and the result of this year’s May 20 school board election could depend on how voters interpret that history.