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Hartselle Enquirer

Council decides to open application period for BOE post

The Hartselle City Council will allow residents the opportunity to apply for an appointed position on the Hartselle Board of Education, a term which will only last for a year and a half.

During a work session Monday night, council members discussed whether they should reappoint Jeff Gray, whose term ends this year, or allow residents to submit applications for the position. Whoever is appointed will serve until 2012, when the board of education will switch from an appointed board to an elected board.

Councilman Tom Chappell said the council should allow residents to apply for the position, even though it will only be short term.

“I think we should take applications for the position,” Chappell said. “I think we should open up the process to anyone who would like to apply. And then, the council can choose from the candidates that apply.”

Councilman Bill Smelser, however, said he would be in favor of reappointing Gray to the board because it would nearly take most of the term for the new person get acclimated to the job.

“It usually takes someone about six months to a year to get to where they know what’s going on,” Smelser said. “By the time they know what they’re doing, the term would be over.”

Councilman Mark Mizell added that Gray could be reappointed by the council if he decided to reapply for the position.

“If Jeff wants to stay on the board, he could reapply,” Mizell said. “I see nothing wrong with that.”

Councilman Kenny Thompson asked for Mayor Dwight Tankersley’s opinion on whether the council should take applications for the position.

“I would suggest that you open it up for applications,” Tankersley told the council. “That’s my opinion.”

Because of the election next year, Smelser asked the council if reappointing Gray to the board would hurt his chances of being elected next year.

Councilman Don Hall raised the question in response if the person the council appoints would be less likely to get elected to the position.

“Would it hurt anyone we appointed to that position from getting elected?” Hall asked.

Council members later agreed that they would likely interview candidates at the first work session in April with a two-week period before that to allow residents the chance to apply.

“I think there would be plenty of time to do that,” Mizell said.

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