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Higginbotham will seek Dist. 5 school board post

A political newcomer, but certainly no stranger to civic affairs, announced this week his plans to seek the District 5 seat on the Grady County Board of Education being vacated by retiring board member Joe Porter.
Scott Higginbotham, a financial advisor with Edward Jones since September 2003, plans to qualify to run for the school board when qualifying opens next month.
Higginbotham, who resides at 1716 Oakdale Road S.E., attended Grady County public schools for the majority of his education. He also notes that his father, John Higginbotham, attended local public schools, graduating from Cairo High School in 1969 and his mother Kathy Higginbotham taught in the local schools for over 20 years.
The District 5 school board candidate has two school-aged children – Trey, 15, and Mattison, 14.
“I have a vested interest in the school system. My family has been a part of the system for many years. I think the current school board has done a good job moving the system in the right direction, and I would like to help continue that course,” Higginbotham said.
He says his three main objectives, if elected, are increased parental involvement; financial responsibility; and substantive performance reviews for all personnel from the superintendent to the custodians.
Performance reviews have not been as much a priority for the school board as Higginbotham would like.
Although his experience in financial advising is not the same as the financial issues relating to a school system budget, he believes his work experience will be an asset to the school board.
“It’s all about living within one’s means, and the school system is no different. The system has a lot more hurdles to get over and around than an individual family budget, but with both, it comes down to cutting expenses,” Higginbotham said.
The school board hopeful says he will “hold their (the board’s) feet to the fire” not to incur any new debt as pledged in the most recent Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum.
“That is a priority of mine,” he added.
Higginbotham is already thinking of possible ways to cut school system expenses. He believes that some activities at the various schools could be consolidated and still give students access to extra curricular activities. By doing so, he believes, redundant expenses could be eliminated from the school system spending plan.
Higginbotham notes that even the state funding is paid by local taxpayers, and he is concerned with how every dollar, whether local or state, is spent.
His goal as a board member will be to see that tax dollars are spent wisely and effectively.
Although this is his first entry into public service, he has been very involved in his community.
Since 2007, he has served as the chairman of the United Way for Grady County and has been involved in the local chapter since 2004. Higginbotham also serves as the chairman of the Cairo Downtown Development Authority, a post he has held since 2008.
He is the most recent past-chairman of the Grady Cultural Center/Zebulon board, a member of the Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce, member of the Grady County Recreation Advisory Committee, volunteer coach and president-elect of the Cairo Rotary Club.
Higginbotham was also recently voted the Best Financial Advisor in Grady County in The Cairo Messenger’s 2010 Reader’s Choice Awards Contest.
“I have enjoyed my time working with these various groups, and I have learned a lot in my civic work,” Higginbotham said.
Qualifying for public offices up for election begins at 9 a.m. Monday, April 26, and will conclude at noon on Friday, April 30.
In addition to the District 5 school board seat, the other public offices up for election this year include: District 2 county commission and school board; District 5 county commission; state court judge; and state court solicitor.
The party primary will be held July 20, 2010, and the general election is set for Nov. 2, 2010.

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