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School board seeks to make posts nonpartisan, increase compensation

The Grady County Board of Education took action Tuesday night to make it easier for its members to increase their salary as well as change how board members are elected.
School board attorney Thomas L. Lehman presented two resolutions to the board this week. The first would give the local board the authority to set the salary of the board members without having to obtain approval of the General Assembly each time a change in pay is desired.
For the last several years there has been discussion of increasing the compensation for school board members, which currently stands at $50 per meeting. In a typical month the board meets twice a month.
There was no action or discussion Tuesday night of what the increased compensation would be and no discussion of the proposed resolution.
The second resolution calls for Grady County Board of Education elections to be nonpartisan. Currently, board members must declare a party when qualifying to run for office.
There was no discussion of the second resolution either, however, board member Jeff Worsham voted against authorizing the chairman to execute the resolutions.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Worsham told The Messenger he was opposed to both resolutions based on his “convictions.”
“However, the board has voted and adopted it and I will support the board,” Worsham said.
The final vote was 3-1 with Chairman Teresa Gee Harris, Vice Chairman Laura Register and Board member Robbie Chaplin voting in support of the two resolutions. Board member John White was absent Tuesday night.
Lehman will now forward the resolutions to State Representative Darlene Taylor to have them introduced in the 2016 session of the General Assembly.
The school board attorney said it was unlikely the change in board member compensation would take effect until 2017, but that hopefully the board seats up for election in 2016 would be elected in a nonpartisan election.

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