Jefferson County Commission Rejects Elected School Directors

By David Seal [Chairman, Jefferson County Republican Party] –

The Jefferson County Commission has rejected a resolution that would support proposed state legislation to give local voters the option of returning to elected school superintendents.

The vote was taken on Monday October 18, 2021, at the regular Quarterly Meeting. Resolution 2021-44 failed by only 2 votes with 5 of 21 commissioners absent. 11 votes were required to pass the resolution.

Two County Commissioners spoke AGAINST the resolution that would ask the legislature to give local voters the option of choosing school SUPERINTENDENTS BY ELECTION.

Those commissioners were Katy Huffaker and John Neal Scarlett. A video of their statements can be seen in the video below with business on the item starting at time stamp 1h: 10m: 10s. I strongly urge you to watch the video.

Scarlett argued that school superintendents should be:

1)    Selected from a larger pool of applicants

2)    Chosen by the school board (instead of voters) to find the most qualified person

3)    Appointed so they are not at odds with the school board

Huffaker argued that school superintendents should be appointed because:

1)    Appointed directors are preferred by many states

2)    Appointed directors can focus on duties, not campaigning. Elections would subject them to political pressure

The Tennessee Legislature, under democrat control in 1992, stripped Tennessee voters of the right to choose their school superintendent by election. Of important note, in the early 1990’s, the teachers union, special interests, corporate globalists, and the predecessors of the WOKE LEFT made the same arguments as what we see in the video made by Huffaker and Scarlett. Back in 1992, the LEFTIST crowd asserted that appointed bureaucrats are preferred to elected officials. We have had to live with this bad legislative decision for 30 years. You can view my VITAL POLICY coverage of the proposed state legislation at this LINK.

COMMISSIONERS PHAGAN AND REED made compelling arguments FOR ELECTED SCHOOL DIRECTORS and expressed full faith in the citizens to make a choice of who will manage our school system, which has a budget in excess of 77 million dollars this fiscal year.

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9 commissioners voting YES to support citizen’s choice of elected school directors:

Marcus Reed (District 10)

Greg Byrd (District 4)

Rob Blevins (District 6)

Tim Seals (District 5)

Terry Dockery (District 8)

Todd Kesterson (District 1)

Jim Snodgrass (District 3)

Michael Phagan (District 3)

Paul Lowe (District 3)

7 commissioners voting NO on giving voters the choice of elected school directors:

Katy Huffaker (District 1)

Jimmy Carmichael (District 9)

Edna Langley (District 4)

Heidi Thomas (District 10)

John Neal Scarlett (District 7)

Randy Bales (District 7)

Sammy Solomon (District 5)


Gene Eslinger (District 6)

Jimmy Dale Patterson (District 2)

Steve Douglas (District 2)

Ronny Coleman (District 8)

A.J. Walker (District 9)


2 thoughts on “Jefferson County Commission Rejects Elected School Directors

  • October 25, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    i think the 7 that voted against elected should be fired on the spot!

  • October 25, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    That’s a weird argument, saying we should follow other states. We don’t vote in other states and it looks like we don’t get to vote here either.


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