Sunday, September 23, 2018

School Board votes 5-3 to hire Muse as Transportation Director

Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 | Views: 2506

School Board votes 5-3 to hire Muse as Transportation Director

AMITE—After more than a month of postponements and a lengthy debate Tuesday night, the Tangipahoa Parish School Board voted 5-3 to approve hiring Superintendent Mark Kolwe’s choice for Transportation Director.

Board members Andy Anderson, Betty Robinson, and Sandra Bailey Simmons voted against hiring Byron Muse, the candidate identified by the administration as the “most highly qualified applicant” for the job, which has been “vacant” for more than a year and a half.

The Tangipahoa Federation of Teachers publicly supported another candidate, Kim Notariano, a 27-year veteran school bus driver and trainer, who also appealed to the board Tuesday night to be circumspect of the hiring process and the manner in which the administration followed it in taking applications for the position. 

School system officials, however, denied any impropriety and Board attorney Bob Hammonds reminded the board that while they could vote against the superintendent’s recommendation, they would have to show cause why Kolwe’s choice was unacceptable. Hammonds said the board also could not substitute their own choice in place of Kolwe’s.

Board member Brett Duncan cited concerns that any last minute choices in selecting a transportation chief could negatively impact the board’s pending motion for unitary status in the area of staff, which is currently before the federal court. Board attorneys said a status report on the staffing issue is due in the next couple of weeks and they agreed the timing could be problematic if the board acted outside the parameters of Order 866, the federal mandate that the district must adhere to in their effort to reach a settlement in the more than 50-year-old desegregation case.

Simmons and Anderson attempted to offer a substitute motion to defer the selection of a transportation director and send the matter back to the policy committee for review; however, that measure failed 6-2 with only Simmons and Anderson supporting the postponement.