Chairman Jim Hemby
The Dothan City School Board made a major decision in a "rare" Saturday morning meeting. A decision that will end up costing taxpayers nearly a half-million dollars to buy out the contract of Superintendent Dr. Leon Hobb's.
Saturday morning at 10:00, it was a full room, as people were waiting to find out the fate of Dr. Hobbs' position.
In the end, the majority voted to buy his contract out at $440,000 which will be paid to him throughout the next three years, when his contract expires.
In the new agreement between Hobbs and the Dothan City School Board, he will no longer serve as school superintendent but rather be in a position to assist the newly appointed Interim Superintendent Dr. Sam Nichols.
Dr. Hobbs was not present at the meeting, but his attorney John White was.
White said "he (Hobbs) enjoyed his job and it was his desire to remain as a superintendent, he thought he could work with the board and the new board, although it could be difficult at times."
During the meeting, the school board chairman, Jim Hemby refused to let the public ask any questions or read the agreement before it was voted on.
Needless to say...the decision has some in an outrage over the fact that this money will come from taxpayers’ pockets.
And some board members are concerned that this was an irrational decision.
"that is a lot of money and there are several areas that we need extra teachers and receptionists and that money could have been better used in my opinion."
"what is the rush what is the haste? are we frightened we might treat him fairly?)
And when News 4 asked why the meeting couldn't wait, Mr. Hemby replied "we felt it was our prerogative and our duty to do this today because of poor cooperation and lack of communication, I didn't want this new board to have to put up with what I had to. I think we can afford it.....we have the money.”
This only adds to the rising concern regarding the priority of school funding, and where the money is coming from.
According to Hobb's attorney, he had been a school superintendent since 1996.
The agreement contains a waiver where both parties are waiving any litigation or future claims in regards to this issue.
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