HPSD Board President talks election or appointment

HPSD School Board President talks election or appointment
HPSD School Board President talks election or appointment

Monday, Hattiesburg City Council President Kim Bradley suggested school members should be elected rather than appointed.

Tuesday, Hattiesburg Public School District Board of Trustees President, Marcus Cathey, says he doesn't disagree with the idea of school board members being elected, but he does object to school board affairs being played out in the media.

"The opportunity is now to begin to discuss this coming up budget. I think instead of being in the news making comments let's seat at the table, let us hear you. Come to the budget hearing and lets work through that," said Cathey.

Cathey is rebutting the comments from Bradley regarding what he says was the boards disinterest in a discussion of budget cuts two years ago.

"There has not been a phone call from Mr.Bradley. There has not been a request made, and so if there is real legitimate concerns we can sit down at the table. If there are real legitimate concerns. There are budget hearings that I have never seen him at a budget hearing. And so if there is a concern about the budget there are opportunities and ways for us to partner together," said Cathey.

This all comes after millage hikes over the past two years which were needed to meet the district's funding requests. Now, Bradley feels any body,such as the board, who imposes taxes should be held accountable. According to Bradley, that accountability comes through elections not appointments. Cathey doesn't object to either.

"Actually, I think there is benefit or could be good in either way elected or appointed," said Cathey.

But Cathey says to say the board is not responsible because they are appointed isn't true.

"I think the accountability comes from the people to the elected officials which will be the mayor of the city. Every four years the mayor has to run for an election, and if you have a problem with his appointees you would deal with the mayor,"said Cathey.

Cathey says he is not fighting for elections or appointments, but he believes the district could lose qualified individuals to serve as board members if elections were mandatory.

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