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School Board dynamics will change

Lane Price

Lane Price

ALBANY, Ga. — The margin of Lane Price’s resounding victory over Dougherty County School Board at-large incumbent Anita Williams-Brown on Tuesday surprised many in the community and left many to speculate that it could be an agent of change in the way the county conducts the business of education in the future.

Price, a former educator and the medical director at Willson Hospice House, ran on a platform that declared the system was broken and needed to be fixed. Along the way, she won 12 of the county’s 28 precincts and also garnered the lion’s share of the popular vote with 8,685 ballots, which translated to 57.2 percent of all votes cast in the race. In six of the precincts she won, Price claimed four of every five votes that were cast.

By contrast, Williams-Brown won 16 precincts but finished with 6,499 votes. She topped 70 percent of the votes cast in just two locations.

Williams-Brown carried Carver Teen Center with 71.61 percent and Turner Elementary with 72.13 percent.

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Special photo

Robert Youngblood

Price carried Palmyra Road with 80 percent, Covenant Presbyterian with 79.70 percent, Beattie Road with 80.18 percent, Merry Acres with 88.08 percent, Christ Church with 82.23 percent and First Christian with 86.86 percent.

Overall, 17,359 Dougherty County voters — just over one-third of the county’s 52,469 registered voters — went to the polls Tuesday. That was 2 percentage points better than the statewide turnout of 31.35 percent.

“I’d like to thank Dougherty County for believing in me and for giving our School Board another opportunity to prove we are capable of achieving excellence,” Price said late Tuesday after the results were known. “It’s not going to be a simple task, but I have extreme faith that the School Board will work together to overcome the challenges it is currently facing. I will be ready to hit the ground running in January.”

Calls Wednesday requesting comment from Williams-Brown were not returned.

Board Chairman James Bush, who endorsed Williams-Brown last week, took her loss in stride.

“The people have spoken, and they have said they wanted Ms. Lane in office. I am looking forward to working with her,” Bush said.

When asked if he was surprised by Price’s margin of victory, Bush replied, “I am not surprised by anything that happens in politics. The people voted, and it was clear that they wanted Ms. Lane by 2,100 votes.”

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Velvet Riggins

Aside from Price, the board will include at least one more new face and possibly two. Former Dougherty School System principal Robert Youngblood will assume the District 1 seat being vacated by David Maskche, who did not stand for re-election after four terms on the board.

The other seat in question is the District 3 post currently held by Velvet Riggins, who is facing a Sept. 17 trial date on four felony counts involving accusations of free and reduced-cost school lunch fraud. She was suspended from office by Gov. Nathan Deal pending the results of the case against her after a tribunal of two non-Dougherty school system officials and a member of the attorney general’s office reviewed the case and recommended the suspension.

If she is acquitted, Riggins, who ran unopposed on Tuesday for a new four-year term, would immediately regain her seat. If she is convicted, a special election would likely be conducted in March for the post.

The composition of the new board also could result in a change in the position of board chair, which is determined by board members. Bush currently serves as chairman. Board member Darrel Ealum, who campaigned on Price’s behalf during the election, is expected to lobby in January for the chairmanship.

Comments

waltspecht 2 years ago

Hopefully it will be a cohesive board with the best interests of the students at it's core. Hopefully it will move to clean-up the problems, and put in place a Teacher and Administrator evaluation system that will weed out those not deserving of their positions. Hopefully it will be above Politics and Racial devide. Hopefully they will all grow up and behave like adults, but I doubt it.

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Dino58 2 years ago

Good Post waltspecht. I agree wholeheartedly.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years ago

Price and Youngblood will not fail us.

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terihdfxr1 2 years ago

We will see if they can do what we voted them in to do. Let’s all pray for the system to work correctly. I do have one comment why does Velvet Riggins look so darn happy for a mug shot? This wasn’t a glamour photo shoot it was an arrest booking, she just looks so blissful. I guess the saying IS true (ignorance is bliss)

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LoneCycler 2 years ago

It's very smart to have a good photo taken when you are booked for violation of law. Booking photos are public property and if you are a public official they will be published. You don't want to appear downcast or upset in any way. You want to give the image of being cooperative with the law but confident you are in the right. The demeanor Ms Riggins projects in the photo is exactly what her lawyer would want a jury member to see.

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years ago

Who is us, hopefully all the people. Watch it poster!

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tywebb 2 years ago

it sounds to me like Kaos is talking about the community......but you can try to make it racial if you want. I have an idea, let's try to bring race into an innocent post! that'll help. and no.....i won't be your friend

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

Life must suck when you see a racist under every shrub.

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bubbasmithredneck 2 years ago

but thats what you do sister....you are the worst at finding ways to blame blacks or making mean racial comments.....look in the mirror!!

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Citizen1 2 years ago

Not under every shrub, but here making comments!

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MRKIA 2 years ago

IT'S THAT OLD NEGRO MENTALITY LEFT OVER FROM THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE, ONLY NOW IT'S USED TO MAINTAIN DIVISION. THERE ARE MORE OF THE RACES IN AGREEMENT THAN DISAGREEMENT.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

Lane Price got 20% of the vote minimum in EVERY precinct! That's encouraging!!

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Jimboob 2 years ago

Velvet Riggins, a known liar and thief, ran unopposed. What the he!! does that say about Albany?

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Cartman 2 years ago

It's more of a comment on Riggins' school district. The voters in School District 3 elected her as their representative on the school board. The rest of the county had no influence on her election or her lack of opposition.

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bubbasmithredneck 2 years ago

Many blacks voted for Lane Price because they want to see a change. She would not have won if it was wasn't for the black vote here in Albany. (Albany is majority black ...remember) I just hope she remembers that when she gets in office. She needs to represent all races.

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Citizen1 2 years ago

Lane Price will not be able to represent all races! She will represent those who paid for her election! They will be whispering in her ear to get their agendas done! Many blacks voted for Lane Price because they did not see the complete picture. They will see the picture, not change. They will come to regret this vote.

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MRKIA 2 years ago

IF THE AGENDA IS TO KEEP THE DCSS FROM COMPLETE FAILURE, THEY DON'T NEED TO WHISPER, THEY OUGHT TO TAKE OUT AN AD.

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Absynthe 2 years ago

I'd say she has already started representing the black race, Citizen1. Not to sound rude, insensitive, or prejudice (b/c that is not my intent), most blacks have been known to vote democrat. So, by choosing the democrat ballot, they knowingly or unknowingly voted Dr. Price. By choosing a republican ballot, they would have voted for Dr. Brown. ALSO, for you to state that she will not be able to represent all races is absurd and really shows your level of ignorance. If you thought Dr. Williams-Brown would represent all races you, sir/ma'am, are a fool. She has already proven that she did not speak for all, and the people have already backed me up on that statement by their votes. As quoted by Malcom X "Anytime you see someone more successful than you are, they are doing something you aren't."

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Citizen1 2 years ago

WOW! They are expecting a lot from Dr Price. I hope she lives up to it!

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