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Mosely named Dougherty County Schools permanent superintendent

James Bush, Velvet Riggins cast “no” votes in 5-2 decision

The Dougherty County School Board voted 5-2 on Monday to name Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely as the district’s permanent superintendent. Mosely had been system’s interim superintendent since January of last year after taking over from former Superintendent Joshua Murfree. (File Photo)

The Dougherty County School Board voted 5-2 on Monday to name Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely as the district’s permanent superintendent. Mosely had been system’s interim superintendent since January of last year after taking over from former Superintendent Joshua Murfree. (File Photo)

ALBANY — The Dougherty County school board voted 5-2 at a called meeting Monday morning to name Butch Mosely as the system’s permanent superintendent.

James Bush and Velvet Riggins cast the dissenting votes, citing concerns that the board has yet to discuss Mosely’s new salary and contract.

The board’s decision was made easier when the other finalist under consideration, Colquitt County School Superintendent Samuel DePaul, withdrew his name from the pool Sunday morning.

“I am very pleased the board is giving me the option to stay and complete the mission my staff and I have worked so hard on these past 13 months. By working together we have made considerable improvement, but we are no where near what we can be and that is the ultimate goal,” Mosely said. “I’m also deeply appreciative of the employees and community members for their support and encouragement. I look forward to doing my part to insure a great learning environment for our students as well as a safe, secure and pleasant workplace for our employees.”

Riggins and Bush each said they could not vote for a candidate without knowing how much money would be involved in the superintendent’s new contract.

“My vote is not personal, I think Dr. Mosely has done a great job,” Riggins said. “I just want to know how much he expects to be paid.”

Bush agreed.

“I also support Dr. Mosely,” the Board’s vice-chair said, “but I also want to talk about the money before I can vote for him.”

Board Chair Carol Tharin was pleased with the outcome of the vote and said the board followed procedure and the letter of the law.

“I feel very strongly that we followed through with the process to the very end and we followed the law,” Tharin said. “I felt the board determined that we could not afford to lose Dr. Mosely’s experience, and his contacts within the state board of education have been vital in moving the system forward and turning this board around.”

Board member Darrel Ealum, who made the motion to hire Mosely, said that after thorough inspection of all the candidate applications, he was convinced the board made the best choice possible.

“I’m excited. This has been a long, arduous process,” Ealum said. “I made the motion with confidence and after review of all 24 applicants I am certain that Dr. Mosley is the leader we need to ensure that we will continue to improve as we have since he came aboard.

Mosely was named interim superintendent in January of last year when former superintendent Joshua Murfree stepped down after nearly three years on the job. Mosely, 72, had made no secret of his desire to become the system’s full-time superintendent. However, he never formally applied for the position, instead he said he was available if the board determined he was the best person to lead the system.

“I’m glad it’s over. We still have lots of work to do, but the future does look brighter,” Mosely said. “We have already established a long-range plan and it will take us three years to get back on track. This is probably my last rodeo and I want our parents to take pride that we will put good teachers in every classroom.

“I want this system to be a source of pride for Dougherty County.”

The vote now moves the board into the contract negotiation phase with Mosely, whose current contract is due to expire in June.

In October of last year, Mosely agreed to work at 49 percent salary until July 1, 2014, after the Teacher Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) rejected a different contract proposal from the DCSS and Mosely. Prior to the agreement, Mosely was drawing $154,000 per year from the TRS, and his original one-year deal with the DCSS paid him $175,000 annually (or $14,583 per month with no benefits.)

His final agreement with the TRS kept his full pension intact, but he agreed to work for the DCSS at $7,145 per month plus reasonable expenses, to remain below the 49 percent threshold.

To become the system’s full time superintendent, Mosley will have to drop out of retirement and forego his pension after September when he reaches the three-month period allowed by the TRS.

Sources close to the situation indicate that Mosely will ask for a three-year contract worth $225,000 per year plus expenses.