Marlow’s behavior unconscionable
March 31, 2013 12:09 AM | 2027 views | 6 6 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

I attended the Cherokee School Board meeting March 21 and was shocked by the behavior of board member Kelly Marlow and her failure to focus on the real priorities of the school district.

Prior to most meetings, the board holds a work session during which the superintendent gives updates about relevant topics. The board asks questions and engages in dialogue.

A major topic March 21 was the 2013-14 budget and, among other negative projections, that $26.6 million in state “austerity” cuts will continue; the only state funding increase is for enrollment growth; the local tax digest will likely remain flat; and reserves are dangerously low. As a result, the board is considering privatization of custodians and groundskeepers and alternative health plans for 1,700 non-certified employees.

At the board meeting that followed, Ms. Marlow focused on: 1) a change in which version of Robert’s Rules of Order is used in meetings, which was easily resolved; and 2) a change to board policy to state that agenda request forms include a dollar amount. While this request was fairly insipid, the discussion that followed was anything but.

The superintendent, school board attorney and board chair spent over half an hour explaining to Ms. Marlow where the information she wanted could be found; and why her request, as written, would overburden an already short-staffed central office.

Board member Michael Geist also spoke up, finding reason to agree with the superintendent’s suggested wording change. There was no input from other board members.

This is where Ms. Marlow’s vendetta against the superintendent becomes apparent. She repeatedly asked “Who writes the agenda?” and was reminded it is the superintendent, that this was covered in her new board member training and that the agenda is titled, “Superintendent’s Recommended Agenda.”

Marlow was upset the superintendent could bring a suggested revision to her item, and she was reminded that this is in line with policy. After Marlow called the superintendent “out of order” for doing this, she again questioned who writes the agenda, stating, “I don’t even know what my role is.”

I can answer that: Her role is to have the best interests of Cherokee County School District students as the basis for what she wants to accomplish. With budget cuts and other real issues our board faces, her spending the bulk of a meeting arguing when a workable compromise was suggested was unconscionable.

Jennifer Hall

Woodstock

Comments
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Shockedbybehavior
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April 02, 2013
Wow Property Tax Payer...you are a pretty small person. I think the other comments have demonstrated you never know what the details are of the salaries posted. I find it unconscionable that you attack her salary when clearly she is someone that is taking on as much as can to help raise her child as a single mom. She isn't just teaching all day but teaching homebound students and in the after school tutoring program. Property Tax Payer you should be ashamed. If you are an example of Ms. Marlow's supporters I think she should be ashamed as well. People like you will turn each and every person against Ms. Marlow.
Anna T
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March 31, 2013
Thank you Jennifer for writing this letter. This is exactly what happened. Kelly is unsure of her role so I suggest she concentrate on real issues. One of her biggest problems is that if it's not her way then she doesn't understand. Maybe it's because no one was behind the scenes telling her what to say and do. People have lost all respect for her and all hope for her after the way she behaved during the last two board meetings.
Property Tax Payer
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March 31, 2013
A quick search of the salaries of GA state gov't workers shows that Jennifer Hall makes over $80,000 of taxpayer salary per year, only 8 months of which are actually spent "working".

I find that unconscionable.
CC voter
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April 01, 2013
I think that Mrs. Hall also does some tutoring of homebound and hospitalized students which show up as her making that much money. I think she the the tutor who helped my son a few years ago when he was home after a car accident. I am guessing her base salary is lower than that.

Defelecting from the real issue here is does CC have a BOE member who doesn't know what her role is? This infighting must stop.

Ms. Marlow spent some time talking to me this summer and she did not mention her own kids don't go to one of the schools she is now overseeing.

I am concerned that she is not the best person for the job.
NothingShocksMeAnymore
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April 01, 2013
Property Tax Payer,

I know this teacher personally and she is a single Mom raising a son, picking up tutoring opportunities and assisting homebound students for extra income.

What you fail to realize is that the figure above is NOT her annual salary, but includes all extra work she's been paid for by picking up additional responsibilities.

Unless you expect teachers to 'volunteer' for duties outside the classroom (which most do anyway), you might want to simmer down a bit.

Plus, teachers don't have paid vacations for 4 months, which a select few folks like to perpetuate. They are paid a DAILY rate spread out over 12 months. There are no 'paid vacations.' Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

Then again, when you have no argument of substance, a 'low blow' of looking up one's income doesn't shock me.

How do you feel about Chip Rogers' hefty $150,000 TAXPAYER FUNDED salary to screw around writing blog entries at GPB? I'd be a little more worried about that, personally.

Jennifer, excellent job.
ReasonableCitizen
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April 01, 2013
PTP, I'm guessing that you did not account for the furlough deduction from Ms. Hall's salary schedule. I also am guessing you did not pay any attention whatsoever to the things she does above and beyond her usual 50 hours of work per week to earn that slashed salary. I'm also guessing that it didn't cross your mind that perhaps she is the sole breadwinner of her household. I"m guessing that much like your shallow examination of Ms. Hall's income, you failed to consider that perhaps she is a widow. But if you believe that the compensation of an overworked, taxpaying, productive, widowed mother is unconscionable, please tell me where you go to church. I'll know to seek Christ where the parishioners emulate Him.
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