Sumter School District's CFO resigns for another job

Other administrative votes still unclear after 2 executive sessions

BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com
Posted 6/13/18

Given personnel confidentiality issues and other matters handled by the board behind closed doors in executive session Monday night, not a lot of information was available on Tuesday from Sumter School District's Board of Trustees' special-called …

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Sumter School District's CFO resigns for another job

Other administrative votes still unclear after 2 executive sessions

Posted

Given personnel confidentiality issues and other matters handled by the board behind closed doors in executive session Monday night, not a lot of information was available on Tuesday from Sumter School District's Board of Trustees' special-called meeting.

One thing, however, is known - Chief Financial Officer Chris Griner recently left the district for another job opportunity in his home state of Georgia. Griner had been with the district since last July.

After Monday's called meeting began at 6 p.m., the trustees immediately went into executive session. According to the meeting agenda, in executive session, legal counsel gave the trustees advice relating to potential adversarial claims related to proposed contractual arrangements that the district has ongoing. Also, the board and district administration discussed at least two personnel reports, based on trustees' voting later in the evening.

After returning to open session following a two-hour executive session, the board declined to take any action on its receipt of legal advice relating to potential adversarial claims.

Then, the board took on the personnel reports. Interim Superintendent Debbie Hamm's initial recommendation to the board involved filling three administrative positions - two school principal posts (Willow Drive elementary and Lakewood high schools) and a new district CFO to replace Griner, whose last day was May 31.

The board voted 4-4 on that recommendation with Chairman the Rev. Daryl McGhaney abstaining. With a tie vote, the motion on the administrative personnel failed.

After approving another separate personnel report on a list of positions from Hamm, she requested the board go back into executive session about 8:40 p.m.

About 30 minutes later, the board reconvened in open session and unanimously voted to reconsider its action on the administrative personnel report from Hamm. Then, the trustees proceeded to unanimously approve the interim superintendent's recommendations on the three administrative positions.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, the district was still ensuring all the administrative positions' candidates were properly notified, and names couldn't be made public, according to Shelly Galloway, spokeswoman for the school district. She said she couldn't release any information regarding whether Hamm's administrative personnel recommendation changed because that item was also discussed in executive session.

Efforts to reach McGhaney on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Bill Mabry, a former Sumter School District 17 finance director, is temporarily working for the district to help in Griner's absence, Galloway also said.

The board's regularly scheduled meeting for this month has been rescheduled for June 21 at the district office at 6 p.m. Like all board-related meetings, the meeting is open to the public.