PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Pender County Commissioner Jimmy Tate claims the Pender County School Superintendent and the school board need to be more transparent. Tate said both need to do more to keep the public and commissioners informed.
Tate claims he had a hard time getting Superintendent Terri Cobb to schedule a meeting so he could get an update on what the board is working on and also bring up citizen concerns.
He said it is especially concerning because he claims School Board Member Katherine Herring promised him that if he did not run for school board against her, he would still be able to meet regularly with her and the superintendent.
"She promised me that I would, if I didn't not run, that she and her superintendent in the school board would work with me and that she would meet with me periodically to discuss issues of concern because I hear from many teachers," Tate said.
He claimed scheduling the first meeting was not easy.
"I took her at her word that she would meet with me and that during the following week we would schedule a meeting," Tate said. "I waited Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, nothing happened that week. Friday I eventually tried to contact the superintendent to no avail."
According to Tate, Herring eventually got back to him and bluntly said the superintendent "was too busy" and they would get back to him at a later date. Tate said a meeting was eventually scheduled for Friday.
"I feel like anytime a commissioner or a taxpayer is making their schedule available to meet and share concerns, the superintendent should also be available," Tate said. "I believe taxpayers have a right to know what they are trying to do."
The school system would not directly comment on the promise of more meetings. They did send the following response:
"The Pender County Board of Education and Dr. Cobb are willing to meet with all constituents. The leadership of the Board of Commissioners and Pender County Schools try to communicate on a regular basis regarding issues pertinent to both boards. The invitation for a meeting with the Board of Education and Dr. Cobb was extended to Mr. Tate earlier in the week."
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