School board meeting once again revolving around superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper's new assistant

Board members looking to remove Thad Welch's position

Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 9:23am

"There's somone that's in the position that doesn't meet the qualifications and seeing as how the superintendent doesn't want to do the right thing, which basically is to make sure that whenever he initially recommended the person that they meet the qualifications..he knew the person didn't meet the qualifications, and just chose to do the wrong thing," says Tehmi Chaisson, school board member, district 4.

Board member Chaisson felt strongly enough about this issue to once again put it on last night's agenda.  He says the board has complete control over the budget, so making the elimination of the position a budget-line issue was the only way he knew to make things right.

"I just saw fit to eliminate the way the job is paid for," says Chaisson.

But it was not that easy.  Last night the board did vote that all hired employees of the school board must have a high-school diploma, but the elimination of the position was once again delayed.

"I think hopefully they thought we would just sweep it under the rug and just let bygons be bygons, but the people in district four, the people in Lafayette as a whole, they trust us," says Chaisson.

This issue has escalated even further with the school board receiving letters from different attorneys like L. Lane Roy with Preis and Roy stating that if the position is to be discussed and eliminated, there will be legal repercussions facing the board.

"I'm just upset.  I'm furious, and I just asked him [Dr. Cooper] in a polite way just to do the right thing, and still he refused to," says Chaisson.

The board is now waiting for advice from the Attorney General on how to proceed with this issue, and there is no timeline for that reply.

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Some of you board members need to search your motives in your witch hunt toward Dr. Cooper. You hired him to make badly needed changes and bring in the VERY BEST people to do such job. That is exactly what he has done. The very ones of you who have opposed change are the ones who are "out to get" Cooper and undermine his authority. The fact that he has chosen someone based on past ability, history, work ethic, and loyalty should speak volumes about the kind of character he possesses.

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