Gulf Shores seeks school board applicants

By: Crystal Cole/Islander Editor
Posted 10/23/17

Gulf Shores City Council is wasting no time moving forward with plans for the newly approved city school system.

At its most recent work session, the council heard guidelines for the applicants …

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Gulf Shores seeks school board applicants

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Gulf Shores City Council is wasting no time moving forward with plans for the newly approved city school system.

At its most recent work session, the council heard guidelines for the applicants wishing to serve on the city school board.

Blake Phelps, Economic Development Coordinator and Deputy Public Information Officer, discussed the timeline of the process.

“We’re going to ask that applicants return all materials no later than Monday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.,” Phelps said. “Once we receive all those applications, we’ll then turn them over to you the city council to review and set interviews. To get you to your goal, the appointments need to be made by the end of November.”

The requirements of the newly formed board follow state guidelines, but include city-specific goals and priorities as well.

“A willingness to give significant time and effort, a belief in the spirit and need for public education, the ability to motivate other people, the capacity to understand people, the insight required to work as part of a cooperative body and a devotion to the concept of a better society through education,” Phelps said. “We then go on to list 11 characteristics we believe you’ll be looking for in a board.”

The inaugural board would have each board member serving a different length of time, from one year to five years to create staggered terms, with standardized terms of five years in subsequent members.

Mayor Robert Craft said he felt the people on the board needed to recognize the challenging first steps ahead.

“We’re needing them to hire a superintendent, hire a chief financial officer, hire a school board attorney,” Craft said. “So, very important responsibilities and very important to find the right people. It’s going to require a lot of commitment and passion.”

Councilman Steve Jones addressed some of the doubts about the clarity of funding sources for the school system swirling around in the news and on social media.

“There will be written agreements in place and transparent processes and documents where we clearly outline where this money comes from and how it’s allocated,” Jones said. “Those will be available for review and those are questions I don’t think have been answered yet, but funding sources have been identified and will be available for review. That’s what I’ve heard the most of is about the lodging tax increase and people asking if that’s what we did this for. No, that’s not what we did that for, but that talk is still out there.”

Also discussed at the work session were:

-Declaring a list of items as surplus and to be auctioned off through a governmental website.

-The annexation of more property in the Martyn Woods Phase II development.

-A bid award for road resurfacing, widening and stormwater improvements project to John G. Walton Construction Company, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $620,000. The streets to be resurfaced are Clubhouse Drive (Hwy 59 to Regency Rd), Callaway Road, Old Fort Morgan Trail, West 8th Ave (Hwy 59 to Hardee’s Entrance) and Sandpiper Lane.

-A public assembly permit for the Gulf Coast Arts Alliance’s annual Ballyhoo Fine Arts Festival set for March 3, 2018 in the Waterway Village District.