Lowndes County School Board Forgoes Public Vote on Replacement

The question is, how do area residents feel about that decision? The Lowndes County School Board decided Tuesday to hold a public forum instead of having citizens vote on filling the district 2 seat vacated by Willie Linahan.

Linahan is facing federal charges and had to give up his place on the Board of Education, but board members say they don't need an election because school board policy says they must make the final decision.

Some Hahira residents say taking away their vote is not the way to make this decision.

"The ones that I've spoken with wish that they would have had more of a say so. I felt like we needed a little bit of a different format and the majority of the board has said that this is the direction they want to go and we will do it as the majority of the board,” says Bill Fuqua, Chairman of the Lowndes County School Board.

While some board members are upset the vote isn't open to the public, Superintendent Smith says they have no other choice because that's the system's policy.

"There's a direct democracy or pure democracy and an indirect democracy and of course I think we are governed by the board policy. And board policy mandates that the board itself will make its decision through a secret ballot vote as to who the appointee is for this particular position," says Steve Smith, Superintendent of the Lowndes County School Board.

A position many Hahira residents say they should vote on, mainly because they, not the board members, live in the community that will be served.

For now it appears there will be no vote, but if you want your opinion heard the public forum is set for March 25 at Hahira Middle School at 7 p.m.