Council to vet school board nominee

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – An upcoming vacancy on the Tupelo Public School District Board of Trustees has city leaders mulling the next appointment.
Lee Tucker’s five-year term is set to expire March 12, and Mayor Jack Reed Jr. must nominate his successor for City Council approval. Reed has a nominee but hasn’t yet presented that person to the council.
Council members said they want to fully vet Reed’s pick before voting on him or her.
According to state law, the council has approval authority on public school board members nominated by the mayor. Otherwise, it has no role in school policymaking.
Council members had complained last year about their lack of power over the school board when it came to issues of public importance.
“This is the one time we get to say anything about the person selected,” said Ward 7 Councilman Willie Jennings. “Once it’s approved, you don’t get the chance to say anything else.”
The five school board members all serve staggered, five-year terms and set policy for the school district. The group has come under fire recently for its handling of several issues, including some of the decisions made by former Superintendent Randy Shaver.
The council is expected to extend Tucker’s term an additional two months to allow themselves time to interview Reed’s nominee.
emily.lecoz@journalinc.com