South Boston News & Record
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Tanner, Smiley win leadership posts on 5-4 vote; audience misses out on early decision
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SoVaNow.com / June 12, 2013
I have been very interested to read the latest articles and letters in the paper about Mr. Thornton and the school board. The most interesting letter was from Mr. Alan Haddaway, a citizen of Cumberland County and familiar with how Thornton ran things there, when he left Cumberland County, everyone was glad to see him go! Some things he mentioned hearing was that Thornton bullies others to do what he wants and if they refuse he just replaces them with his friends. It’s interesting that in the game of “moving principals,” Chris Coleman, before coming here in 2010 was Cumberland’s truancy officer. Besides moving and removing principals and teachers, Thornton has also caused problems with transportation.
Mr. Haddaway says in his letter that Thornton’s wife is an executive of a food and janitorial service and that Thornton is pushing Mecklenburg County to use services outside the county. How very nice for his wife! Because of Thornton and our pathetic school board it sounds like the custodial duties that have been outsourced to Service Solutions is causing major problems. Not only are they doing a very poor job, they also lied to the present custodial staff and according to the article I read, will be cutting at least one staff member’s salary from $16,000 to $6,000. That is outrageous! The article also said that the school board voted to hire Service Solutions after admitting that most failed to read the contract and have failed to follow-up to see if they were performing according to the contract. Chase City Elementary even ran out of toilet paper “on more than one occasion.” That is doubly outrageous!
If the school board had bothered to investigate Thornton’s background and checked into the complaints of Cumberland County before he was hired, things wouldn’t be in the shape they are in now. And just think, citizens of Mecklenburg County, this same inept school board has just voted Thornton to serve for four more years!
Sandra Tanner said that charges that the school board are “yes men” for Thornton are unfounded. Really? Why would they renew a contract for a man that nearly everyone dislikes? What’s in his contract that hasn’t been in others who were let go early? He’s proved himself to be a liar and manipulator in his treatment of former principal Randall Spain, as well as others. Very few, if any, people have any respect for him.
Supervisor Bill Blalock says he’s receiving many questions and concerns about Thornton. Like Mr. Blalock said “There sure must be! And until our school board members get some backbone and start doing what’s right, things will just get worse until the bully-dictator is replaced!
P.S. I would encourage everyone to read the Viewpoint letter from Kimberly Mullins in the May 29 issue of The Mecklenburg Sun. I’m wondering why we have to wait till the next School Board election to get rid of the present members. In the past, the county has fired more than one superintendent and paid off their contracts. If a Superintendent can be fired, why not School Board members? Why not the Superintendent and School Board? We can’t afford to pay off their contracts?
(Editor’s note: Superintendent of Schools James Thornton addressed some of the charges leveled above in a School Board meeting covered by The Sun in the Wednesday, June 5 edition. Our article, containing Thornton’s rebuttal, can be found at http://www.sovanow.com. Thornton’s wife works for a food service company that was not selected by the School Board for its outsourcing contract.)