Monday, September 24, 2012

Berkeley Politics Again

Last week, I wrote about the criticism of the man expected to be named as Berkeley's School Superintendent. A few days ago, Edmond Heatley withdrew his application, leaving him in limbo, unless he is re-hired by the system in Georgia from which he resigned, expecting to be hired in Berkeley. The School Board announced that the two administrators who have been acting jointly as the interim Superintendent will continue to function in that capacity for the near future. Our city has already spent $85,000 on consultant fees in its two failed attempts to find a new Superintendent. It occurs to me that the School Board has not felt sufficiently confident in the abilities of the Deputy Superintendent to advance the holder of that position to be the permanent Superintendent. Perhaps the Assistant Superintendent would have done an adequate job, but you do not promote an Assistant to the permanent position and expect the Deputy Superintendent, who has been passed over, to take kindly to such a decision. Nor is it practical to continue indefinitely under shared leadership. I also think that it will be difficult to persuade qualified candidates to vie for the appointment, once they learn the recent history of the position. I just hope that a qualified candidate with the courage to walk into this situation can be found. How much more can we afford to pay for a consultant? However, it is certainly worthwhile to seek out the right "headhunter" to persuade the right person to apply for the job.

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