Belton Denies Secret Deals

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:lMEnYgd2UJnlTM:http://www.gcsnc.com/boe/images/belton.JPG” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. GCS Board member Jeff Belton denied today that he’s part of any “backroom, secret deal” to sweeten outgoing superintendent Terry Grier’s exit package. Furthermore, he denied “getting into any bidding war with other districts” in an attempt to keep Grier.

This from the N&R ChalkBoard.

Here’s the full text of what he said:

 Jeff Belton said:

In regards to closed session, BOE members in other school districts have been and are currently being sued as individuals for revealing information from closed session. While I signed up for the criticism that comes with this position, I did not sign up to be personally sued.
I can not stop anyone from revealing what ever they want to from closed session, even if it is factually incorrect. Or pure speculation by a BOE member who was absent at the time of the session.
My recollection thus far is that we have only discussed personnel and legal/real estate issues in closed session. I am sure everyone(taxpayers) understands that if a property owner knows the school system is interested in their property they are going to raise the price. Personnel issues concerning state employees are protected by state law, it is that simple. I can not stop, nor will I try to prevent others from saying what they will, even it is factually incorrect, or pure speculation by an absent BOE member. For me it is a principle, one I put my hand on the Bible and stood before the public with my family at my side and swore an oath to. I do not vote to go into closed session to hide information from the public, but rather because that is my understanding of the law. If I misinterpret the law then please correct my interpretetion.
I have not given anyone true cause to believe that I am secretly crafting some golden parachute package to further enrich Terry Grier. I think he is more than well compensated.
I did not support getting in a bidding war with another district, and simply thank him for his service and say goodbye. I fully expected that when he received the NC Superintendent of the year Award that he would receive offers for better paying jobs. That is what happened, and the Grier era is over. I, and the district have nothing to gain by throwing the taxpayers money at Terry Grier. I most certainly will not vote to hire any new superintendent until everyone with input on the subject has had an opportunity to speak their opinion.
As for foreign language time, we understand that language peaks in childhood. So that elementary and middle school is the optimal age for learning a foreign language. However, I do not yet see how to give art,music, and foreign language equal time in our current schedule. This community has stated clearly and repeatedly that it favors art and music over foreign language. That is the position I plan to support. The staff not presenting alternate proposals at least one of which reflected a full return of time for art and music surprised me as well. I have asked staff to present a schedule proposal reflecting a full return of art and music time as well for Board consideration.
For those who wish to think the worst of me without attempting to communicate with me about their position on an issue, I honor their right to their opinion.

Yours,
Jeff

*****************************

I don’t know what’s more interesting…Belton’s words or the comments that followed Belton’s denials:

*THEN DON’T HAVE “SECRET SESSIONS”!! You can’t get sued if they don’t exist! It’s so simple!–Talk open and honestly IN FRONT OF THE PUBLIC YOU SERVE and then there’s no debating what really happened!

*********************

*Jeff,

You said, “I think he is more than well compensated.” with respect to Terry Grier.

Didn’t you vote a raise for him?

If he is “more than well compensated” then you wasted tax payer money.

Quite simply – the superintendent should be compensated as appropriate to the work he’s performing – never more than well compensated.

***************************

Ouch! Is it me or is this Board starting to feel the heat?

E.C. 🙂

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11 Responses

  1. I simply do NOT believe him! How could anyone be sued about what Garth told the papers. I am very grateful that Garth has brought this out into the open!

  2. Jeff is an open book and I applaud him for his desire to communicate with his constituancy.

    I didn’t take his “more than well compensated” description of Grier as anything other than what it was; using too many adjectives where one would have sufficed.

    The commenter dissected Jeff’s candid reply and thought he found a ‘gotcha’. But the ‘dissector’ knew Jeff’s intent was to explain that he wasn’t about to enter into any further negotiations. For that, he should be praised, not slammed.

    I hate that kind of crap. People are always sniping from the sidelines and playing ‘gotcha’.

  3. –People are always sniping fromthe sidelines and playing ‘gotcha’

    Reminds me of David Hoggard.

  4. David’s correct. Jeff Belton is a straight shooter. In fact both he and Garth Hebert are dedicated public servants who are responsive to the community at large. They have a disagreement here, but to suggest that one or the other is trying to put something by the public is to seriously underestimate these fine individuals.

  5. Hoggard always slithers out when it gets close to election time. Whatcha running for this time, Hog?

  6. Dog catcher. Do you vote?

  7. Jeff Belton should not have publicly criticised Garth. That is a subject that should be dealt with by themselves behind closed doors.

  8. ahhh…politics. Gotta love it!

  9. This is a bit off topic, but yet… not this addresses education and I would have many of these same questions for Terry Grier inasmuch he finds himself amazingly powerful.

    As well, with education as he has created it here… this is exactly where our children are headed.

    This is my answer to both the Presidential State of The Union Address as well as Terry Grier and what the two of them have left for our children.

    Listen to the entire thing, it’s all one in my eyes.

    I wish you all so many blessings and I promise to see everyone in the finest healing light that I can. We all need it.

    This song is extremely powerful and all true.

  10. I have no reason to question Mr. Belton’s sincerity – he’s probably a decent, honest fellow.

    But he is mistaken about what the state’s Open Meetings Law requires. It says school boards and other government bodies MAY discuss certain matters in secret, closed session. It never says these bodies MUST discuss those matters in private.

    So if the Guilford County School Board wanted to conduct its business entirely in the public eye, it legally is entitled to do so. The matter of Dr. Grier’s compensation and future status with GCS certainly should be discussed in the open to prevent any appearances of “back-room” deals.

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