06/24/11 — Best apologizes for comments

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Best apologizes for comments

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 24, 2011 1:46 PM

Wayne County Commissioner Jack Best Thursday afternoon offered a left-handed apology for comments he made Tuesday about schools superintendent Dr. Steve Taylor.

Best had scolded the school board for using teacher supplements to pay bonuses for Taylor.

"I want to apologize," Best said during the board's special session Thursday. "Last Tuesday I made a statement that accused Dr. Taylor of taking his bonus out of the line item for teachers' supplements. I must have been wrong about that because evidently he is taking that bonus out of another line somewhere that I cannot find.

"But the statement did say the administration was getting bonuses out of teachers' supplements and that was correct. So the administration is basically getting bonus money out of the teachers supplement and Dr. Taylor is getting his somewhere else out of the public funds that we are sending over there."

Best said he wanted a line-item school board budget as well as an up-to-date audit.

Best asked County Manager Lee Smith when the last school audit had been received.

"Just like ours, June 30, 2010," Smith said. "They are beginning now for June 30, 2011."

He said the school board is sending over a copy of the last audit, but that it had not yet arrived.

Best asked again when the last audit had been received. It was the 2009 audit, Smith said.

"Two years," Best responded.

Best said he hoped to have the audit before the board's next meeting.

During the Tuesday meeting Best also was critical of Taylor for seeking an extension on his contract.

He said that based on student performance that Taylor "would have been gone a long time ago."