Saturday, April 22, 2000

2nd vote planned on schools boss' job

BY Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — The Covington Board of Education will conduct a second vote May 18 on extending the contract of Covington Schools Superintendent James Kemp because the board's attorneys said the original extension vote in December was illegal.

        The board, meeting in closed session Thursday night during a nearly four-hour regular meeting, was advised by legal counsel that the 3-2 vote in December extending Mr. Kemp's contract through June of this year was improperly taken.

        “The vote was not included in the agenda for that meeting,” board member Joe Meyer said Friday,“and no motion was made to amend the agenda for the purpose of the vote.”

        Another issue brought up at the meeting as a reason for holding a new vote was that the original vote took place between a November election, when a new board member was elected, and Jan. 1.

        When the vote came up in December, Mr. Meyer, board member Mike Fitzgerald and board chairman Hensley Jemmott voted to extend Mr. Kemp's contract. Board members Col Owen and Jim Vogt indicated they wanted to wait until after Mr. Kemp had received his 1999 evaluation, which the superintendent still has not received.

        “I felt there would be some positive movement in the school system when that vote was taken,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “But I haven't seen anything happening so far.”

        The Covington Independent School District has undergone a scholastic audit and scrutiny from state Education Department officials and the public, and Mr. Kemp's leadership is being questioned by some school board members.

        Mr. Kemp started the Covington job in January 1997. State law requires school boards to conduct annual reviews of their superintendents.


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