Mark Mayo will be around at least through June 30, 2006.
Late last month, the Diamond R-4 Board of Education voted to extend his contract for another year. I received the information through some posts on Wildcat Central, then had it confirmed. I had heard for the past several weeks that Mayo was pushing for an extension. Apparently, the board felt it had to give it to him or risk that he would go elsewhere. (I'll let the readers supply their own jokes at this point.)
The vote to give Mayo an extension was 5-2 with only Mike Holland and Janice Stirewalt casting dissenting votes. Shortly after that, Holland submitted his resignation. Apparently that vote was not the official reason. I have been told that he resigned due to conflicts with his work schedule.
R-4 voters have not elected an incumbent to office in the last three elections, if memory serves me correctly. They have spoken loud and clear that they want change. Apparently only two of those they elected understood why they were put in office. The voters will have an opportunity to change three board positions next year, maybe four. Unfortunately, the current board has made certain that if the new board wants to make a change in administration, it will have to either wait a year or use taxpayer money for a costly buyout.
Neosho Forums (www.neoshoforums.com) has many interesting threads, but the one that has intrigued me the most for the past couple of days concerns the heated Newton County Sheriff's race. Last week, John McCormick, who is host of a morning talk show on Neosho's radio station, KBTN, had a sheriff's candidate forum. According to local media accounts and the posts on Neosho Forums, McClintock asked Sheriff Ron Doerge, who is not seeking re-election, to supply him with questions for the candidates.
This is a problem for numerous reasons. Think about it.
1. The election appears to be a referendum on how Doerge ran the sheriff's department for the last two decades. Therefore, obviously any questions he provides will be suspect.
2. Doerge has already voiced his support for one of the candidates. How can a radio station accept questions from such a biased source and maintain any thread of impartiality.
3. Now that the word is out that Doerge and McCormick may have fixed the debate, will it ever be possible to convince any Newton County candidate to participate in a forum again, especially for KBTN?
The latest post on Neosho Forums indicates that McCormick is scheduled to talk about the issue on his show Monday morning.
I am still going over the lists of Matt Blunt's contributors for his gubernatorial race. When I have the information sorted out, I will put something on this blog.
I keep thinking about Kevin Checkett's well-written letter in the Saturday, July 24, Carthage Press. Checkett, a prominent attorney, wrote about the article in which Press officials announced they will be moving from their downtown location to a site on Central Avenue, where they will be surrounded by fast food restaurants.
Checkett hinted at hypocrisy since The Press constantly writes articles and editorials declaring the need to rebuild the downtown area.
While I am saddened to see The Press leaving that building, a place that holds many happy memories for me, it is just amazing that it took this long for it to happen. Officials at Liberty Group Publishing have been working toward this for the past seven years since they bought The Press. The Press is currently in a three-story building, which in 1997 was quite adequate for its needs.
At that time, The Press has a working press that printed, in addition to The Press, the Webb City Sentinel, The Webb City Wise Buyer, and high school newspapers from Joplin, Webb City, Carl Junction, and Lamar. Liberty officials decided they could save money by having these papers printed at Neosho. A new press was purchased and located in Neosho. The old press in Carthage was sold for parts. This immediately affected The Carthage Press. Obviously the pressman and his assistant were let go, deadlines had to be moved forward to accommodate the Neosho Daily News publishing schedule, and morale at The Press dropped rapidly.
I found out in May that the composing room work has now been shifted to Neosho. So much can be done by computer these days. Unfortunately, that means more jobs lost to Carthage and with those two departments shut down, the Press no longer needs such a large building.
At the time the decisions began being made, the Press was the stronger of the two daily newspapers. It had more advertising, a stronger editorial department, and I believe, it played a much stronger, positive role in the community. (You have to remember that at that time, the Daily was mired in the Valerie Praytor era.)
I wish The Press well in its move to Central Avenue. Though only three people remain there out of more than 20 who were working there when I was fired in May 1999, I still have a soft spot in my heart for that newspaper, what it once was and who knows, what it may become again someday.