|Almost before the scores were counted, another
controversy had already erupted with the Loudon County Board Of
Education's decision to hire new director, Wayne Honeycutt. Fingers were
being pointed back and forth claiming that some had low balled a
candidate and some had high balled a candidate.
Rather than take the responsibility of selecting a new director themselves, the board opted to delegate that responsibility to a consultant. The consultant was charged with whittling down the list of candidates who had applied for the job based on certain criteria. The consultant ultimately delivered the names of the top six candidates based on certain criteria for the board's consideration. Twenty or so applicants never made it to the table. One of the top six later dropped out leaving five.
Board members held interviews with the final five and used a 0-100 scoring system to cut the number to three. With the final three chosen, a second round of interviews was held using the same scoring method. At the end of the process, the scores given to each candidate by each board member were tabulated and the candidate with the highest score would be the winner. Seems simple enough. Problem with such a scoring system, the out come can be skewed by either high balling or low balling. Is that what happened? I have no idea.
Was the decision to hire a consultant to do the work of the board a mistake? Probably. Was the decision to use a convoluted scoring system rather than a simple up or down vote a mistake? Probably. Was the system the board used flawed from the get go? Maybe. But what system would have been perfect. Perhaps an election by the people could be considered the fairest but unfortunately at this time, that's not an option.
The board choose to take political cover behind a consultant and a scoring system rather than doing the work they were elected to do and taking a public vote. The controversial outcome was predictable.