Tuesday , April 23 2024

District Unsure About Future After Superintendent Let Go

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<p>A controversial move by the Selma Unified Board of Trustees has the district searching for a new superintendent, and has left a community asking why.</p><p>Superintendent Mark Sutton had been on the job for seven years, and now he’s without a job. </p><p>&quot;People are a little on edge. They’re not knowing what’s going to happen,&quot; Asst. Superintendent of Business Larry Teixeira said.</p><p>An uneasy atmosphere Wednesday at Selma Unified School District, just one day after the Board of Trustees voted to terminate Superintendent Mark Sutton with no explanation. </p><p>&quot;The nature of the no cause clause in the contract is that there is no cause. They can do it for any reason or for no reason,&quot; Teixeira said.</p><p>That decision left many who attended Tuesday’s board meeting upset. </p><p>&quot;Right now Mark Sutton is what the community wants,&quot; one resident said. </p><p>Sutton is now without a job, but per his contract, he will be paid 18 months of his salary, more than a quarter of a million dollars. That didn’t sit well either. </p><p>&quot;We don’t need that much money paid out for him to do nothing,&quot; another resident said. </p><p>Teixeira said they haven’t heard much about what’s happening next.</p><p>&quot;If they would like to leave it vacant until they hire a permanent person, if they’d like to appoint someone from the inside to be an interim. We haven’t heard any of their ideas on that,&quot; Teixeira said.</p><p>Fresno County Superintendent Jim Yovino said the board’s decision was unexpected. </p><p>&quot;When you look at the growth of that district and how well that superintendent has done, it’s just a bit surprising,&quot; Yovino said. </p><p>We also sat down with former Fresno County Superintendent Larry L. Powell, who was there when Sutton was hired. He said this was a decision he wouldn’t have supported. </p><p>&quot;Give the superintendent an opportunity to show what he or she can do, and don’t come in a month and a half after election and make a decision like this. I don’t think that’s an appropriate way to do it,&quot; Powell said. </p><p>He said he wouldn’t be surprised if community members demanded a recall of those three board members. </p><p>&quot;Community members have that as another part of the political process. They can elect you, and they can take you out,&quot; Powell said.</p><p>We tried reaching out to those three board members, but they have not returned our phone calls. </p><p>The district is having a board meeting next Tuesday where they may decide on an interim.</p></div>

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