Selma City Schools board member resigns

Published 11:19 pm Thursday, November 20, 2008

Selma city officials still have no word from the U.S. Department of Justice about holding a special election to determine the makeup of the Selma City Schools Board of Education.

About a month ago, City Attorney Jimmy Nunn shipped off documents requesting Justice Department approval for a special election to allow city voters to decide if they want an elected school board of if voters want to keep the current appointed school board. The matter had come up last year when the Selma City Council faced appointing at least three new school board members.

The Justice Department usually takes 60-90 days to render a decision. Federal law says Alabama and other southern states must ask for Justice Department approval for any changes in holding an election — the reason the city waits on the request.

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Meanwhile, a vacancy on the city school board is imminent. Nunn said Jane Walker has turned in her resignation to the city, saying she will not complete her term on the school board.Schools superintendent Austin Obasohan said the system will go on with business as usual until the next city council meeting.

“[The letter] did not give a specific reason why she is resigning,” Obasohan said, “but I know she is moving to Montgomery and that could be one of the reasons. I don’t think it had to do with being dissatisfied with the job. She was an incredible member to work with, though.”

Crystal Boykin, a spokeswoman for the school system, said she had not seen the letter and the council will determine the next steps to take.