By Paul Gable
A day doesn’t go by without questions being asked about the generous severance package the Horry County School Board recently awarded to departing Superintendent Cindy Elsberry.
The most common – “How do you give that kind of money to someone who quit their job?”
A glimmer of light began to show when Elsberry answered questions from the media after her last school board meeting as superintendent Monday night.
Questioned specifically about the severance package, Elsberry said, “I didn’t want any money. I wanted to continue to be the superintendent.”
So why quit?
Elsberry, then, gave a rather rambling statement.. She said there was a “parting of the ways.”
Elsberry said she was under contract ‘til 2017 so her family had an expectation that she would be employed as the superintendent until 2017. “When that didn’t occur … there would be some expectation from anyone when that expectation wasn’t realized that there would be some compensation.
A lot of expectations in there isn’t there? Especially from someone who resigned from her job.
It’s become quite obvious that Elsberry is being paid to go away. The “resignation” is mere window dressing.
And it all seems to center on the decision of the board last fall to remove construction of five new schools from the school district’s master building plan in order to consider whether the new schools should be built as “energy positive” solar powered buildings.
The issue arose after the 11th hour appearance of a green energy company even though the deadline on a RFQ (Request for Quotations) on the new construction had already passed.
The delay in moving forward with construction of five new schools was addressed by Elsberry Monday. She said the district was headed down the path to moving forward with construction until the board took a different direction that has “definitely slowed the process down.”
Why were the plans for the five new schools abruptly halted?
Did this action lead to Elsberry’s “resignation”? If so, why?
Why was the board so generous in a severance package to a superintendent who officially quit?
These and other questions will continue until the Horry County School Board answers them.
The tax paying public deserves those answers.