The fracas began during Bacon’s State of the City address Thursday, where the mayor expressed his displeasure none of the Cobb school board members attended.
During that speech and after, Bacon spoke of his frustration with the school board for “shortchanging” schools in south Cobb.
“I think the problem is on the school board you’ve got Tim Stultz — I don’t know who else represents this district, but they’re up there — and it’s all about east Cobb, it’s all about Walton, and I don’t have any problem with that. I’m not knocking any of those communities. I’m just saying give me the same that you have in east Cobb and west Cobb, and give me the same thing in Smyrna,” Bacon said.
While the audience at his speech included candidates for the Georgia House, Cobb Superior Court and Congress, Bacon said the most important vote residents could make in the July 22 runoff is the one between incumbent Stultz and challenger Susan Thayer. The winner in that Republican primary goes on to face Democrat Kenya Pierre in November.
“If you’re happy with the way the schools are in south Cobb, then you should support who the incumbent is,” Bacon said.
Bacon to Angelucci: Glad you’re stepping down
Angelucci emailed Bacon on Thursday evening, writing she was disappointed to hear about his negative comments concerning Stultz.
“Perhaps you will have the good grace to apologize to Mr. Stultz in the same public manner in which you besmirched him ... one can only hope,” she wrote.
Bacon didn’t let her email go unanswered. He wrote her back, saying he’s never met her, doesn’t know her and bets she’s never been to Smyrna.
“Glad you are not seeking re-election … that in itself will be an improvement for our schools ... hope you have a great weekend,” Bacon wrote.
Angelucci responded Friday, copying Randy Scamihorn, the board’s vice chairman, and interim Superintendent Chris Ragsdale and Stultz.
“Actually, we met several years ago and while you are correct about me not knowing you, you would lose your bet about my never having been to Smyrna and schools in Smyrna,” Angelucci wrote.
During the question-and-answer part of Bacon’s State of the City address, someone asked him about overcrowding at Argyle Elementary School. Bacon told the questioner there should be someone from the school board in attendance to answer that question, but there wasn’t.
Angelucci addressed this point in her email, asking if Bacon invited her or Scamihorn to his speech.
“No,” she answered. “Did you talk about our plan to address overcrowding in schools and specifically the hiring of 300-plus teachers to address overcrowding? No. Did you talk about our pledge to build three elementary schools instead of just two as is stated in the notebook? No. One statement you made is true: you don’t know anything about what the board has done or does. One point for you.”
School board hired Ragsdale, Rivera
Angelucci also pushed back on Bacon’s remark the school board has failed to address the disparity between schools in south Cobb and east Cobb.
“In your haste to campaign for Susan Thayer, you misled the people you are supposed to represent,” Angelucci told him.
“The very people you named as those you are encouraged by, (Superintendent Chris Ragsdale and Grant Rivera) are direct changes this board took to effect change, specifically in south Cobb.”
Angelucci asked Bacon if his comments were those of “a respectable mayor.”
“No. They appear to be a stump speech for a candidate of choice,” Angelucci said. “You are also right about all of us doing better in south Cobb — we have been working to improve that; if you were so frustrated, why haven’t you appealed to others on the board?”
Angelucci closed by writing she found his remarks toward her “interesting.”
“Let’s see how truly vested you are in improving south Cobb; I am inviting you to meet with me, the superintendent and Vice Chair Randy Scamihorn,” she wrote, suggesting the last week of July.
“I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Kathleen Angelucci.”
The MDJ asked Bacon if he planned to attend. Bacon said he did not.
“It’s a little too late for that,” Bacon said. “I don’t want to meet with her. I’m going to tell her this, ‘If you will, tell Tim if he will get out from behind your skirt then he can come talk to me anytime he wants to.’”
Bacon also denied he had endorsed Thayer.
“If she’s so dadgum smart, and she says I’m supporting Susan Thayer. If she’ll show me anything where I have endorsed Susan Thayer, I will move out of this county,” Bacon said. “And that’s what’s so pitiful. But you know what? I’m just disappointed in Tim. If he’s not man enough to come talk to me, and he has to go through her, Angelucci, that does concern me more than anything now. What’s that woman’s name? Angelucci? I don’t like arguing with Polacks.”
Stultz to Bacon: I have a full-time job
For his part, Stultz sent Bacon an email Friday morning in which he said he understood Bacon was upset by his absence.
“As I have explained to you in the past, I do work a full-time job in Decatur,” Stultz told Bacon.
“My employer has been very reasonable during my tenure on the school board to allow me flexibility to attend to my duties as a school board member. I have even had to make special arrangements to serve on the Smyrna Vision Committee and attend the morning meetings in Smyrna. Unfortunately, there are many extra events that occur during the day that I must miss in order to meet my obligations to my employer. It is a privilege to be elected to serve, even more so being a working-class citizen. I thank you for your understanding, and please accept my regret for not being able to attend your address.”
The next meeting of the school board is at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the board room at 514 Glover St., Marietta.