BoE candidate may be facing family dilemma
by Haisten Willis
June 29, 2014 04:00 AM | 2913 views | 8 8 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A nepotism policy adopted by the state in 2010 may cause problems for Susan Thayer, above, in her run for the Cobb school board. Thayer, a retired educator, is running for southeast Cobb’s Post 2 seat and faces incumbent Tim Stultz in the Republican primary July 22. Though she signed an affidavit saying she was fully aware of a state nepotism policy, Thayer said Wednesday she’s never heard of it.
A nepotism policy adopted by the state in 2010 may cause problems for Susan Thayer, above, in her run for the Cobb school board. Thayer, a retired educator, is running for southeast Cobb’s Post 2 seat and faces incumbent Tim Stultz in the Republican primary July 22. Though she signed an affidavit saying she was fully aware of a state nepotism policy, Thayer said Wednesday she’s never heard of it.
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SMYRNA — A nepotism policy adopted by the state in 2010 may cause problems for Susan Thayer in her run for the Cobb school board.

Thayer, a retired educator, is running for southeast Cobb’s Post 2 seat and faces incumbent Tim Stultz in the Republican primary July 22. Though she signed an affidavit saying she was fully aware of a state nepotism policy, Thayer said Wednesday she’s never heard of it.

“I’ve not read the policy or even looked at it at all,” Thayer said. “I don’t know.”

The policy, listed under O.C.G.A. 20-2-51, says local school board members cannot have an immediate family member serving as a “principal, assistant principal or system administrative staff” in the district they serve.

Thayer’s husband, Ed Thayer, is supervisor of the Lassiter High School Concert Hall.

The affidavit signed by Thayer on March 5 reads, “I have read and understand the code of ethics and the conflict of interest provisions applicable to members of local boards of education and agree to abide by them.”

Thayer added she fully intends to follow the policy once she learns more about it.

“I’m not familiar with it, but I’ll follow all the rules and regulations,” she said. “I would never break a rule.”

Calls and emails sent to Thayer for clarification Friday were not returned.

A ‘gray area’

Because Thayer is a candidate and not a school board member, it’s unclear if the policy applies to her before she takes office. If she beats Stultz in July and then Democrat Kenya Pierre on Nov. 4, she would assume office Jan. 1, 2015.

Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler said the issue isn’t likely to affect Thayer’s candidacy unless she decides to drop out.

“The time period to challenge someone’s candidacy has already passed,” Eveler said. “What would have to happen is if she wins the election, somebody would have to file a lawsuit to a Superior Court judge saying she’s not qualified.”

Stultz said his understanding is Thayer has a conflict because of her husband’s job, but added it’s not his place to decide.

School Board Chairwoman Kathleen Angelucci thinks Thayer should have known about the policy before signing the papers.

“I would assume that when Mrs. Thayer qualified, she was very well-versed in everything,” Angelucci said. “You signed something saying you know everything. I was very worried before I signed it because I wanted to make sure I knew everything.”

Randy Scamihorn, vice chair of the school board, said his advice to Thayer would be “reread your campaign paperwork and get a clear interpretation.”

He agreed Thayer should have known about the policy before signing her name.

But according to Eveler, a legal challenge can only happen if Thayer actually takes office.

“The election happens, basically,” Eveler said. “If she wins, then somebody would have to say, ‘Yeah, you won, but I challenge your qualification.’ She could withdraw, or, if they wanted to, her husband could resign.”

Comments
(8)
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Cobb Stakeholder
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June 30, 2014
Anyone know why the principal at Campbell Middle abruptly resigned?
Post 2 Parent
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June 30, 2014
This has the feel of small time politics and mis-direction. Seems to me that Tim Stultz is a puppet for outside political interests and he has a hard time thinking beyond his narrow, right wing ideaology. I have followed Tim over the last 3 years and other than lip service about the importance of public education I haven't seen any policy position he has taken that would improve our Post 2 schools. He just repeats the "less government, less taxes" mantra. I am a fiscal conservative and don't want tax dollars wasted, but education is an investment! Don't waste may tax dollars, invest them wisely!
post 5 parent
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July 01, 2014
You are mistaken about Tim. It is Sweeney, Banks and Morgan who are being supported by cronies and they need another vote,thus their support of her. If she wins, that will be the last we see of ethics on this board.
Read Much?
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June 29, 2014
Thayer said she read the policies, but never heard of the nepotism policy. And Thayer says she would never break a rule. Well Honey, you just did! And this is an "educator". And educators expect students to read the policy book every year before school and sign that they understand them. As a teacher, can I use Mrs. Thayer as an example of what NOT to do?

She needs to resign and she can take her husband with her. Maybe contact Hinojosa in Texas.

Post 2
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June 29, 2014
If Ms. Thayer were to win the Post 2 school board seat there will be a challenge immediately. We cannot have people on the School Board that do not their due diligence in following the law. Ms. Thayer is rolling the dice with school district funds because should she win & her election be thrown out the district will have to pay for another election. Money that will be taken away from the classroom to clean up her mess.
Not a good sign
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June 29, 2014
Do you truly want a school board member who signs paperwork the claims she has no idea what she signed? This would count her out in my opinion. I want a board member who is clear of the laws and rules!
Concerned Parent
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June 29, 2014
Ed Thayer is the supervisor of a concert hall at Lassiter HS. He has does not have system administrative duties, responsibility, or authority. This is clearly a desperate attempt by Tim fans to try and get him re-elected! Parents, teachers and principals do not want him on our board!! I challenge you to find a school admin that does. I have 2 children is Cobb Schools and my concern is more that Tim has only stepped foot in our school for photo ops and many of the schools never! He also has his children in private school, which I find very odd for a public school board member.
me too
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July 01, 2014
Id have my kids in private school if I could too.
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