Petersen opponents, supporters speak at board meeting

By: Laurie Ott Email
By: Laurie Ott Email

April 12, 2007

THOMSON, Ga.---At tonight's brief McDuffie County school board meeting, three people got up to speak about Dr. Mark Petersen, the superintendent.

Last month, News 12 reported on the auditor's findings that some money had been misspent and then paid back.

The auditor found taxpayer money paid for a plane ticket for Petersen's wife and a registration fee to a conference--money that has since been repaid.

"If you're going to allow this, you're saying, 'Come down here and get a plane ticket on the board. Come down here and get it, and the board will reimburse you'," said parent Kebearal Rivers.

"And don't say it's been taken care of," said fired bus driver Gayle Odom. "That's like sweeping it under the rug, it's not taken care of."

"I just want to tell him thank you, and I do appreciate you supporting those kids," said parent Billy Anderson.

School board chair Jerry Randolph said the board would take the comments under advisement, and if there's a problem, they'll straighten it out.

You can see the audit for yourself here.


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  • by Chris Location: Thomson on May 2, 2007 at 07:00 PM
    Petersen still needs to go. Everyone still feels the same about him -- We don't like him or the way he runs our school system. The board refuses to hear some of us speak, so I don't know what else we can do.
  • by Anna Location: Thomson on May 1, 2007 at 07:44 AM
    I am surprised that more comments have not been posted. The SACS Team is in McDuffie Co. today. The underhanded behavior has seemed to subside for the last two to three weeks but watch out it will be back as soon as the SACS team leaves. Jobs promised and underhanded dealing with teachers and the scare tactics will begin again. Please people and Channel 12 don't let this go unnoticed. This is another way Petersen can lord over the teachers. It has been in his best intrest to back off for the last 3 weeks.
  • by Blank Location: Thomson on Apr 22, 2007 at 03:05 PM
    I thnk that if someone else in the school system were to do this then he would fire them! I think Dr. Peterson sould follow the rules, it does not matter if he is the superitendent. This is not the way McDuffie County schools sould be seen as!.
  • by Concerned Location: Thomson on Apr 16, 2007 at 06:35 AM
    I did have the opportunity to attend the so call Board meeting the other night in which was not to impressive at all it lasted a total of 20 minutes. We all know or at least should know that true enough they had a Board meeting to let people have public input and to let them vent so that it looks like they are concerned but being concerned in my opinion is not in their vocabulary.The Board is not going to try and fix the problem because they are so convinced of what they are doing is alright. I just wonder what would happen it some of us other people used a company credit card at our job for personal use what would happen. (JAIL TIME)I don't believe people are pointing fingers or being judgemental that are just wanting justice and the best for our school system. One of the people speaking the other night was saying tht Dr. Petersen was at every game at football and supported his children. People wake up and see the real issue here it's not all about sports without a good education and leaders sports is not worth a dime. I have seen them let people play football with failing grades just because they were good at it so what's that telling you. It's all about the sport football. That is why Jerry Randolph is so supportive of all of this and condoning it he is one of the announcers at football games surely he not going to do or say anything to offend Dr. Petersen. I knew the other night at the meeting people was just wasting their time that's why I did not sign up to speak it is not going to matter what you say or think. If your not one of them your nobody in the school system. If this had been anybody else they would have been fired and prosecuted. Good luck McDuffie County you are going to need it.
  • by Wondering Location: Thomson on Apr 15, 2007 at 11:27 AM
    I wonder why our comments are not getting on here. There has been a lot of talk, and everyone I talked to said thehy are still writig, but nothing is being posted.
  • by Behind closed doors Location: Thomson on Apr 14, 2007 at 08:09 PM
    Ofcourse Peterson is a good man. Good men are sitting in jail right now and I am sure they are sorry for what they did. But the fact remains, they did the crime. Petersen should be held responsible for his mistakes. After all, he has made the other employees pay for their mistakes. One person spoke up on behalf of Petersen and I think that says a lot. We here in Thomson are all Bulldog fans. We all want our team to win, but school spirit dose not make it ok to steal. Petersen is a smart man! Give him credit. He at least tried to get away with this! He will just be more careful the next time so that he won't get caught.
  • by To the point on Apr 14, 2007 at 03:13 PM
    Everyone makes mistakes; we all agree on that. However, if one of his employees/staffulty makes a mistake would they (or have they in the past) be excused as he has been--w/out a letter of reprimand in a permanent file or leave w/out pay or prosecution? ...
  • by Disgusted Location: Thomson on Apr 13, 2007 at 08:20 PM
    In the parking lot last night ag=fter the board meeting,l I was talking withsomeone who sits on a bank board. That person said that if there had been any discrepancies in the banking business similar to what we had here, the audit coimmittee would not even give a warning, they would call the board and insist that the person be fired immediately. I guess banks don't play football.
  • by Curious Location: Thomson on Apr 13, 2007 at 08:15 PM
    I am not as internet saavy as many, and try as I may, I cannot get the audit report to open. Would someone please get it and post it here in plain English.
  • by Mad Location: McDuffie on Apr 13, 2007 at 08:13 PM
    The address for professional practises is ethics@gapsc.com. Anyone who feels the need can report the incident to them to investigate.
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