Richmond County Superintendent's contract extended for one year

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News 12 at 11 o'clock/ Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's official. Richmond County Superintendent Dr. Frank Roberson is staying.

His contract was set to expire Thursday, but Tuesday night the Board of Education voted to extend that contract for one year.

It was a decision that deeply divided board members

"This is a low point in my political career," said board member Frank Dolan while debating his decision.

But with his final vote yes Dr. Roberson will stay as Richmond County superintendent for another 12 months.

"I think we just kicked the ball down the road for another year," said board member Jack Padgett.

Six board members voted for the extension and four voted against.

"The questions have been asked, the comments have been made, and we've evaluated the situation over and over again and then when it comes to the final vote it becomes a racial issue and I think that's bad," said Padgett.

Dr. Roberson was sworn in in August 2010. Six months later in February he had emergency brain surgery. He was out for 18 months before returning in September of this past year.

"I owe them," said Roberson. "Not only the children of Richmond County but I owe this school board for the confidence that they've shown."

Dr. Roberson says he know his illness has caused concern, but he's better, "I'm doing great. I move probably a little slowly but that's getting better."

He says the vote tonight just keeps him going, "it gives me an internal drive to work that much harder."

But Padgett says his vote against wasn't about that.

"We've got to move the system forward and we have not been doing that for the last year, year and a half," said Padgett.

Roberson says because of his surgery and recovery he doesn't feel like he got to accomplish the goals he originally had three years ago the biggest of those being student achievement. So that is what he will be working on for the next year.

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