Lafayette Parish School Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper says he's ready to move on.
Over the past couple of months, the superintendent has been in the hot seat about an employee he hired nearly a year ago. The assistant managerial position requires a high school diploma. Dr. Cooper's new hire doesn't have one.
Dr. Cooper says the man he hired as the Special Assistant to the Superintendent of Facilities, Maintenance, Grounds and Transportation was the best person for the job. Cooper says Human Resources can make a choice for the best candidate based on the policy of 100 points of value, which can be modified if need be.
Dr. Cooper says he's heard it all and quite frankly he has heard enough. "It's been said that the policy was not followed in hiring the special assistant. I guess I listened to that and listened to that."
The superintendent says the job description for the position is "just that" a job description. Dr. Cooper says no one who applied met all the qualifications. In terms of the $76,000 salary for the job, Dr. Cooper says Mr. Welch is saving the system money; in light of a pending $12 million deficit. "He saved us millions on potential construction projects and replaced supervisors and administrators of the maintenance facility department who made approximately a $102,000 and $85,000 respectively and got far less positive results than this man has."
School board member Mark Cockerham made a statement as well. Cockerham says the board needs to bring this topic to an end. "I rather just move forward. I think there are other pressing issues I would like to get to as a board."
Dr. cooper couldn't agree more. "The opportunity to continue a 6 year Turnaround Plan that could lead Lafayette to a much higher level of success, but we just can't get to any of that because I'm spending all my time on this. I wish we could get back to the children, teachers and education."