The Richmond County Board of Education, not known for vigorous leadership over the past two years, helped erase that image with a bold move: Asking for the resignation of the director and assistant director of the system's public safety department.
Maj. Mike Farrell has been a major embarrassment. He has presided over sloppy record-keeping and often failed to supply the superintendent and trustees with vital information. Assistant Director Dan Parson was no better.
Superintendent Dr. Charles Larke is no doubt relieved that the broom of reform can now start sweeping this department clean. Last Friday, he moved swiftly to force the resignations of the duo.
Much credit, though, goes to Trustee Barbara Padgett. She patiently worked to get the superintendent and fellow board members the correct and complete personnel overtime figures from Farrell for a year. Farrell thwarted her and Larke at every turn.
Congratulations to trustees Padgett, Ken Echols, Eloise Curtis, Y.N. Myers and Adna Stein for taking charge of this out-of-control situation last Thursday night and voting for the resignations.
Farrell dabbled in local politics far too much - to the point of donating to, and siding with, some candidates over others. This clouded his judgment and detracted from his job.
Farrell and Parson had been previously warned to become more professional and institute departmental reforms. But even Larke knew such an attempt would be like a leap from the Stone Age to the 21st century.
It is now time for Larke and the school board to find professional leadership for a department that must be well-trained and cost-effective to face school security challenges that changed forever after last year's horror at Columbine High School.
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