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Union president's letter was 'inaccurate'

Posted: April 28, 2012 - 11:04pm


On April 18, The News-Times published a letter by Sissy Hobbs regarding the Columbia County school system calendar, administrative costs and charter schools. The information she reports on most topics is inaccurate at best.

Taxpayers should be interested to know that State Department of Education figures indicate that among all school districts in our state, the Columbia County school system expends the least amount of money for Central Office administrators.

Further, Hobbs is the president of the local Transportation Workers Union which, we are informed, has funded five federal lawsuits against the Columbia County school district and several individual employees. To date, the cost to properly and successfully defend these lawsuits is more than $359,761.21.

This amount does not include the costs associated with endless hours required of school district employees who have had to provide a plethora of data and prepare for and participate in depositions.

Of these five lawsuits, one was resolved through compromise solely to avoid unnecessary financial costs that would have been required to litigate to a conclusion. In the other four lawsuits, the assigned federal court judge determined each of the four cases was so lacking in merit that each could be decided by the judge, dismissing the cases without further proceedings or the use of a jury.

On April 24, the four plaintiffs appealed the decisions of the federal court to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. This will result in additional costs to Columbia County taxpayers.

While the school district embraces the rights of employees to speak on matters of public concern, we would hope that employees would disclose any viewpoint bias and present accurate information.

Charles Nagle


Columbia County Schools

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Comments (8)

John Locke

So What

This letter says more about the CC school system and its leadership than anything else. Mean, vindictive and sensitive to criticism. So what if it is an employee, what other recourse to they have against the powerful establishment. Shame on you Mr. Nagle. Shame on you.

Craig Spinks


Which law firm(s) got the money?

If any went to the Fletcher firm, was this in addition to the $201K the CCBOE paid the firm last fiscal year?

By the way, Fletcher hit up the RCBOE for $608K in the last fiscal year. And the RCSS contains only about 25% more kids than ours.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

Carl Duvall

union's harassment of officials

Not only am I an employee for CCBOE, I am also a tax payer and resident of 42 years of columbia county. It really upsets me to see people bashing Columbia County officials and trying to slander their names.Here in Columbia County we have one of the best eucation systems in the state. We wasting money that could have bought 4 new air conditioned buses by having to defend against false accusations. I feel the union is ruining the transpertation department by thinking they are more important than a non union employee. They get on the news and speak as if they represent all of the drivers when in reality they only represent a select few. I want Charles Nagle and Dwayne Porter to know I supported them before I became an employee and support them still now that I am an employee.

John Locke

Way to suck up

As a tax payer, resident - but not a CCBOE employee - I have witnessed how the CCBOE operates, the nepotism, the disregard for parents, the media-lovefest, and the so-called "perfect system" in the "perfect county." No one steps out of line here because you see perfectly what happens when one does. The "stepford" employees of CCBOE know what is good for them - don't rock the boat, lest you be hit with a rock. Nagle threw his rock at the letter writer. Top-dog picking on little dog. As I said - for shame, for shame.

Carl Duvall

Feel Free to throw your rocks

Feel Free to throw your rocks at me. I am a big boy I can take any rocks that are thrown my way. It is not sucking up it is speaking out to the union screwing up all our jobs and future raises that we will not see as long as the union keeps sueing the county for bogus lawsuits. I look at it this way if you dont like your job find somewhere else to work. As for the " Top Dog picking on the little dog" what do you expect our leaders to do sit back and accept all the bashing and lies spread and not get their side told. As for me I wouldn't want someone like that in charge. What happened to the school system spending the budget helping our children have the best transportation and education as our first priority. I will tell you it is the union and all the junk they keep stirred up. They are responsible for majority of the tax payers dollars lost with the many lawsuits.

Jamie Usry

Get your facts straight!

@Carl Duvall, you know nothing about the union or the lawsuits that have been filed. I'm sure if you were ever fired unlawfully you would appreciate someone fighting for you.

Well said Mr. Locke.

Sissy Hobbs

Know Your Facts

To Carl - You are repeating what you've been told by non union employees. Why don't you talk to the people that have lost their jobs when they did nothing wrong. Maybe when a child accuses you of doing something you did not do and you lose your job maybe you can see the benefit of the presence of a union. We did not ask to be here. The union was formed because we were not getting paid for all time worked. Your time sheet is the result of the union. You get paid for everything you do. Why don't you tell Mr. Nagel that you are willing to be paid from the time the first child steps on your bus until the time the last students steps off and you will forgo all of your other duties for free. That is the way it used to be. We are the majority of drivers not just a few. If you ever need any documentation to prove where we stand I am more than happy to provide it. Get your facts straight instead of repeating what people say to you. You only come out looking stupid when you talk about issues you know nothing about. When the county decides to quit violating labor laws, then the lawsuits will stop. By the way, it was a local judge that ruled on the four cases (not a federal judge), and we are appealing at the State level. Mr. Porter and Mr. Nagel keep the drivers divided, and you fall right into their trap. God be with you should you be treated unlawfully in the workplace as these drivers were. I will be more than willing to sit down with you and show you how the union came to be and then you can make an informed decision about the union. Your statements are just opinions. I can back up everything I say with facts. You remind me of the CCBOE. You only hear one side and then make up your mind as to what you think about it. Get both sides and then tell me what you think. The biggest difference between you and me is that I want all of us to have an enjoyable, fair working environment while you want a hostile working enviornment for union employees. I will never turn my back on my fellow employee - No matter who it is.

Sissy Hobbs


Simple solution to this mess

Outsource the department. I would imagine this would fix everyones issues.