By Sara Belsole
COLUMBUS, GA - A frustrated Muscogee County School Board voted to fire search firm McPhearson and Jacobson at Monday night's meeting.
The Nebraska firm had been helping the board find a new superintendent since the summer, but failed to find a candidate that met all of the board's criteria.
The board has now hired new search firm Brock, Clay, Calhoun, and Rogers out of Marietta, Georgia.
School Board Chairwoman Cathy Williams says this firm is no stranger to Columbus.
"We know them, they were involved in the last two successful superintendent searches. They know us, they are very familiar with this district and know what we are looking for," Williams says.
Williams says the firm wasn't available when this whole process started.
So how much is this search costing you?
The board paid the first search firm just over $13,000 for its services. The new contract with Brock and Clay is based on an hourly rate but could hit as high as $25,000. All this on top of paying Interim Superintendent Dr. John Philips.
Money school officials say well spent. "I appreciate the fact that this board is being deliberate and we don't want to hire just someone, we want to hire the best person," Williams says.
But this decision does not go without taxpayer criticism.
"They are spending too much money because I don't think it takes that long to hire someone. Our kids really need a superintendent inside the schools," Dorothea Smith says.
NBC 38 viewers on Facebook agree. Holly says, "It is a waste of money." Alan asks, "Why is it necessary to have a school board if they are going to pass the responsibility onto a firm?"
The board says although there is not set timeline for when a new superintendent will be named, it thinks things will start picking up speed with this new search firm.
"They are incredibly professional and incredibly efficient," Williams says.
The board says it is not starting from scratch and it will use the information gathered with the first search firm moving forward.
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