By Mike Steely
That was the answer by Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett during a taping of WBIR’s “Inside Tennessee” which aired Sunday morning. Asked by attorney Don Bosh if he feels the school superintendent “should be gone” the mayor answered “Yes, I do.”
“Because of his style of leadership. I don’t like talking to teachers who are afraid for their own jobs because they’re speaking out. I welcome that in county government,” Burchett said.
This past two years the county teachers have publically opposed McIntyre and his central office on various things including too much testing, too many in-class evaluations, teaching to a strict method, and recently the past school board has attempted to limit public speaking by the teachers.
On September 24th the County Audit Committee hears from the Internal Auditor with a report about misuse of physical plant upkeep funds and while the report has not been release it apparently is critical of McIntyre’s use of those restricted funds for other purposes.
The recent election of three new Board of Education (BOE) members and the appointment of one interim member, all critical of McIntyre, mean that the majority of BOE members are now opposed to McIntyre and his policies. The outgoing BOE voted to extend the superintendent’s contract for one more year, giving him 4 years of tenure. If dismissed without cause that mean’s he would receive about a million dollars in pay.
McIntyre called Mayor Burchett’s comments “surprising” and said he doesn’t feel “it should be personal.”
“He’s not supposed to have control of the school board, which he does. He works for the school board, yet he tells the school board what to do,” Burchett said. He also said that he gets calls each week from disgruntled teachers or parents.
McIntyre’s contract may be terminated for cause of conduct, including, but not limited to “neglect of duty, insubordination, inefficiency, incompetence or unprofessional conduct.” He would have the right for a hearing before the board within 30 days of and may be represented by council. He may also unilaterally terminate his contract within 90 days notice to the board and, if so, would only be entitled to the salary and benefits accrued but unpaid at the time of his leaving.