HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Huntsville City Schools leaders are at the end of their rope. Superintendent Casey Wardynski, School Board President David Blair, and Vice-President Laurie McCaulley waited patiently on Wednesday for a meeting with Madison County Commissioner Bob Harrison and a group Harrison refers to as the “black elected officials.” However, the meeting didn’t go quite as planned.
“We were going to get together about 1:00, it’s now 1:30 p.m. so we’re going to get on back to work of educating our kids,” said Dr. Wardynski. The three HCS leaders stood on the steps of the Annie Merts Center, waiting to extend an olive branch. However, there was no one there to accept it.
WHNT News 19 asked Dr. Wardynski if anyone confirmed that they would be attending the meeting on April 2nd. “We had probably 20 emails go back and forth and there was a discussion about first meeting on April 1st,” said Wardynski. “That turned out to be a bad day, apparently that’s a holiday or something and so they couldn’t make it,” he said. “So we rescheduled for today at 1:00 and we’re here and they’re not.”
Wardynski released some of the emails between him and Commissioner Harrison. One is dated Monday, March 31. In it, Harrison writes that he would not be able to attend a meeting on April 2nd. Harrison also tells Wardynski in the email that he would rather not meet with him alone, but only with the specified elected officials who were a part of an original request.
“We will continue to try and continue the conversation, again, we’re going to get back to the business of educating kids and running a school system, that’s really our focus,” said Blair.
McCaulley stood beside both Wardynski and Blair. “I wish they would come join us and let us start working on one accord and for what’s best for the children in district 1 and district 6,” she said.
Warydnski said it’s just not working out. He told WHNT News 19 that his door is always open. He said from now on, anyone who wants to have a meeting will need to schedule an individual session with him. “It’s hard to understand how many people are coming and what their reasons for not being here are,” he said. “Obviously my board members are very busy and they have a lot to do to run the school system, as do I. If they’d like to meet individually, come on down, otherwise we’re back to business.”
Note: WHNT News 19 confirmed today that Commissioner Harrison was not available for the meeting this afternoon. He served on a panel as part of the Leadership Flagship Program’s Local Government and Media Day. We did try reached out to him by email and left a message for him at his office.