Floyd County School Superintendent Terry Arbogast’s  decision to retire comes amid an escalating controversy over his handling of requests for information from the Board of Supervisors.

Arbogast planned to retire this year but then appeared willing to accept the school board’s offer of a new, two-year contract.

But the Superintendent tells me he decided in January not to take the extra two years and told the school board he would retire this year.

School board chairman Doug Phillips asked the superintendent to delay the announcement, which he did until this week.

One member of the Floyd County board of supervisors feels Arbogast has stonewalled efforts to obtain specific records on exactly what the superintendent is paid along with detailed information on the actual costs of administering the school budget, which eats up 80 percent of the county’s annual budget and led, in large part, to proposed massive increases in real estate and personal property taxes for the next fiscal years.

Courthouse supervisor Casey Clinger wants the county to request an Internal Revenue Service “voluntary compliance audit” of the school system’s budget and also wants the board of supervisors to exercise more control over school spending.

“We’re responsible for keeping the county budget under control,” Clinger says, “yet we have no real control over the component that takes up 80 percent of the budget.”

Clinger, facing opposition from other members of the board of supervisors and a critical memo from County Administrator Dan Campbell, dropped the idea of requesting the audit.

Clinger, a political pit bull, has found himself in a one-man crusade.

 

The superintendent will leave at the end of this year, ending an 18-year run as the school system boss.

(Updated on April 13 to add new information.)

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