Clay school board votes to sue county's Board of Commissioners

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FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. - The Clay County School Board voted Friday to file a lawsuit against the Clay County Board of Commissioners. 

Taxpayers pleaded with the Clay County School Board not to spend more taxpayer money to hire an outside attorney to sue the commissioners. The school board voted last month to allow voters decide if the superintendent of schools should be elected or appointed. But only the county commissioners can put the item on the ballot, and they decided to push their decision to 2016.  

Some school board members tell Action News that delay violates state statute, since the school board approved it. After an emotional two-hour meeting Friday, the school board sent a message. "This falls on the back of the county commissioners," said board member Janice Kerekes. 

In a 3-2 vote, the board decided it will now hire an outside attorney to file a lawsuit Monday morning against the Board of Commissioners, demanding that it allow voters to decide how the superintendent is selected. Not everyone supports the move, especially because there's no estimate on how much it will cost.

"I still think we should work together," said board member Lisa Graham. 

The superintendent refused to acknowledge Action News' questions about the vote. Taxpayers made it clear to the board that it's their money being used to fight this political battle.

"We have way too many other issues for elected officials to act like children," said one taxpayer.

The Clay County Board of Commissioners will meet Monday evening. The chair says commissioners' options could include hiring counsel to defend them or reconsidering their decision from this week about the ballot item.