• Judge rules that Clay superintendent issue will be on ballot in November

    By: Russell Colburn


    GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. - A judge ruled that Clay County voters will get to decide if the county's school superintendent should be elected or appointed. 

    The controversy between the Clay County School Board and the Board of County Commissioners took center stage with a court hearing Tuesday morning.

    Last month, Action News reported about the school board's decision to allow voters to choose whether the superintendent should be elected or appointed.

    But only the County Commission can put the item on the November ballot. After they pushed their decision to 2016, the School Board filed suit.

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

    "If [the judge] rules the other way we'll need a special meeting before this week is over to react accordingly and promptly,” said BCC chairman Wendell Davis.

    Meanwhile, taxpayers have already reacted 'strongly,'...many saying their money is being used to fight a political battle.

    “We have way too many other issues for elected officials to act like children,” said a county resident.

    Current superintendent Charlie Van Zant attended the hearing. He said his focus right now is on running the district and on student learning gains.

    "This entire litigious process is unfortunate, and all that we can be sure of is that is disrupts our school system and at the end of the day the taxpayers of Clay County pay the bill, and they all lose,” Van Zant said.

    Van Zant would not take any of our questions.

    Representatives with the school board declined to comment entirely.

    Next Up: