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04 March 2014

Douglas County TEA Party Urges Senator to Recuse Herself from Vote on School Board Salaries

Coming on the heels of a report by the Douglas County Sentinel that state Senator Donzella James (D - Atlanta) is blocking a proposal to save Douglas County taxpayers money by cutting the pay of school board members, the local TEA Party is urging James to recuse herself from the vote due to a possible conflict of interest.

Douglas County Sentinel reporter Ron Daniel reported last week that Douglas County School Board members approved a resolution asking the Georgia General Assembly to cut their pay.

Douglas County School Board members are the second-highest paid school board in the state.

State Senator Donzella James has said she will block the move to reduce the salaries of Douglas County School Board members. That has TEA Party members incensed, especially after it was revealed that James' chief of staff --Tyler Barr-- is running for School Board himself.

The Douglas County TEA Party fired off this letter to state lawmakers:

Dear Douglas County Delegation member,

We are writing you today to urge you to put your full support behind the passage of the recently filed local legislation regarding the structure and pay of the Douglas County Board of Education.

The BOE drafted, and voted to approve, a resolution which was then sent to the delegation with a request that it be passed. This is a local issue and falls under Home Rule.

There is no reason for the BOE's request to be denied.

We also respectfully request that Senator Donzella James recuse herself from this vote due to the conflict of interest that surfaced when her chief of staff Tyler Barr announced his candidacy for a seat on the Douglas County Board of Education.

According to the TEA Party, Senator James is the only legislator refusing to sign off on the proposal to cut the Douglas County School Board's salary.

The 35th Senate district includes part of Douglas County, which allows Senator James to use the rules to block bills affecting only that county, even though James lives in neighboring Fulton County.