Alabaster to start interviewing school board applicants

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Members of the Alabaster City Council Education Committee will interview each of the 36 applicants for the city’s upcoming school board in late January and early February before narrowing the list to about 10 and passing it to the full council.

The announcement came during a Jan. 5 Education Committee meeting, during which committee members laid out their plans for the next few months. The meeting came a few days after the city stopped accepting applications for the five-member, unpaid school board, which could be seated as early as late February, committee members said previously.

Over the next few weeks, the city will contact each of the about 36 applicants and schedule times for them to interview with the committee. The interviews will happen over the course of three or four days in late January and early February.

“The process we’ve talked about it having the committee screen the 36 down to a more manageable number,” said Councilman and Education Committee Chairman Scott Brakefield. “Then the council will have a work session in February to interview the remaining candidates.”

Included on the list of school board applicants was Alabaster Ward 3 Councilman Adam Moseley, who asked the council during a Jan. 3 meeting to not include him in future Education Committee meetings and council discussions regarding the city school board.

If appointed to the school board, Moseley would have to resign from his position on the City Council.

“He will be considered equally with all applicants,” said Council President Jim McClain. “He has asked to be excused from all (school board) discussions, to make sure we keep it above-board and everyone will know what’s going on.”

Brakefield said the list also included several candidates who initially voiced opposition to the city forming its own school district.

“We’ve got five or six who were adamantly opposed to it, but now they’ve applied for the school board and we need to know why,” Brakefield said as the committee members discussed the questions they would ask each candidate.

The list also included an employee in the Shelby County School System Central Office, committee members said.

Whit Colvin, an attorney who is representing the city during its separation from the county school system, said he would investigate if a county school system Central Office employee serving on the Alabaster school board would represent a legal conflict of interest.