Article Comment 

Our View: The search for leaders




We''re a community led by interim leaders -- from the Columbus and Starkville school districts to the Columbus Police Department and Mississippi University for Women. 


Leadership is a tricky thing. Some would say, it''s the main thing. Take Apple and Steve Jobs, to cite one example in the news. 


It''s a fine balance of business and people skills, the professional know-how of the field and a slew of intangibles, not the least of which is vision. 


And finding the right leader? 


Even trickier. 


Columbus and Starkville schools have employed the services of the Mississippi School Boards Association, paying $9,500, plus expenses, for experts to seek out the right person. 


It''s a small price to pay for a leader responsible for hundreds of employees, thousands of students and tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer dollars. 


MSBA is headed in the right direction, seeking community and district input before even drawing up a job application. 


The state College Board is doing the same. 


Thursday, the board and commissioner of higher education hosted sessions on campus, listening to input from campus faculty and staff, community members and business and civic leaders. 


Despite pleadings by locals to give Interim President Allegra Brigham the full-time job -- and Board President Hank Bounds'' assertion that "Allegra is doing a fantastic job" -- the College Board is hewing to its commitment to conduct a broad search. 


Not to beat a dead horse, but we wish the CVB could have mustered the same resolve. Instead, it chucked its stated commitment to cast a wide net in search of a director and settled instead for the person in the interim spot. That unwise move has undermined the credibility of that organization''s board and the director it chose. 


The Columbus City Council continues to advertise for applicants for chief of police. 


Whether or not they will seek community input is yet to be seen. But searching far and wide is a positive sign. 


The wider the pool of candidates, the better the chance of hiring the best person for the job. That paired with taking the pulse of the community, can make all the difference. 


We, as citizens and taxpayers, deserve a say in leadership positions so vital to the health of our society. 


We encourage those charged with choosing the leaders to proceed with care, deliberation and openness.



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Reader Comments

Article Comment shinealightonit commented at 8/26/2011 9:15:00 PM:

It's not that the CVB Board has a shortage of resolve; it's that they have a preponderance of arrogance! One of the Board members was even overheard saying "We don't care what people think. We're going to do what we want to do!"

You are correct, however, in observing that they HAVE lost all credibility. The last straw was when they chose to ignore a decision they had reached at an earlier Board meeting, in which they agreed to conduct a national search for a full-time Executive Director.

Perhaps the request for CVB documents that I read about will yield some positive results.


Article Comment casey commented at 8/27/2011 12:56:00 AM:

Nancy Carpentr should RESIGN!!!!
We are grateful that the Educational Boards have hired search firms to help find the professional candidate to fill its leadership positions. They are representative of smart professionals.

Sadly, the CVB's crooked, under-the-table move that put Nancy Carpenter in its leader position was a pitiful move to keep Carpenter from competing with REAL professionals. This confirms that she was a poor candidate and lacks leadership qualities that is much needed for the Director's job. If the CVB leader lacks credibility, she MUST RESIGN for the good of the CVB and its mission. It seems that this so called leader did not know how to properly handle a public records request as submitted on behalf of citizens and taxpayers. To hire an attorney to sift through the process is a waste of tax dollars because there should be no records to hide from the public. I might just take a notion to go and sit around in the office that taxpayers are paying for--YES, we are paying for the new CVB building and all the stuff in it, including the records and documents that concerned citizens requested. There are three solutions to this problems with the CVB: 1) Nancy Carpenter SHOULD RESIGN, and, 2) Horse whip the board members who voted to slide her in as director. 3) Conduct a proper search for a'll be money well spent and the CVB will re-gain the community's respect.


Article Comment observer2 commented at 8/27/2011 3:25:00 PM:

I really doubt and would lay odds that casey would resign if the shoe was on the other foot. There are many of you who would love to be in Nancy's place and not a one of you would resign. Fess up, you bunch of jelous hipocrits.


Article Comment columbusrealitycheck commented at 8/27/2011 5:17:00 PM:


It's disingenuous, at best, and ignorant, at worst, to link someone's disgust and outrage at the sleazy, underhanded way that Ms. Carpenter was made the permanent Director, with jealousy. Perhaps you're the one who should "fess up"

It's more likely that casey, like many of us in Columbus and Lowndes County, are sick and tired of the way that bunch of renegades (otherwise known as the CVB Board) has been ignoring not only good business sense, but also the will of the taxpaying public.

Oh, and by the way, there's this cool new tool available. It's called spell check. You might want to try it.


Article Comment casey commented at 8/27/2011 10:27:00 PM:

observer2 - Obviously you have not paid attention to the devious way Ms Carpenter and the CVB board slimed her into the director's job. An applicant for the executive directorship of this type of public entity should possess qualities of honesty, integrity and proven leadership in order to be effective and credible in the tourism world. The right person would have welcomed the opportunity to compete with other applicants on a level field rather than use political choke-holds to thrust her way into the position. Could
she have feared the competition of true professionals and chose the instrument of crooked play? The recent request for documents and financial statements from the CVB might reveal more than wearing the shoe on another foot. Lots of folk are cheering attorney David Owen and concerned citizens whom he represent to get accountability of this public body. I hope Owen calls for a State Audit to get to the bottom of dollars & cents. I have good business sense and I wouldn't want my business handled like those board members run the CVB--like it's a slush fund. Did you know that Carpenter bought herself a brand new SUV that she keeps 24/7 with tax dollars in spite of hard economic times? She should RESIGN as well as those weak board members who jabbed her through the taxpayers' pockets.


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 8/28/2011 11:55:00 AM:

This town isn't looking for a leader. It is looking for someone versed in lip to backside diplomacy. You had a Police Chief and you ran him off because he wouldn't kiss a fat man's backside. You've had others and ran them off too by your hillbilly feuding.

And now you want to lament "on the great search" and "how hard it is"?

You are like a woman who has been married 9 times, still searching for a man, and has yet to figure out "maybe it is her after all."

And the hard part is putting up with your nonsense.


Article Comment shinealightonit commented at 8/29/2011 1:42:00 PM:

Well, well, well! Now, isn't this special?!

According to the sidebar of an article in Sunday's edition of The Dispatch, the company with the biggest delinquent property tax figure is Castle Columbus. Citizens of Columbus and Lowndes County, you may be interested to know that this company is owned by a CVB Board member.


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