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Debate heats up over new Buffalo schools superintendent

WBFO Photo/Mike Desmond

Buffalo does not yet have a new school superintendent, but interim superintendent Donald Ogilvie might be leaving earlier than the June 30 date his resignation takes effect.

"In light of Mr. Ogilvie's actions tonight, I wouldn't be surprised if he's going to be gone a lot sooner than he thought," said Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino Wednesday night, complaining about Ogilvie. 

In the midst of the district's debate over a new city school leader, Paladino has blocked Ogilvie's proposal to negotiate new employment contracts with the superintend's current inner cabinet. Some of those contracts have already expired, others run out on June 30.

Paladino contends Emerson Principal James Weimer will soon be appointed superintendent and he wants the new district leader to choose his top aides.

"That's something that Ogilvie should have done when he got in office originally. He didn't do it. You cannot correct dysfunction with the same people who created the dysfunction and that's a principle by which I believe that we, in the majority, are living by that principle," said Paladino.

Meanwhile, the board minority members say Weimer isn't that qualified. The minority believes the search for a new leader should continue and that they should be involved.

There were also complaints from board members and public speakers that Weimer shouldn't be looking for his future cabinet because he doesn't yet have the job. Paladino argues that Weimer should be looking.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.