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Superintendent's appointments make waves at school board meeting

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Buffalo Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash now has his hand-picked team running the school system. The appointments, however, stirred some controversy at Wednesday night's school board meeting.

The superintendent had promised to have his team ready on yesterday's date and he did. But, the choices and their salaries drew fire from some board members not happy with some choices, with some salaries and with some other board members perceived as sponsors for some candidates.

The superintendent says the  alary totals balance out with other changes. Cash says many of the administrators have been unfairly attacked in the past.

"This team has been beaten down. Many of these members have been impugned publicly over time, unfairly," Cash told the board.

"I'm trying to heal now. I'm trying to heal our people. Heal our team and lead them. So, I would like your support to help me with that."

Board Member Sharon Belton Cottman says the choices are chauvinist and sexist and bypass good people who have done the job in the past. Board Member Carl Paladino suggested voting on each individually, which didn't happen.

Several of the new appointments went to people Paladino has pushed for superintendent, including Harvey Austin Principal Kevin Eberle to be chief operating officer and Emerson Principal James Weimer to be an associate superintendent for school leadership, focusing on vocational education.

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.