At least three current or former Kentucky superintendents on social media have criticized former Woodford County Public Schools superintendent Paul Stahler for leading the opposition on a 5.5 cent school facilities tax for a new high school.
Voters on Tuesday rejected a 5.5 cent school facilities tax needed to replace Woodford County's 54-year-old high school building with a new one. A total of 3,758 people voted against the tax while 3,442 people voted for it. Stahler helped lead the movement for a referendum after the school board approved the tax, and then drove the campaign that opposed the tax.
Current Superintendent Scott Hawkins has said that because of finances, it will be another 12 years before a new high school could be considered again. Hawkins was a proponent for the tax and the new high school.
The campaigns leading up to the referendum were passionate and sometimes marked by harsh words on social media from both sides.
This week, the strong opinions over the issue continued as superintendents criticized Stahler.
" It is unimaginable how a former supt could lead the effort to oppose progress for children," Daviess County Superintendent Matt Robbins tweeted. "This actually occurred in Woodford Co. This man actually bought the land for a new HS he now opposes the funding to construct. Kids-first, that’s a lifetime commitment! Shameful!"
Stahler told the Herald-Leader he was a school board member when the property was purchased.
"I didn't buy anything. The school board did," he said.
Randy Poe, Superintendent of Boone County Schools, tweeted, " So sad for the children! Those that glow tonight should only think that they are not taking care of the children like their for fathers did! So shameful for a former Superintendent who did not care for the future children! Shameful on him!"
In response to Poe, former Fayette County Superintendent Tom Shelton, now executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, tweeted , " Completely agree Randy! Sad that a former superintendent would not support kids so he could save a few bucks. #shameful.
The Herald-Leader on Thursday asked Stahler about the criticism from the superintendents.
"I don't want them to assume that I care what they think," he said.