PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Escambia County school board voted against a resolution Tuesday night that would have let voters decide if the county should return to an elected superintendent.

Some people are upset with the way Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith is leading Escambia County Public Schools so they’re asking to elect the superintendent.

“This woke agenda,” one man said. “I’m so sick of it.”

They want someone with conservative values and someone who will bypass a review process and take action to remove inappropriate books from schools. Those were reasons some people said when addressing the school board about reasons to elect a superintendent.

Pensacola Mayor D.C. Reeves, who has a daughter in public school, said it should stay an appointed position.

“My concern is that we’re here tonight because of political motives so we can talk politics for a second,” Reeves said. “Somehow this is a red vs. blue issue and I just believe that’s inaccurate. If electing a superintendent is somehow a more Republican thing then I’d just ask why does Texas not do it? Why does Wyoming not do it?”

The majority of the school board voted against the resolution that would have put the issue on the ballot next March which is six years after voters decided to switch from an elected to appointed superintendent.

“It’s your right to vote or not vote and many people who come and mash their teeth do not vote but they’ll stand and talk about it,” Board Member Patty Hightower said in response to someone who yelled out they should have the right to vote.

Dr. Smith was hired in 2020. Some board members said the people complaining are often pointing fingers at the wrong person and Smith should be given a bit more time before fully measuring his success. Dr. Smith said he’s staying out of the politics.

“My job is all about our kids learning, growing and moving forward,” Smith said. “Period. That’s what I’m here to do.”