It's full speed ahead for the first city school system to separate from Baldwin County schools.
Monday, the Gulf Shores City School Board voted to enter into contract negotiations with Dr. Matt Akin, the current Superintendent of Huntsville City Schools, a job he's had for just a little over a year now.
After reviewing 27 applicants, Akin emerged as a top candidate and was given a "thumbs up." The vote was unanimous, despite the fact that Dr. Akin was the first and only candidate interviewed in person last week.
The big question still looming - Will there be a 2018 start date?
"We've got a great candidate. Our goal was to go out and get the very best candidate, and why would you not secure that candidate. Alabaster, Saraland, Pelham, Jefferson County, Pike Road have all gone through a one interviewee process," said School Board President Kevin Corcoran.
Parent Jason Stephenson has two children attending Gulf Shores schools. For him and many others, Monday's move was the right move, sending a signal that, despite delays and politics a city school system is what people really want.
"It's absolutely, in my mind, ridiculous that we're sitting at this point right now without a start date, but that's me personally," said Stephenson.
"Our focus on residential growth is leading this and our determination to do something for our residents, as opposed to so much for our economy and our tourists," said Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft.
Independence is never easy, but the waiting game continues. Hopefully not for long as a decision on a start date is expected by week's end.
"We are proceeding right ahead, IT, facilities, now with a superintendent. We are doing everything necessary to make this happened, and our team still feels certain we can accomplish that goal," said Corcoran.
The salary range advertised is between $135,000-$170,000. The School Board said it.s less than what Dr. Akin is making now, but he's indicated that he doesn't mind.
The hope is to have a new superintendent sometime before August.