Personnel decisions are usually not discussed in open session in school board, park board or city council meetings. But Monday night, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services George Landon stood up during the public comment portion of the Hesperia Unified School District school board meeting, and announced that he was quitting.

Landon, who marks his four-year anniversary with the HUSD on July 1, read a letter addressed to Superintendent Mark McKinney and the assembled school board members.

"I have developed many lasting professional relationships and friendships here at Hesperia Unified School District who I will truly miss working with on a daily basis," his letter reads in part. "It is with great anxiety, and with mixed emotions, that I submit my letter of resignation this evening. I will be resigning in order to maintain my integrity and morals. I can no longer be associated with a district where differing views, opinions and issues are not discussed and respected. Lack of respect has been shown to my fellow colleagues, as well as a lack of trust for staff to perform their responsibilities. Directions have been given by individuals who have not involved all necessary stakeholders in order to gain a full understanding of the issues in order to make an informed decision."

Landon had signed a three-year contract with the HUSD on March 10, which takes effect on July 1. He would have received $156,012, plus benefits, for his work in the 2008-2009 school year.

"I don't think there was necessarily a change since then," Landon said Thursday. He has a new job lined up, but did not offer any details. "I think it's probably just been a culmination of things, some things that I can't really discuss."

Landon's public resignation comes 11 months after Kingston Elementary School principal David Long did something similar. Long's open letter to the board was shared with local newspapers, and blasted school board members Hardy Black, Robert Kirk and Lee Rogers for allegedly governing through "fear and suspicion" and accused the trio of declaring "war upon all administrators in Hesperia."

But whereas Long was free to leave the July 23, 2007 school board meeting after his letter was read, Monday's school board meeting was a more than five hour affair, and the public comment period during which Landon announced his resignation occurred before the half-way mark. So after reading his letter, Landon sat back down to continue advising the school board on business decisions, for one last meeting.

"I was deeply saddened to hear about George's resignation. I was surprised," McKinney said Thursday. "George has been a great business guy. He really knows his stuff. It will be a great loss for the district."

Landon's resignation becomes effective on July 4. He and his family will remain Hesperia residents, he said.

"My fellow cabinet members and staff hate to see me go," Landon said, "but they can also understand why, too."

The next meeting of the Hesperia Unified School District school board will be held on July 14 at the Hesperia Administration and Educational Support Center, 15576 Main Street.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.