MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- Dr. Romain Dallemand's time as superintendent of Bibb County schools was marked by passionate support and opposition from many residents.
41NBC spoke with several who weighed in on his abrupt departure, and big buyout check. Resident, Betty S. Preston, says his severance package was unexpected.
"I'm sure he's very happy leaving. $350,000. Hmm. I would be too," said Preston.
Some said the offer was too excessive.
"It was too much. I just don't think he deserves all that money. I really don't," said a Bibb County resident.
"I was actually shocked and blown away. That was a ridiculous amount of money... In fact I wouldn't have given him a dime. I would have just asked him to go," said Carrie Lownsbery.
Ray Grissett says the superintendent deserved more for the work he put in already.
"I don't think it was enough," said Grisset.
Others say the board was in a bind, and they had to make a decision.
"I mean what was their alternative. I'm not saying I agree with it. It was from the get go, in my opinion, it was a mistake to ever hire him," said a Bibb County resident.
Then there was the element of surprise. That's how many people described his departure.
"I'm surprised that they released him," said Antonio Mitchell.
"It just seems odd... I thought everything was going good and he would stay for a while, was he dissatisfied or something? Nobody knows why," said Latonya Williams.
"He said he was going to stay. And now he's leaving. It's just crazy," said Stanley Rodgers.
Grissett feels like the superintendent didn't have a choice. He's disappointed in the departure.
"I hate that he's leaving... From seeing things bits and pieces on the news I think he was like pushed into a corner... They was criticizing him too much for what he was trying to do," said Grissett.
Lownsbery and another resident shared a feeling of relief when they heard the news.
"He just fell short with the kids. It's really heartbreaking," said Lownsbery.
Now, it's time to move on.
"He did a good job. Sometimes he didn't so, they let him go. That's his business. We'll find somebody better though," said Mitchell.
"Wherever he goes I wish him luck, but I wish he would've stayed," said Grissett.